celebration: independence day

NammaShaale celebrated the Independence day of India (‘Whose Independence?’ – a dialogue/quote from Pratidwandi – or ‘The Adversary’ (1972)  of Satyajit Ray) a couple of days in advance – on 13th August, 2009. And as usual there was a lot of food for thought, as well as, well… food for food too.

Manjunath’s magic was once again at work and it was truly spellbounding to see his wards  giving theatrical performances with much panache and aplomb.

After the previous academic year’s last show at NammaShaale, we were left wondering whether young Manjunath would continue to work with us – as he had kept us kind of guessing. He had/has plans of working with seed saving movements – for the preservation & propagation of indigenous varieties of  desi cultivars of various grains / vegetables / fruits.

And so, it was a pleasant surprise to have him back and work with our children and adults for the past few months. Obviously he would continue to work with his passion – theatre – as well as with bheej bachao andolans.

Getting back to the celebrations, the performances of the NammaShaale children were compered by a couple of erdkinder, with the constant background music with various instruments provided by that one-man-orchestra, called Manjunath.

First on the agenda were a couple of recitals of hindi poems by the primary children; nice ones, at least one was an old hindi ‘patriotic’ film song.

Next in the line was a series of vignettes from Bapuji’s life – with minimal props but aided by oodles of imagination. I think this was totally ‘stage-managed’ by the elementary children.

It was followed by a rendition of the legend of ‘Pied Piper of Hamelin’ – I didn’t exactly get the connection between the Piper and our Independence day – but then, I thought about it – at one level, Piper actualy provided independence 1) to the townsfolk of Hamelin from rats and 2) to the souls(!) of rats from their bodies (serious) & 3) to the children from their bondage; so this play did  fit in to the celebrations, after all!

Actually the original version of Grimm brothers is rather grim, but Manjunath chose the version where the children are retrieved by the townsfolk from the Koppenberg mountain cave – after payment of a huge penalty by the townsfolk. The ‘mayor’ who earlier shortchanged the Piper also gets reformed. Happy ending. But I personally like the version where there is this mystery of missing children, who never come back  – the danse macabre. But then, I am an unabashed admirer of HP Lovecraft and his incredible stories.

The Piper was followed by a a kannada song and dance – about this farmer called Madhappa – who struggles to grow brinjal and then gets royally shafted while trying to sell his brinjal produce. This was a realistic rendition – with the vocals provided by the adults (teachers) and dance movements by elementary children. I think this piece captured the essence of the dire state of agriculture in our country, post independence, with a lilting melody. The refrain is still ringing in my ears. Nice.

The programme of the day ended with the singing of our national anthem – and was topped up with laddoos from Anand Sweets of Kammanahalli for good measure.

The End. (of laddoos, that is)

PS: As always, there were folks who were taking snaps and shooting video clips during the event; if they feel like sharing them with the rest of the parent communit, they may please contact me.

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  • sourav894  On February 22, 2010 at 7:10 am

    It’s pleasing to know that there are thinkers in my country keeping the great culture alive. Even I’m a published Hindi poet. To catch a glimpse of my work, visit- http://souravroy.com/poems/

    Keep Walking…

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