Shabd Leela

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An experimental venture, this presentation is part biography, part tribute to award winning novelist, poet and playwright Dr. Dharamvir Bharti. First half is an impactful reading of the extracts from ‘Ek Sahityik Ke Prem Patra’ a personal collection of letters between him and his wife. These letters, written in chaste Hindi, takes the audience to the life of Kanta, Pushpa and Dharamvir. The second section has performances from extracts of his works ‘Andha Yug’ and ‘Kanupriya’.

This is an absolute masterpiece on several fronts. The research, the narration, the performances are all top-notch. Luckily for us, Ms. Pushpa Bharti was also with us as audience that night and her praises for the research done for the play knew no bounds. On performance front, Ila Arun’s take on Gandhari is something that audience will not forget for long time to come! One can buy the ticket solely for her portrayal of Gandhari, such is the act! Rajeshwari, Varun and K K Raina also suited their roles to the perfection.

An amazingly researched piece, this falls short from being a must watch for regular audience on two fronts. First, the language – the Hindi used is in pure definitive form, which at times became tough to understand for me as well (I am a regular Hindi reader and still continue to grab a Hindi novel once in a while). Secondly, the pre-interval part with the letter narration seems dragging a bit. What also disappoints a bit is that (unlike Ek Mulaqat where Dipti and Shekhar memorize all words and dialogues), Ila and Varun read the letters on the stage from printout/notes.

Overall, it is a must-watch for the fans of Dharamvir Bharti ji, but the audience with challenges in understanding Hindi can find it little tough to understand the performance (first half in particular).

AglaPlay Verdict: A must watch for Dharamvir Bharti's fans
AglaPlay Rating: 3.5/5
Language: Pure Hindi
Duration: 2 Hours
Writer: Ila Arun 
Director: K. K. Raina
Cast: Ila Arun (Narrator / Gandhari), 
Rajeshwari Sachdev (Radha / Mrs. Bharti), 
Varun Badola, KK Raina, 
Abhishek Pandey

Below are a few relevant links.

Other Links
Full Performance on YouTube
Dharamvir Bharti Wikipedia
Ila Arun Wikipedia

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