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Winter fest showed some hope in week goneby

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Chanku

Majority of the plays failed to appeal to the spectators for one reason or another

Shimla -In the yet another week of the ongoing 23 days long, Winter Play Festival organized by the Gaiety Dramatic Society at the Historic Gaiety Theater, the Mall, Shimla, majority of productions failed to appeal the spectators for some reason or the other though after staging of “Billiya” on November 24 filled people with some hope but except for productions – “Gao ka Lambardaar”; “The Swan Song” and “God sees the Truth but waits” rest all again ended on a disappointing note.

From November 25 to December 1, plays – “Ek Tha Gadha urf Allahdad” by Smanvaya Theatre Group Shimla; “Chanku Ram” by Amar Joyati Group Pahal Shimla; “Khudkushi” by Sufi Theatre Group Shimla; “Gao ka Lambardaar” by Brijeshwar Kala Manch Shimla; “Coffee House me intzaar” by Abhilasha Theatre Group Shimla; “The Swan Song” by Abhiney Darpan Theatre Group Shimla and “God sees the Truth but waits” by The Beginner Theatre Group Shimla; have been staged.

Ek tha turned out to be yet another disappointing production one of the spectators said, “We people enjoyed the comedy beyond the script. The Nwaab Saheib was too pathetic I really feel sorry for the poor actors as most of them belonged to places where they couldn’t get much exposure.”

On other hand we saw Chanku based on famous Kreyala – folk theater form, which very well known and respected in Himachal, filled people with disgust considering the height of toilet humour used on stage. While commenting on the play one of the spectators said, “There is a proper costumes and other technical things that are must for any performing this art form but here nothing was considered. We don’t find characters dressed as hip hoppers like in this play. It was a total waste of time.” Considering the stiff body language of the actor playing female character made his look like the third gender.

Other than that in Chanku’s set calendar of 2011 was used as stage property how much would have a current years calendar coasted for participating in Winter Play Festival 2012 is something worth a thought. For both the above stated plays, we can say it’s good to have team members as your spectators to give audience queue as per when to applaud or laugh. Khudkushi depicting story of a lover trying to commit suicide for not being allowed to marry his beloved, due to its pathetic performance by the main actor instilled the idea of Khudkushi among the audience. As handful of spectators were out of words to express this shocking experience. Stage was left vacant for a litter long duration for changing set leaving audience staring at the dark stage that could have been avoided smartly.

Finally, to save all from the torture came “Gau ka”, another Kreyala; but in a complete contrast to what all witnessed in Chanku; with the real values attached to it. The play lasted for 2 hours and it kept all its spectators glued to their seats. It had traditional live musical instruments being played and costumes worn by the actors. While commenting on it one of the spectators said, “It was a true entertaining experience and I wish it could have continued a bit longer.” One can say that this was the best production that really valued for money that the department is paying, so far considering the crowd in hall and their uproar in the hall.

Coffee house again turned out to be bit disappointing as expectations were high seeing the catchy name and the banner. Coffee House me intraaz turned out to be Intrzaar even on the part of spectators as without any clear message the play ended in just 35 minutes. Considering the set, ambience was created of local Coffee House but in the backdrop music only mummers were used ignoring the fact clang sound is too prominent in the original place which they tried to show. Other than other hand waiter costume was done with lot of care as it was identical to the original place and could have been mistaken to be an employee, but unfortunately shoes were not given attention as he wore brown instead of black shoes which is part of the uniform.

“Meaning was not so clear I feel they could have taken bit more time and allowed the theme and message to manifest clearly, I think for the spectators”, expressed Parveen Chandla a senior local theatre artist.

The Swan based on Anton Chekhov being a hardly 45 minutes play proved to be a real treat for the audience. Directed by Diven Joshi there was hardly any flaw in the play. The main actor Pritam Sharma portrayed an aging actor’s reminisces about his life and the parts he’s played his character, remarkably well. While commenting on the play, Mohit,

A Review: Ritanjali Hastir, Freelance Journalist, Shimla

Art & Culture

Wah Re Corona: Himachali Folk Artist’s Lyrical Satire is Factual Rendition of India’s Agonizing Catastrophe

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wah re corona

Shimla-Otherwise blatantly vocal and distinctively mass-mobilizing government of India is suddenly in the most subdued self after its proclaimed victory over the deathly virus; participation in uncontrolled election rallies; and permitting maha melas. The stalwarts are in the hiding, while helpless citizens – who voted them into power not once but in landslide victories twice – are dying due to lack of oxygen, poor – unavailable – medical facilities, and the denial stance of the ignorant in the helm.

