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Bottoms Up Tequila”- An adult comedy staged at Gaiety

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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

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

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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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Art & Culture

International Mandi Shivratri Fair Begins in Presence of 150 Local Dieties

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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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Art & Culture

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

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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)

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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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