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Jalandhar

Posted at: Apr 16, 2018, 1:59 AM; last updated: Apr 16, 2018, 1:59 AM (IST)KL SAIGAL PUNJABI RANG UTSAV

Play highlights travails of a woman defying cliches

Play highlights travails of a woman defying  cliches
Artistes perform the play E-Zindagi written and directed by actor Deep Mandeep on Saturday. Tribune photo: Malkiat Singh

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 15

On the third day of the KL Saigal Punjabi Rang Utsav, held at the KL Saigal Memorial Hall, actor director Deep Mandeep’s play E-Zindagi was staged in Jalandhar.

The play talks about the travails of a woman – who loses one home only to find another. Opening to a fuller audience the play. With minimalist settings – the play was carried through largely on the shoulders of Deep Mandeep who towered over all her male counterparts in acting prowess. A veteran actor, she plays the role of Zeenat, who, spurned by her first husband Tanveer Ahmend, after 40 years of a torturous relationship, eventually finds love and belonging in her relationship with her second husband Ahmed Abbas.

A take on the patriarchal wedding laws which treat woman as a mere commodity – a plaything, who can be flitted from one home to another – without asking her own will, the play – through the life of one woman talked about her struggle for her own self respect.

With the discovery of this new love, she explores the strength in her to choose a life for her ownself. The play ends on a happy note where – with Zeenat finally having found the courage to thwart her first husband and his advances meant to gain only her wealth and finds unconditional acceptance in her second relationship.

While a set of curtains hanging in the background and some furniture (including a telephone) up front, were the only props in the minimalist setting of the play, the production, which rested heavily on sombre monologues delivered by Zeenat (played by Deep Mandeep) cried for more detail and variety.

The play also played too much into the hands of clichés – a righteous female protagonist fighting for her rights in a world of wicked men – her efforts paying off in a happy finale where she finds closure in both her husband and son who previously did not accept her.

In theatre and in cinema – we have heard this story plenty of times – if it needs to be retold on stage it needs to be done with ingenuity. Unfortunately, Mandeep’s performance wasn’t enough to rescue the play of its failings.

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