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Review: “Heesan”- Touching play based on Dev Kanya’s story on woman exploitation staged at Gaiety Shimla

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Himachal Culture

SHIMLA- Very Recently, walls of Gaiety Theater in Shimla witnessed a remarkable stage performance during staging of Heesan – a play based on the story of Dr. Devkanya Thakur by the members of Rangpriya.

As the play began, a woman, between the age of 30 to 40, is seen contemplating her past life and how excited she was to become part of a local fair where her mother performed in front of Shivamaharaj palki. She was all mesmerized and star-struck by the beauty of her mother who is respected by all members may that be priest, rich merchant or any other to name. As a child she always considered herself to be daughter of Shivjimaraj and was always happy to learn all dance forms from her mother.

Devkanya Thakur

Time passed and she replaced her mother and unaware about the reality of “Heesan” her joy knew no bound. But her dreams were dashed to ground within hours as she was taken away by one of the members and physically assaulted. Thus began her journey as true “Heesan” – who is said to have been married to Lord Shiva and in name of her service is forced to serve male members of committee.

Shimla Gaiety Theater

She gets pregnant by one of the members who passes her over to other member. Just like a football in field that gets kicked and used by all but owned by none. She decided to educate her daughter and on this fruitful day she awaited her daughter’s examination result, who stands first.

Seeing her photograph in paper again the members of committee visit her house and say that it was time for her to pass on the legacy of Heesan to her daughter which she refuses and pleads her biological father to save her. All forcefully take her daughter away and convert her into Heesan.

Himachal Theater Artist

She is sitting lamenting over her fate when her daughter enters house with her father who finally stood up and took responsibility of her daughter and dismissed the fact that child is born out of union of Shiva and Heesan. Between the fight among phallus and spine, the spine won and restored everyone’s faith in Shivjimaharaj who is a great protector.

The play carried out very intense and heart wrenching scenes with perfect esthetic veil. The agony of a girl during her journey of becoming Heesan to a mother was conveyed without a miss. Her exploitation by all men was depicted with full intensity and beautifully that audiences could feel her pain as if that of their own.

Situation of father’s to be or not to be was beautifully expressed and till end it didn’t not seem that he had a spine to save his girl from falling prey to the evil practice of exploiting a woman by all in name of being Shiv Maraj’s servant (Shiv Dasi).

The play did complete justice to the story as it made audiences sympathies and empathies with the protagonist. It forced all to contemplate on the practices that exist in our society in the name of customs and rituals. If everyone decide and stand up against the wrong traditions where poor are exploited then time is not far earth itself will become paradise.

However, if considering the makeup then yes there one saw a miss as it was story of numerous years and during all the while only protagonist age showed difference and no other member of committee. They all didn’t even had a single grey hair nor any other physical change that is the gift of time to every individual.

Art & Culture

Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18 Announced, These 4 Persons Would be Honored

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Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18

Shimla– ‘Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman’ Award has been announced for the year 2017-18, informed the Secretary Academy Dr. Karam Singh on June 6, 2020.  

The recommendation of the jury the winners have been announced, he said, adding that four Shikhar Samman (awards) would be given in the field of language, culture and literature for two years and Rs. one lakh each would be given to each awardee.

He said that for the year 2017, Prof. Keshav Sharma would be honoured for contribution in Literature and special achievements. Folk Singer Mohan Rathour would be honoured with Language and Culture Shikar Samman.

For the year 2018, Dr. O.C. Handa would be honoured with Sahitya Shikhar Samman, whereas Dinesh Kumari of Kangra would be honoured in Art and Culture sector.

The ‘Shikhar Samman’ is given to the Himachali writers in the field of art and culture and to littérateurs from the country who worked for the promotion of Himachali language, traditions and culture.

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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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Art & Culture

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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