‘Sharda’ story of Saadat Hasan Manto presented at Kalidas Rangalaya,

“The cultural ministry, Government of India, in collaboration with Rangam, a theater organization in Patna, Bihar, presented the play ‘Sharda’ on Monday, January 29, 2024, at Kalidas Rangalaya, Patna. The adaptation, conceptualization, and direction were done by Raas raaj. Prakash Parikplana( lighting visualisation) was by Vinay Chauhan, and music was composed by Adarsh Raj Pyasa.

The play ‘Sharda’ revolves around the story of Saadat Hasan Manto. It depicts the life of courtesans (prostitutes), which is like an open book that every man wants to read. However, societal and familial pressures often prevent them from embracing their desires. Sharada, the protagonist, faced similar circumstances. In her pursuit of a better life, she ends up in Mumbai’s red-light area, where she meets a customer named Nazir. She falls in love with him and wishes to live with him. However, Nazir reveals that he is already married and penniless.

Distraught, Sharada proposes that Nazir take whatever money he has and let her have the rent for a place in Jaipur so that she can return with her sister Shakuntala. Nazir, angered by her suggestion, leaves. Later, Manto Sahab visits Nazir’s house, loans him some money, and goes to Sharda to hand over the funds. There, Karim, a friend of Nazir, learns about Sharda’s plan to go to Jaipur. He insists Nazir call her back. Sharda arrives, and despite Nazir’s reluctance, she speaks about the challenges faced by women in their profession.

The play was a grand success with brilliant performances from all the actors. Vibha Kapoor as Sharda and Ras Raj as Nazir exhibited remarkable on-stage chemistry, forming the foundation of the entire play. The humorous portrayal by Kamlesh Singh as the drunkard and Shabnam, also known as Shabbo, played by Payal Ji, added to the entertainment. Vikas Kumar in the role of Karim, the manager of the red-light area, displayed good acting skills.

The supporting cast, including Asif Anwar, Somen Chakraborty, Ramesh Singh, and others, dressed as girls in the red-light area, beautifully decorated the stage.

The efforts of all the artists contributed to making the presentation successful. The director, Raas raaj, and the music composer, Adarsh Raj Pyasa, played a crucial role in making ‘Sharda’ a compelling and successful play.Apart from the on-stage actors, the behind-the-scenes team also played a significant role. Satish Kumar managed the stage design, and the costume arrangement was done by Nibha Kapoor, Adarsh, and Manoj. Akash Kumar was responsible for makeup, and Ramesh Singh and Manoj Raj coordinated the presentation. The overall coordination and organization were overseen by Ramesh Singh and Manoj Raj.

The characters on stage in the play are:

Sharada – Vibha Kapoor// Nazeer – Raas raaj //Manto – Kunal Satyan //Kareem – Vikas Kumar //Shabnam, alias Shabbo – Payal //Sharaabi – Kamlesh Singh //Shakuntala – Nibha// Rahim Kaka – Ramesh Singh //Natyangan (Dancer) – Shalini Gupta //Nazeer’s Wife – Vibha Kapoor //Customer 1 – Asif Anwar// Customer 2 – Somen Chakravarti //Other Customer – R.C. Jetley, Pinku Raj //Shabnam’s Lover – Aditya Sharma// Girls in the Red Light area – Nihal Kumar Datta, Shivam Pandey, Ajit Kumar, Chandan Kumar, Deepak Dubey, etc

Back of the stage:

Stage Direction – Raas raaj //Music – Adarsh Raj Pyasa// Stage Conceptualization – Satish Kumar// Lighting Conceptualization – Vinay Kumar //Costume Design – Nibha, Adarsh, Manoj// Makeup and Styling – Akash Kumar //Presentation Coordinator – Ramesh Singh,// Manoj Raj// Ticket Counter – Pinku Raj, Bikesh Sah //Photography – Deepak Kumar //Videography – Ashok Singhal// Media Coordinator – Manish Mahiwal// Stage Construction – Sunil Ji// Production Manager – Ramesh Singh”

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Raas raaj, the director and founder of Rangam, Patna, has worked hard since 2006, and his efforts culminated in the establishment of Rangam in 2016. The organization has been actively involved in presenting various plays and training aspiring artists. Raas raaj has earned recognition for his dedication and contribution to the world of theater in Patna

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