As professionals, they have honed their skills in the best of medical institutions in the country, but once out of their white aprons, they effortlessly enter into a world of grease and paint to show their theatrical prowess. If they are dexterous with scalpel and stethoscope, they are also firmly grounded in the world of art.
Giving wings to their love and passion for theatre is a group, called Saitan, launched last year by two sprightly youths, Namita Verma and Rajneesh Gautam. While Rajneesh, himself a medical student, has done theater with some professional groups like Roobaroo, The Illusionists and Manchayan; Namita, an avid supporter of theatre, comes from a PR background.
“We had this idea about creating a platform which would serve as a learning and performing tool for theatre enthusiasts, especially medical students who are deprived of showcasing their talents. That’s how this group came in existence,” explains Rajneesh.
“Actually, the word Saitan is a combination of two words — Saint and Satan. It reflects us; we all have our good side and bad; we are our own God and Devil. So this word reflects the human, and all our plays are about people,” he expounds.
He points out that all of the crew, except Namita, have a medical background and they are also writers, actors, directors etc. “This is the only theatre group in Delhi which has its full crew as doctors. There is a notion that medical guys are always sort of nerds and bookworms. But there is a lot of artistic talents and creativity in medical students. We guys have a lot to portray on the canvas of art, including theatre. What we lack is a suitable infrastructure and platform to showcase that.”
In July last year, the group got off the block by staging its first play The deadly sins, a thriller based on the biblical Seven Deadly Sins. Rajneesh directed the play, which is based on a fiction that explores different perceptions of the good and the evil.
The group is now working on a play Daayan D, which is based on a woman who is accused of killing her husband and of practicing witchcraft. It’s a courtroom drama, with a tinge of suspense in it.
“This is our self-scripted play. There is another script on which we are working. It is a Hindi adaptation of Agatha Christie’s celebrated novel, Murder on the Orient Express,” says Namita. About the play, Murder at the Empress, she says it is a murder mystery based on a script written by Phillip C. Wagner under the same name.
“This time, we are associated with the Stage play society of Vardhman Mahavir Medical College, Entelechy .
This play is directed by Bhoomika Meena which will be on May 4 at Akshara Theater, Connaught Place.