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Art & Culture

International World Theater Day celebrated





Just like rest of the world even Theatre fraternity of Shimla too celebrated the International World Theater Day, by staging three different productions.

“ However by repeating an old production and In summers we even plan to organize the play festival”- Director LAC, D.K. Gupta

On March 27, Department of Language Art and Culture Himachal Pradesh, celebrated the International World Theatre Day, at the Historic Gaiety Theatre , Shimla, by staging of three different plays that is “Gudiya” organized by Ab Theater Group; “The Gift of Magi” by Muskaan Theater Group and last but not least “Pyaar ka Bukhaar” by Abhilasha Theater Group.

While informing about the event Director LAC, D.K. Gupta said, “We organized the shows to mark the celebration of International World Theater Day. In summers we even plan to organize the play festival where groups will be invited so that they can interact and learn from each other.”


Once again within the period of a week people were again given an opportunity to relive the story of “Gudiya” for the third time. Though certain changes were made in this third show however there was yet again nothing so outstanding. However this time the boy using “Gudiya” as his puppet came out clear and loud through the gesture of boy while she is buy fascinating and dancing with her dolls about her wedding day.

Neatness while movements, was missing as they again bumped into each other few times and while the Ballroom Dance Gudiya steeped twice on the foot the Sameer. The level of girl’s insanity intensity was little less as compared to previous shows.


Whereas “Gift “was an English play based on the famous story of O’ Henry with the same title, one of the most celebrated story of sacrifice for the happiness of their beloved by Jim and Della. As compared to Prabhat’s previous week’s promising performance of “The Flight of the Innocence” this time he missed to hit the mark. Previously he managed to maintain Wilde’s touch it embodied strong moral values and was told with effervescence akin but here that sweetness of Henery was missing.

In duration of 20 to 25 minutes he lost the essence of the story. As a very impressive example of execution of this romantic story can be seen in Pankaj Udaas’ song “Aur Ahista kegeje baate” each time the video is seen it makes one overwhelmed with love but in the play Santa’s presence distracted the focus from the main character as it blocked the mind with image of Christmas and the little Jima and Della had to offer became the side story. The music was done really well but it too dominated the original main characters as pen down by Henry.


Had it been in the Hindi may be it could have appealed more as English is not our native language and when forcefully trying to imitate the accent, it makes us look ridiculous. A little bit of problem with diction too was present along with a silly mistake of gender reference of him to be her “Please God make her think I am still beautiful” while praying to God by Della.

“Pyaar” was a short comic play or can be called as a comic skit where a love doctor tries helping one of his patients but is swept off his feet by the patient’s girlfriend. It had the flavor of Kreyala.


It won the hearts of all spectators hardly having any strong message to give it was a comedy that made the entire hall spring up with laughter. It was funny. The actor Rajeev did a great job. The situational comedy was really nice and many wished that it was given a bit long duration as it was fresh and refreshing rather than restaging old productions.

In the name of International World Theater Day celebrations, something far much better and elegant could have been staged by the people collectively in the duration of 2 hours as the productions could have been wonderful on any ordinary day but on such prestigious day at such prestigious venue that is Mecca of Theater definitely needs to be reflected on.

Art & Culture

Shimla’s emerging filmmaker grabs 3 more awards for short-film “Papa”



Papa Short Film by Siddharth wins awards

Shimla: Shimla-based emerging short-film maker Sidharth Chauhan (27) has grabbed more awards for his work “Papa.”  His short-film Papa has received three awards at the Vintage International Film Festival, 2018.

As per the results announced on March 20, 2018, the movie won Sidharth the best short-film award in the National category. The film also won the best director award for Siddhartha and best cinematography award for Yashwant Kumar Sharma.

The film is written, produced, and directed by Sidharath.

Papa is the same film that was first screened at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival in Kerala in 2016 where it claimed its first award (best film).

Later, Papa made its first international premiere at the London Indian Film Festival in 2017 where the short film won the Satyajit Ray award. 

It was a mature storytelling which balanced a realistic sense of frustration and claustrophobia, with a finely nuanced thread of subtle and deadpan humour,

said the jury.

The film is a story of a paralyzed mother, Sushma and her young son, Rajiv, who are living a tough life post an accident, which left their lives scarred forever.

You can read more about the film, its crew, location etc. in one of our previous posts.

Other than Papa, Sidharth’s short-film Pashi has also fetched appreciation and awards for Sidharth.

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Art & Culture

Himachal’s traditional ‘Mandi Shivratri’ fair begins today



Mandi shivratri 2018 pictures

Mandi: The traditional Shivratri Mela of Mandi district, which is a week-long international fair, began today as the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jai Ram Thakur, formally announced the opening at the historical Paddal ground at Mandi. 

