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

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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.

Art & Culture

Video: Replica of Himachal’s Bhimakali Temple at International Surajkund Mela Becomes Centre of Attraction

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Bhimakali temple in Surajkund Mela 2020

Shimla- The replica of Bhimakali temple in the ongoing 34th International Surajkund Crafts Mela has become the main attraction. The real temple is located in Sarahan of Shimla district and dedicated to goddess Bhimakali.

Himachal is a theme state for this event. A large number of people are visiting to see the permanent structure of the Bhimakali temple, which has been built in traditional style.

Earlier, in the year 1996 also Himachal was the theme state and permanent replica of Maheshwar Devta temple was set up there. Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism has organized the event in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture, and External Affairs from 1st to 16th February .

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Besides this, five temporary gates and one permanent gate made in traditional Himachali style have been set up in the Mela ground, giving a glimpse of the state. Two-storey Apna Ghar made in traditional Pahari style has also been set up and a family from district Chamba is starting in it this family is providing the tourists with an experience of rural culture and lifestyle of the state.

Himachal at surajkund mela 2020

The stalls of handicrafts and handlooms of the state are also being much liked by the tourists. Various cultural programmes reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the state are being presented during the Mela.  A large number of tourists are also visiting the information centre set up at the Mela ground.

 The government claims that in order to attract national and international tourists, the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Himachal Pradesh is marketing and publicizing the tourism potential of the State.

The government claims such international level platform will help in the promotion of Tourism as well as rich cultural heritage, folk songs, handloom-handicrafts, cuisines of the state and these tourism-related products are the attraction for the tourists.

 

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Devdhun Played by 2200 Bajantris at Kullu Dussehra Enters ‘India Book of Records’, Fest Concludes

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Video Dev Dhun at kullu dussehra enters india book of records

Kullu-The international Kullu Dussehra concluded on Monday with great fanfare and enthusiasm. More than 281 deities from various parts of Kullu district participated in this cultural extravaganza.

Other than Mega Natti performed by 4000 women on October 12, over 2200 Bajantris (instrumentalists) congregated at the Atal Sadan ground on October 13 in the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to play ‘Devdhun’

Devdhun is the sound that resonates after playing different traditional instruments when deities move out of their temples to join local festivals. ‘Devdhun’ has been entered as a record in the India Book of Records with a record 2200 Bajantries playing the musical instruments simultaneously.

The Mega Natti performed in 2015 by nearly 10000 women at Kullu Dussehra has already entered into Guinness Book of World Records.

On Monday, Chief Minister presided over the concluding ceremony held at Lal Chand Prarthi Kala Kendra, Kullu. He announced to increase the nazrana (honorarium) of local deities participating in Kullu Dussehra festival by five per cent. He also announced an increase of 25 per cent in distance allowance (Duri Bhatta) given to the deities.

He announced 15 percent increase in remuneration of Bajantaris, who accompany the local deities to the festival besides increasing the amount for celebrating Haripur and Manikaran Dussehra from Rs 75,000 to Rs one lakh and for Vashisht Dussehra festival from existing Rs 50,000 to Rs. 75,000. He said that the ‘Gur’ of the Deities would be provided a separate amount of Rs 1000.

Kullu Dussehra provides a livelihood to the indigenous community as they provide them with a platform to display their products for a much wider audience. This festival was also contributing immensely in promoting tourism in the State with tourists visiting Kullu to watch this cultural extravaganza from the world over.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government would ensure that this event not only become a regular event but also an added attraction of International Kullu Dussehra. He said that in the present era of cut-throat competition, our age-old culture and traditions were slowly vanishing and urged the people to come forward to conserve the same. He announced Rs. 5 lakh from his discretionary fund to the Bajantaries who performed during the event.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated the building of Press Club, Kullu for facilitating the journalists of Kullu district.

He distributed prizes to the winners of different events on the occasion and released Souvenir brought out by the Dussehra Organizing Committee. He also released a poster of documentary ‘Gallantry Saga-BRO, released a booklet published by State Language and Art Academy and a souvenir ‘Atal Samritian’ published by Kullu Sanskriti Vikas Manch.

Chief Minister was also presented with a book ‘Indigenous Building Practice System in Western Himalayas-A Comparative Study’ authored by a young author, Architect and expert in traditional Kathkuni house, Rahul Bhushan.

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Video: Mega Natti at Kullu Dussehra 2019 Performed by 4,000 Dancers to Send Out Message of Cleanliness & Nutrition

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Kullu Dussehra 2019 Manha Natti

Kullu- International Kullu Dussehra Festival on October 12, 2019, witnessed a traditional dance “Natti” performed by four thousand women at the Dhalpur’s Rath Maidan. It event was named as “Mega Natti or Manha Natti”. Women from various parts of the district including Manali, Sainj, Anni, Banjar etc participated in the dance.  Not only a large number of locals swarmed the Rath Maidan to witness this majestic scene, but visitors from foreign countries also witnessed and captured it in their cameras.

This year’s theme was Swachhta (Cleanliness) and Poshan (Nutrition). These thousands of women, dressed in the traditional attire of Kullu district, danced on the beats of traditional folk songs and instruments for one hour. During the first 25 minutes, ‘Natti’ was performed by Anganwari workers to send out a message on cleanliness.

The tradition of performing “Natti” by a group of thousands of women had begun in 2014. While about six thousand women had participated in ‘Natti’ in 2014, in 2015, 9,892
women had performed during Kullu Dussehra, which was recorded in the Guianese Book of World Records.  

Since 2014, this tradition continues, and every year Mega Natti is organized on different themes. In 2015, the theme was “Save Girl Child.”

Cabinet Minister Govind Singh Thakur also attended the event as the Chief Guest. The Deputy Commissioner, Dr Richa Verma, was also present on the occasion. Both participated in the dance too.

The District Administration has been receiving appreciation for its efforts to highlight the traditional culture of Kullu and the messages of awareness it is delivering through this event.

While Dussehra in other parts of India is celebrated for only one day, in Kullu, the celebrations continue for a week. During this period, approximately five lakh visitors, including domestic and international, attend the weeklong festivity.

 

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