What happens when a guy falls for his sister's fiance?
By: Debarati Palit
The Guide chatted up with Abhijit Chowdhary, whose latest play is a humorous take on issues surrounding homosexuality and the changing attitude towards it
Hindi theatre group, Swatantra Theatre, is presenting Zamana Badal Gaya, a comedy on homosexuality.
Directed by Abhijit Chowdhary, it deals with social problems faced by the gay community. The plot revolves around a college-going boy named Suraj, who is a homosexual, and faces a dilemma when his sister Sushma is about to get married to Mohan, the person Suraj has set his eyes on. The entry of a surprise character gives a twist to the story.
Abhijit Chowdhary, Founder of Swatantra Theatre and director of Zamana Badal Gaya, states that the idea of staging this play happened during a discussion on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which was decriminalised on July 2 by Delhi High Court. It sought punishment of up to 10 years for any kind of sexual intercourse against the order of nature.
The members of Swatantra Theatre unanimously decided that such a play is apt for the times and should be presented in a humorous manner. But they had not counted on the challenge of presenting a sensitive issue in a comic format.
A still from Zamana Badal Gaya
"Homosexuality is normal but there is a section of society that still does not support it. We are not opposing or supporting any concept, but just giving a humorous touch to a cause. In the past, we had solely focused on serious plays, such as Bhagat Singh, and we wanted to do something different. But we didn't want to hurt anyone's sentiments either. If we presented a sensitive topic in a serious manner, we would have had to stand up and prove someone wrong," adds Chowdhary, elaborating on why they chose the format of a comic play for presenting such a sensitive issue.
Zamana Badal Gaya will be staged on Friendship Day to boost its appeal to the youth. At the end of the play, the homosexual characters are happily accepted by their friends and roommates, which Chowdhary thinks is a big gift for someone on Friendship Day.
The play has been getting mixed reactions so far, but the crew members and actors have taken it as a challenge to present it with full confidence and are sure that the audiences will accept it.
At: Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Sanskruti Bhawan, near Maldhaka Chowk, Sasson Hospital, Station Road.
On: August 2, from 7 pm to 8.30 pm
Cost: Rs 150
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