This year’s celebrations are special for the people of Mandi as it is the native place of the Chief Minister. Also, Bhartiya Janata Party has captured all 10 seats in the district including the support of the one independent candidate.  

I am happy to see all nine MLAs including an Independent who have gathered here for celebrating the festival with traditional fervour,

he said.

Earlier, after paying obeisance at the famous Madho Rai temple, the Chief Minister participated in the traditional ‘Jaleb’ (Shobha Yatra) of Shivratri fair, which began from DC office to end at the Paddal ground.

Mandi shivratri 2018

Local deities along with the Chief deity Madho Rai led the procession.

The locals draped in their colourful attire thronged the procession carrying along the palanquins of the local deities and marched towards the Paddal Mela ground. A little less than two hundred Devtas participated in the ‘Jaleb’, the traditional Shobha Yatra, from almost all corners of the district.

The life of the people of the state revolves around the local Gods and Goddesses, and the local deities are an inseparable part of the people. The Shivratri festival gives a glimpse of ‘Dev and Manav Milan’ (the meeting of humans with deities), he said.

The Chief Minister announced a hike of 20 percent in ‘nazarana’ of the local deities, 20 percent hike in ration quota, and two times increase in honorarium of ‘Bajantris’ – the musicians who accompany the deities.

As compared to Rs. 3,64,000 in 2017, with two times rise in honorarium of Bajantris, the expenditure the expenditure will be Rs. 7,31,000  in 2018.   

The Chief Minister has assured that the government will register the left-out deities in a phase-wise manner.

 ‘Sarv Devta Committee’ will formulate the guidelines, examine each case, will pass a resolution in the house unanimously, and the committee will forward the case to the district administration for necessary action. 

 The Chief Minister also released a souvenir of the festival on the occasion. 

He said the government would soon come up with parking places to decongest traffic.  

The Chief Minister said Mandi will be connected with air services under UDAN scheme, (a regional connectivity scheme of Government of India). A helipad will be constructed in Mandi, he said. 

The state government will take up the issue with the Union government along with the demand for direct flights from Chandigarh to Kullu, Kangra, Shimla and for tribal areas,  the Chief Minister assured. 

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Art & Culture

Pahari short-film Pashi wins best Cinematography award at Marietta Film Festival in Georgia



Siddharth Chauhan’s Himachali short-film Pashi has won the best Cinematography award at Marietta International Film Festival in Georgia,  Europe in the short-film category.

Earlier, Pashi had also made it to an Oscar qualifying ‘Rhode Island International Film Festival’held in USA in August 2017. It was the first international premiere for the film. Like Rhode Island, at Marietta too, Pashi was the only entry from India, said Sidharth.

Siddharth was the Director of photography while Yashwant Kumar Sharma was his cameraman.

Watch Trailer

The film is inspired from Siddharth’s childhood memories in his village Dhanoti, Rohru of Shimla district and produced under the Secret Corridor Picture.

In the regional Pahari spoken in Rohru, Pashi means a trap – an ancient concept used by villagers & children for hunting birds and animals.

pashi film shooting locationThe film was primarily shot in Sunta Lodge, a beautiful wooden mansion of village Khalwan. Some of the parts were also filmed in Village Dhanoti neat Tikker (Rohru).

Pashi will be showcased at Shanghai International Film Festival in Shanghai on the September 17. On February 2, 2018, the film will be showcased at the World Music and Independent Film Festival in Washington where it already has five nominations – Best Director, Best Screenplay Writer, Best Cinematography, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor.

Siddharth has emerged as a talented filmmaker from the Hill state where the film industry is still in infancy. Luckily, the parents of Siddharth, Mr. Balwan Singh Chauhan and Mrs. Bimla Chauhan offered a thorough support to him in his endevour.

Lead actors of the film include Chetan Kanwar, a Class XII student at the Chapslee School, Shimla, John Negi, a model/actor from Rampur, Kamayani Bisht, an English Professor at the Government College Theog, Savitri Devi Sunta, the oldest family member of the Sunta family in Khawalan.

Supporting case includes Dewansh Kanwar (Chapslee School), Aditi Sunta ( Rohru), and Dev Ranta (Rohru).

Other crew members are as followed.

  • Assistant Directors: Mridul Surbhi, Shefali Chauhan & Ankit Rathore
  • Music: Prabir Sekhri from Canada
  • Sound: Tanmaya Das from Mumbai
  • Visual Effects: Himanshu Hirwani from Pune
  • Story/Direction: Siddharth Chauhan from Shimla
  • Associate Producers: Swati Chauhan & Ankit Rathore (from Delhi)


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