A balanced story
History repeats itself. The play Bagiya Banchharam Ki written by Manoj Mitra braces this statement. The play which is a Hindi adaptation of <g data-gr-id="59">Sajano</g> <g data-gr-id="60">Bagaan</g> (Bangla) opens in what we call a no man’s land.
The story of the play revolves around Bancharam in his old days. Bancharam is a farmer who owns a <g data-gr-id="61">bagiya</g> (fertile garden full of trees) was targeted by a zamindar for his property and was evicted from his own land. The farmer took the case to court and to which the judge pitied and warned the zamindar not to intrude.
Twenty years later, another landlord took over and tried taking Banchharam’s property. But as Banchharam grew old and weak, he was having a hard time to make ends meet. He trusted no one as his successor <g data-gr-id="51">and therefore</g> agreed to give his land to the landlord after his death.
Banchharam took care of the <g data-gr-id="52">bagiya</g> with all his heart and soul. He nourished every plant that existed and reaped the fruits of his hard work. He gave up his youth in nurturing his garden. But due to his growing age and weak physical condition, he was no longer able to <g data-gr-id="50">same</g> effort in maintaining his property the way he used to do earlier.
The play shows how nature restores balance. Earlier, when Banchharam was nearing his death, the evil landlord who was after Banchharam’s property was hale and hearty.
It was then when they both came into a negotiation that after his death the land will go to the landlord and till then he will provide Banchharam with two thousand rupees per month.
It is the money that brought balance where the landlord kept losing his health and Banchharam gained his health back. The transition between the scenes in the play was smooth and didn’t look exaggerated. The actors seemed to <g data-gr-id="49">had</g> incorporated the character within themselves. One can say that had these characters been real, they would look exactly as portrayed in the play.
The comic scenes tickled everyone’s funny bones but then provoked the audience to think how prejudiced and shallow humans can be by laughing at someone’s misery. It is the ending, where a hope was born, in the form of Banchharam’s <g data-gr-id="53">great grandson</g> which changed the mood of the play.
The end, however, surprised the audience even when it was anticipated. The landlord had nothing with him even after being rich, his kids did not care for him, and only bothered about money.
With the death of the landlord, it was then understood that there is more to life than earning money and building property.
Directed by Bahrul Islam, the play is a delightful amalgamation of humour and <g data-gr-id="43">tradegy</g>.
The play was performed on the second day of Nepal Sadbhawana <g data-gr-id="47">Aayojan</g> on May 18 at National School of Drama.