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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

Wah Re Corona: Himachali Folk Artist’s Lyrical Satire is Factual Rendition of India’s Agonizing Catastrophe

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wah re corona

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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Art & Culture

International Mandi Shivratri Fair Begins in Presence of 150 Local Dieties

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mandi maha shivratri 2021 pics

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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Art & Culture

Amid Steep Rise in COVID-19 Cases, HP Govt to Open Temples/Religious Places from Sept 10

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Chaurasi-Temple-photo

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)

temples-opening-in-himachal-pradesh

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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