Drawing a comparison between the fatal coronavirus and the mismanagement of the entire situation by the appalling government; a Himachali folk artist has released a factually appropriate lyrical satire that will tickle your mind and leave you to imagine what has brought this catastrophe onto us. The song is written by Rameshwar Sharma and music by Lalit Sauta. 

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International Mandi Shivratri Fair Begins in Presence of 150 Local Dieties

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mandi maha shivratri 2021 pics

Mandi-International Shivratri Fair of Mandi district on the occasion of Mahashivratri began on March 12, 2020, at the historic Paddal ground. While Mahashivratri is celebrated for one day in most parts, the fair in Mandi goes on for seven days.

After Pagri and worship ceremony at Raj Madhav Rai Temple – abode of principal deity Madho Rai- begun the taditional Jaleb, Shobha Yatra. This yatra is held on every every year on the occasion of Mahashivratri. It starts from Raj Madhav Rai temple to conclude at the Paddal ground. This year, over 150 deities participated in the ‘Jaleb’, the traditional Shobha Yatra from almost all parts of the district. A total of over 200 deities have been invited this year.  

Mandi shivratri pictures 2021

Picture Courtesy: JairamThakur/Twitter

Thousands of people dressed in their traditional attire participated in the procession carrying their local deities dancing all the way upto Paddal ground.

Deputy Commissioner Mandi and Chairman International Shivratri Fair Organizing Committee Rugved Thakur informed this year as many as 216 deities were invited to participate in this fair.
He said that awareness Rath has also been included in the procession to drive in the theme of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao. It was followed by the performances by pahari artists on the first night of the fair.

An increase of five percent in honorarium of Bajantries accompanying the deities was also announced.

Chief minister Jairam Thakur also participated in the Yatra and Puja (worship). The state government is celebrating the festival as Swarnim International Shivratri Fair to mark fifty years of Statehood.

Though the Chief Minister cautioned the people that the world hasn’t come out of corona pandemic and there is a need to be cautious, he himself participated in the fair without wearing a mask or taking any visible measures for social distancing. From the crowd, some people were also heard asking the Chief Minister where his mask was . 

CM Jairam Thakur not wearing mask

He said that fortunately, the number of covid-19 cases were declining constantly, which was a big sigh of relief. 

Chief Minister couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to speak about his government’s achievements on the this occasion. “Three years tenure of the State Government has been full of achievements and accomplishments,” he said.

“This year the Mandi Shivrati has gained more importance as it was being celebrated this year when the Nagar Parishad has been upgraded to Municipal Corporation,” Jai Ram Thakur said.

Further, various Departments, Boards and Corporation have set up exhibition at Paddal Ground.

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Amid Steep Rise in COVID-19 Cases, HP Govt to Open Temples/Religious Places from Sept 10

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Chaurasi-Temple-photo

Shimla- The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh had reached 6830 by September 4, 2020. Yesterday the State reported 215 new positive cases with two deaths. The COVID-19 death tally rose to 48 with these new casualties reported from Sirmaur and Kangra districts.

According to the yesterday’s COVID-19 bulletin released by the State Health Department, highest 37 cases were reported in Kangra district followed by Solan (35) Sirmaur (33), Chamba (33), Mandi (32), Una (20), Bilaspur (7), Hamirpur (7), Shimla (8), and Kullu (3). Till Friday evening, the number of active cases in the state was 1815 as 4920 persons had recovered.

HP Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin for August 4, 2020 ( 9 PM)

temples-opening-in-himachal-pradesh

Amid this steep rise in cases in Himachal, the State Government on Friday held a Cabinet meeting in which it decided to open temples and religious places from September 10.

 The Language, Art and Culture Department will prepare SOP in this regard.  Registration would be required for people entering the State till September 15. The quarantine requirement would be reduced from 14 days to 10 days. The District Administration would strictly enforce the use of masks and social distancing in the field, the government said.

The Cabinet decided to provide wheat flour and rice to the income tax payee APL Consumers under Public Distribution System as was being provided to them earlier on APL rates and provide them pulses, edible oil, salt and sugar on zero-subsidy on actual rates.

The State Cabinet decided to request the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India to sign Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) related to Affordable Rental Housing Complexes Scheme with the state government.

It decided to fill up 10 posts of class IV employees in Panchayati Raj Department.

It gave its approval to transfer Gram Panchayat Kot from Police Station Shimla East (Chhota Shimla) to Police Station West (Boileauganj)  in district Shimla to facilitate the people.

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