It was an evening like any other. Watching a play with my parents was almost a bi-monthly routine for me. As I walked through the cobbled path of AOFA, I was thinking of many things, but nowhere in my mind did I have a thought that represented the magic that I saw on stage that day.
The play that I am talking about is called “DON – Taake Bhalo Laage” (which literally translates to “Don – I like him”) by the house of Chetana. The play started off with very graphically rich visuals that represented, while questioning, the present state of our society, our country, this world and our very existence. All of it and none of it at the same time. As the play progressed and became more and more complex, lovable and enigmatic all at the same time, I could not help but notice the excellent use of light, props and, most importantly, music.
The play was so fluidly musical and mysteriously beautiful that you almost became a part of it, at least I did. The music, which was a mix of everything from Kirtan to Flamenco, was live, which made it even more real. The lead, Suman Mukhopadhyay, who plays a mix of a prosecuted poet, Hamlet – the prince of Denmark and Don Quixote – the man of La Mancha at the same time, is one person to keep your eyes hooked on, along with Aldonza (Don would tell me to rather call her Dulcinea, though) played by the ever graceful Nivedita Mukhopadhyay and Sancho Panza (my personal favourite) played by Sujan Mukhopadhyay, for whom the play becomes what it becomes. An adaptation of the original by Arun Mukhopadhyay (who also appears in a humorous cameo in this one) called “Dukhi Mukhi Jodhha“, this play stands tall as a testament to the world we live in today.
I identify as an agnostic person and the play made quite a lot of sense to me, as it did to the person sitting right beside me (my father) who is quite a firm believer in the existence of the Almighty.
The show encourages one to dream, to hope, to look beyond the real and find the truth, to rediscover reality, to find within ourselves our very own knight in shining armour. With references to the works of monumental personalities, such as Utpal Dutt and Bertolt Brecht, the production is a treat for the intellectual mind and a jug of lemonade for the dried out soul of the fantasizer that lives inside of all of us.
It is a play that makes you think a million times: “To be, or not to be?”
It a creation not to be missed.
Duration: 140 minutes
Director: Sujan Mukhopadhyay
Cast: Suman Mukhopadhyay, Nivedita Mukhopadhyay, Sujan Mukhopadhyay