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STF stages two major theatrical productions at Gaiety Theater Shimla

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Shimla:Theater lovers of the city got a great opportunity to experience the magic Nitish Bharadwaj, live as Lord Krishna after 25 years, in an epic play Chakravyuh, during two days long play festival organized by The Films and Theatre Society, Delhi at historic Gaiety Theater, Shimla early this week.

While sharing his experience Nitish Said, “If was for the first time that I have perfumed in Shimla. It was my best show considering the audiences response. My forefathers also belonged to Himachal so naturally I have love and affection for this place. I feel that we all face problems and God resides in us all and there is only need to awaken him and rest everything falls in places.”

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During the two days fest two plays were staged that is Wo Lahore and Chakravyuh both plays were written and directed by Atul SatyaKoushik a well know name in the theater fraternity. Having an experience of over 12 years in theatre at various levels, his relation with the art form dates back to 2001. He formed ‘The Films and Theatre Society’ in September 2009 which is now a team of over 60 actors trained in the art of acting and play production by Atul. He has written 15 full length plays so far and has directed and staged more than 100 shows in the past few years. Each of his plays is different from the other in content as well as treatment.

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Atul belongs to the new age of playwrights, trying to fill the vacuum of good original Hindi plays which is being felt by theatre practitioners in India. His plays ‘ArjunKa Beta’, ‘Draupadi’, ‘Wo Lahore’ and ‘Bade Sheharke log’ are some of his promising contributions to original play-writing in India. He has also come up with some remarkable adaptations of classic Indian and foreign literature in the form of ‘KoobaraurKaaki’, ‘KaaliShalwar’, ‘Saudagar’ and ‘Animal Farm’.

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He has trained over 300 actors so far and has provided them coveted platforms to showcase their talent. He has been associated with many government, educational, corporate and social bodies and provided his expert services in the field of training and theatre workshops at, including Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Central University of Bihar, Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), Competition Commission of India. Hehas trained nearly 2,500 professionals so far.

Wo Lahore, a mucial drama, is set in the middle of twentieth century’s India which has been the most written, most performed and most talked about part of Indian history. This is a story of an ordinary woman, a mother of three sons, who tries to keep her family intact amongst everything that is happening around. This play shows the internal conflicts and turmoil prevailing in an ordinary Indian family with the struggle for freedom, social beliefs of those times and the then partition in the backdrop. Beleaguered in different convictions, values and aspirations of her sons and husband, Jamuna, the protagonist of the play, is a representative of quintessential Indian women and mother. The play which is full of Indian music is a ride into various emotions and dramatic elements such as love, betrayal, hope, patriotism, comedy, poetry etc.

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Whereas Chakravyuh is an attempt to present the chapter of Chakravyuh from the great epic of Mahabharata in a new manner where hidden meanings, interpretation and learning from the philosophy of the Chakravyuh take the front seat, yet keeping all the action, glory, bravado and valor related to the incident equally important. Krishna as the protagonist in the play begins by establishing the importance keeping the learning from the mythology in our minds even though we forget the incidents of events that actually happened in them. When many questions emerge after the war of Chakravyuh Krishna appears and settles all questions, myths and misunderstanding of every one present. He passes on the eternal messages of Karma by telling no one has ever been able to come out of their respective Chakravyuhs as this whole life is a nothing but a Chakravyuh.

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Both the shows touched the heart of theater lovers and can be called show for classes. After a very long time plays of such great stature were staged that forced many old heartbroken theater lovers to enter the venue inspite of the pathetic condition of theater in the city.

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Images:HimachalWatcher

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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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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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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