Are the chairs alive?

Chairs have their kingdom! Big chairs, small chairs, ornate ones and the ordinary, chairs that are young (new) and old, chairs for the wealthy and the poor, for the sick and the suppliant, for the happy and the depressed! Chairs that stand indefinitely in your living room, bedroom, veranda, balcony. Chairs can be anything. Chairs can be anybody. What if one day you discover that the chairs in your house breathe? Or what if you find out that they stare at you while you assume that nobody is looking at you? Goosebumps, yes. Eighty minutes of Ho sakta hai do aadmi do kursiya (presented by Padatik and Rikh, at Padatik Little Theatres) etches the infinite possibilities. The chairs on which you sit can be a part of you. It carries your smell; your eyes can be their eyes; your hands their handrests. The chair can at any moment become you and you become the chair. Written and directed by Vinay Sharma, the play plays mind games. The 14 disjunctive scenes present lives of different people and their relationship, more with their chair than a person they are seen cribbing about. Everybody cribs about something or the other. Loneliness is like a vacant chair. For someone, a chair embodies power the person wants to achieve. For some, chairs are like dead bodies after a blast in a restaurant. For some chairs are confederate of monsters, for others it’s like their old stoic father and for some it’s the decayed lump of life that should not be touched, “Jab kuch sarta ho to usey chhoona nahi chahiye”. The comic relief comes with two idols in a temple, who cannot see each other, try to negate each other’s existence. The scene is as profound as any other. “Has hi to sakta hai aadmi jab kuch aur nahi kar sakta”. The two actors on stage ~ Shakil Khan and Vinay Sharma ~ play the role of “nobody”, the “nobody” who can be you or me. Flipping through past stories, it ends abruptly, with the chime, (the only prop used besides two chairs) talks of passion, expectations, anger, complaint, dreams attained and deferred. Everybody try and evaluate “their position vis-à-vis the chairs”.Ho sakta hai do aadmi do kursiya is an outcome of outstanding authorship and successful presentation. Cutting across the maze of rusted reasoning, it asks questions and then proposes answers that are unheard (because they are too real). It’s an ongoing journey from order to disorder, from faith to disbelief, from life to death. At every point you see yourself on the stage with a bundle of grief and the chairs are silent witnesses.Vinay Sharma should be complimented for the conception of the play more than its execution. The performance was interrupted by frequent power cuts. As Vinay Sharma rightly said, CESC had a critical comment on the play.The play left the audience thinking. It appealed to the brain more than it did to the eyes. At the end, which cannot be called an end though, since the play had no beginning, the character is arrested in time and not by the police. As the curtain comes down, it is time to go out on the streets. You get up from your chair and all of a sudden find your chair whispering, “Ho sakti hai do kursia do aadmi bhi”.


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