Many questions come to a person’s mind about living. One such question is about the place of history in modern day life. Pagdi, a play directed by Bengaluru-based Swetanshu Bora, tries to explore this question. Swetanshu has won the 2013 Toto Creative Writing Award, a national award which rewards excellence in different fields of art, for the play which is produced by Dramanon, a Bengaluru-based theatre group.
The play, which will have its first theatrical performance at Ranga Shankara on December 5, centers around a Sikh boy named Balwinder Singh Dhillon. The story traces the life of Balwinder, an IT professional, as he moves from suburban Amritsar to Bengaluru and then prepares to go to the US. The play raises the question about what we forget and sacrifice while trying to make a name for ourselves.
“There is nothing religious about the story. Balwinder could be any young boy, not just a Sikh. What the play does is that it makes him step aside and ask himself certain questions about life. That is the point of performing the play and making people stop for a while and think,” says Swetanshu.
Pagdi is based on two characters and the pivotal character of Balwinder has been played by Vivek Vijayakumaran. The character responded frequently to human conditions, he says, “I was really moved by the script and that is the reason I wanted to do Balwinder’s character. I could relate incidents from my life with the character. That is what helped me portray the character well,” says Vivek.
Swetanshu, the writer and director, started writing the script in August 2012. His intention was to create a character but the scripting process led to the development of the entire play. “I came up with the first draft in two months, the fifth of which is for the current production. Vivek and Samta are theatre practitioners I knew. They were perfectly suited and I was lucky enough to get them to perform. In all, the play has been a great learning experience,” says Swetanshu....