with the hype over gurukul shutting down temporarily, i also had to go see the last play (in the meantime ko last play) put on by them. Agniko Katha written by Professor Abhi Subedi, i had heard was an excellent play and everyone who’d watched it before recommended that i should go watch it. gurukul in fact, started out with the play in 2003. read more at ujjwala’s article here: Will the play still happen tomorrow?
personally, i feel that gurukul should have been prepared about this eventual shift from way before. if they are on private land than that is inevitable. also, expecting the government to anything or something about it is just a silly excuse. i mean, like my friend achal says: they never were under the government, in the first place. they started as a private endeavor. so why suddenly expect the government to do anything about it? say for instance, if lalit kala which is under TU is expecting something, then that’s relevant.
anyways, the point is about the play. luckily we got to gurukul around 2:20 and waited for the counter to open at 3. tickets were sold out in minutes. and people were lining up for the next show’s tickets..i.e. today’s show at 1 pm. my friends and i, in total we were nine…we ended up with up two extra tickets and sold those to other people. i hope they were very happy.
ok, so all the hype…and well, what happened to that hype turned out to be quite disappointing. “disappointing,” is what my cousin said as soon as the play ended. and well, we all had to agree to that. the applauds from the audience weren’t strong either. i mean…this was a major disappointment for me too. i had expected a really really excellent work! but i was left amidst confusing and vague (ahem.. philosophical?) dialogues on the meaning of life, some dramatic overacting (i’ve seen this before at gurukul too…perfection leads to artificiality), too many set changes, too many (loud) sound cues that were blasting on and off, and too many hand swaying, ninja moves like choreography by characters who are monks.
i guess the last point about exaggerated movements (dance like/ninja like) done by monks was something i couldn’t come to terms with. i know it is a drama and your imagination is unlimited but you know, keep something grounded in reality as well. as for the acting, well that was good..they’re all good actors. i can’t pin point what was lacking. the delivery was not smooth i guess. and to add to that, we were actually watching the 142nd (or sth) performance of this particular play. i’d really expected much more. i liked ‘sapanako sabiti’ and ‘suina karnaliko) much better than this.
the story is about a monastery that catches fire. the fire destroys their library and thus, one bhikchu and two bhikchunis leave the monastery to find the purpose of their life. one finds it in songs..or ‘geet’…she finds songs and music in everything around her. the other bhickhuni realizes that she wants to serve people, so she leaves the gumba and the third monk is still lost at the end. although he is the first one to leave the gumba and go in search of ‘words’ and knowledge.
when we parted ways, my friends and i were yelling, “PHARRRKAAAAAAAAA….NAJAAAUUU…” well, to get that you have to watch the play.
the best play i’ve watched at rimal theater was unfortunately not by the gurukul team. it was the spainish troupe’s play in which they didn’t have a single dialogue, just music and actions and that too with masks on. that play was simply beautiful and touching. i don’t think i’ll ever watch a better play in life.
but for now, i hope gurukul will be back soon. and good luck to them.