150 years of Shimla – former Summer Capital or 200th year of inception?


SHIMAL: Recently people of city got an opportunity to experience the magic of famous theater artists in the form of 6 days long theater fest organized by the department of language art and culture.

It is a strange irony of state that the person in whose glory Department of Language Art and Culture has organized a national level theater festival, his own real brother and sisters received a foster child treatment by the authorities and there presence in the hall was not even once acknowledged who came to be the part of the festival with sense of belonging.

Vimal, sister of glorified man informed, “No personal or special invitations were provided to us for this event. We got passes just like ordinary person. We all were overwhelmed with joy after reading in papers that such grand scale theater festival is being held in the memory of our brother but unfortunately inspite of being fully aware about our presence in the town itself not even a courtesy invitation was extended by the organizers.”

His son was formally invited but there too only one seat that was kept for him but seems like they failed to realize that he would have had company and arrangement was missing. In Shimla currently Manohar Singh 2 real sisters – Vimal and Meena; and one brother- Kamalnain are residing.


Though during the later shows seats were reserved for the family but the initially shabby treatment disappointed his family members. Authorities kept pampering their chief guests and failed to even acknowledge the presence of his real sisters present during the show.

It is even more ironic that the portrait or any single photograph of Manohar in whose name they were basking in the glory, had not been placed either on invitations or flex or even in auditorium where function was being held.


The VVIPs were conspicuous presence in the historic Gaiety Theatre; especially during second day, on which Naseerudin Shah performance was scheduled; but the local talent which is eyeing the event with expectations and with sense of belonging are being ignored. They had no place to sit inside with the crowding of aristocrats and various departmental people who hardly show any interest in plays staged throughout the year by local talent.

The department claims to have spent handsome amount on the sound and light system but sound goof- up during the second show was something totally unacceptable. The rumors say that Amal Allana a well know Indian theatre director and head of NSD for all most a decade, also left the festival in the middle after having the bitter experiencing. She was staying at her own residence in Shimla.

While reflecting back on lack of sensitivity Vivek Mohan, a National Award winner, while sharing his personal experience says, “In 2012 when “Usne Kha Tha” the film based on the same title by world renowned author, C.S. Guleri on whose name State literary awards are given summon from the department introduced the film maker Vivek Mohan, who was presenting the film; as Bimal Roy! Such is the insensitive state of the affairs in the department and to think the person was after the director for departmental promotion.”


It seems like the multipurpose hall lack the very purpose; considering the diversified events it hold that is right from dance shows to rock concerts; from college association functions to condolence ceremony of Anupam Khair’s father; and resultantly they are master of none. People are already murmuring why the celebrate 150 years of colonial rule when simultaneously the nation is also conducting elections in free democratic India and Shimla is standing at the threshold of Celebrating 200 Years of Recognized Existence as a settlement in 1815. Now this city is going to enter its 200th year of inception on May 15, 2014.


It seems like that the senior authorities have the vision but lack the supporting staff that can actually execute the vision at grass roots level.

Coming to plays no doubt the variety offered by the department was worth an appreciation and all want to see many more productions in the coming years.

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