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Works of Anton Chekhov and O’ Henry staged as play at Gaiety Theater Shimla



Himachal Theater Artist

SHIMLA- Last week, on August 12-13, people in Shimla city got an opportunity to witness stories of two great writers, Anton Chekhov and O’ Henry, in the form of a play staged by Muskan – a trust for children education at the historic Gaiety Theater.

The play compiled of three different short stories- The Lady’s Story, Love, and The Last Leaf. Each story has a vast potential and is too promising for any literature lover.

Theater Atists

Muskan group gave a personal touch to each story and adapted it to make it more of phari culture or should say native tale.

The first story Navya based on The Lady’s story which is a tale of lamenting the passing of youth by allowing rank and wealth to come between her and the man which she very well might have loved. Natalya Vladimirovna real character realizes years later that she has wasted her life and says in original script I only have regrets. The story had a great potential and could have been executed in much better way. Navya instead of looking like some famous respectable dancer seemed more like cheap dancers in the initial appearance until she shares her story.

Shimla Gaiety Theater

She is seen dancing with her beloved singing and he is playing flute in one of the flashback scene but the background did not even had a note of that instrument. The only expression the protagonist gave was raising and spreading her arms. Numerous times it seemed she was taking to the corners of the stage as she hardly has a straight look at the spectators.

Coming to second story Love – Showed feelings of a fussy young man who falls in love with a girl. The original script concludes

. . . I remember in my old Lovelace days I have cast off women for a stain on their stockings, or for one foolish word, or for not cleaning their teeth, and now I forgive everything: the munching, the muddling about after the corkscrew, the slovenliness, the long talking about nothing that matters; I forgive it all almost unconsciously, with no effort of will, as though Sasha’s mistakes were my mistakes, and many things which would have made me wince in old days move me to tenderness and even rapture. The explanation of this forgiveness of everything lies in my love for Sasha, but what is the explanation of the love itself, I really don’t know.

The story was very soft and clean and it showed how love can change all and there is nothing more important than the happiness of loved one. The execution of story was average as there is always scope for improvement.

Shimla Theater

Last but not the least, The last leaf – a story of two female roommates and aspiring artists who live in Greenwich village. One of them, Johnsy, fells ill with pneumonia, and the doctor doesn’t give her much of a chance. Johnsy’s roommate, Sue, keeps watch over her and notices her counting. She asks why, and Johnsy replies that she is counting the

Leaves on the ivy vine. When the last one falls, [Johnsy] must go, too.

Soon, there is only one leaf on the vine, and Sue is in despair that it will fall, and Johnsy will die. She expresses her fears to the unconventional and often grumpy old man that lives downstairs, Mr Behrman. He comes up and sits with her for a while. The next morning, Sue opens the blinds to find the leaf still there, and Johnsy recovers. Later it is revealed that it was painted there by Behrman, who then, from exposure to Johnsy, and the cold, died of pneumonia at the old age of 60 years old.

Gaiety Theater Shimla

The beautiful story got a Midas’ touch exactly the way king’s food got that is it became useless to satisfy the hunger. The play has complete phari touch man in local dress but the introductory music is western country song.

Unnecessary character is introduced as an artist who has nothing important to do other than add length to the play and have comic element with the local shopkeeper and photographer than the main old artist who dies in pursuit to save girl’s life.

The sister has a very casual approach towards the sick girl and the most miss match feature was a stranger who comes and later is informed to be a medical student. His appearance was that of a hippy and more apt to say that of a drug addicts looking for weeds in the hills. The comic element was no doubt good and made the story light by breaking the monotony and flat execution.

The soul of all stories was ripped out brutally with so much experimentation. In an attempt to shroud the tales with local veil team went way too beyond.

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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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