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Bottoms Up Tequila”- An adult comedy staged at Gaiety

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Bottoms-Up-Tequila--An-adult-comedy-staged-at-Gaiety-shimla

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The time for new age theater seems to have been herald with staging of an adult comedy where artists have realized that their job is not that of revolutionist but to hold mirror to society and project what it is not what it should be.

Shedding away the notion of Art to be used as a tool of reform The BEGINNERS, theatre group staged “Bottoms Up Tequila”- an adult comedy at the historic Gaiety Theatre, Shimla on April 19 and 20 in association with Snow Leopard Production.

The play held the true mirror to psychology of youngsters in the current society as the play dealt with a story of four young bachelor men sharing accommodation. Each character represented a face of youth in society may that be Adarsh – a young well earning guy with a dream of prosperous future with his fiancé treading the path to success with hard work or that of Jambo – a guy who believe in living the moment and has a very casual approach towards sex and without any taboo openly accepts it as a basic, natural need of any human. Though he was in complete contrast to Adarsh for whom sex outside marriage is not something acceptable.

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On the other hand we had Balbeer Sing Sodi, a young man who, like any other common working youngster aspires to have his own business someday and be the king of the world and in sharp contrast to him was Imraan, who managed his finances by selling stolen things from the house itself and using his brain to extract money from Jambo exploiting his weakness for females wittedly.

By the time play reaches its end Adarsh figures out his fiancé had been cheating over him with her boss and is left heartbroken, Balbeer who too was fooled by his other two friends – Jambo and Imraan in the name of business learns the truth. Jambo who was super excited for spending night with girl (Sex Worker) ends up with a gay sex worker.

Everyone in the last scene was seen having Tequila together forgetting problem that had with each other or with their lives and celebrated their New Year’s Eve.

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Though the play banner caused lot of controversy over adult play being staged, it turned out to be nothing more than what we people experience in our daily life. If we talk about the abusive words Ma! #@## or Bh!##@#$ then if we stroll on Mall any day we hear it many more times than what we came across in this play.

No one can deny the fact that what ever was staged is definitely happening in society may that be casual affairs to gain favors professional, big dream and aspirations, phone sex or getting involved with sex workers.

The best thing about play was the message when Jambo say that he has not committed a crime or raped when Balbeer taunts his about his pervious sexual encounter with a Gay sex worker. It is really important for all to understand that there are ways of satisfying biological needs rather than forcing some innocent female for momentary pleasure.

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Another aspect was Jambo too was asked to work as gigolo, which brought the male to same echelon where any female escort is in the society but it no where made any sex work look down upon or inferior as Jambo in his dialogue call them angles.

Technically speaking work was really done well. Use of projector to show a short film of Esha and her boss getting intimate definitely was a smart move as it maintained the thin line between cinema screen and live performance’s comfort level.

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If we talk about the cell phone ring tones of each character, they too reflected their psychology as Adarsh’s soft romantic ringtone reflected his soft emotional thoughts and Balbeer’s was fun.

Each actor gave his best shot and Chris’ performance was really outstanding it came naturally and seemed effortless. Mukesh very well projected the impulsiveness of youth and was also worth an appreciation.

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The title justified itself as all characters in end had something they wanted to forget like for Adarsh and Jambo lost love for former and unusual sexual encounter for latter. Whereas Balbeer and Imraan wanted to celebrate the new hope and lesson they learned that is not to be blinded by high aspirations for former and take life as it comes for Imraan.

Over all we can say it was a good production and people who paid for the show definitely did not feel cheated.

Art & Culture

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

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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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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