Dak Ghar meaning post office, written by Tagore more than a century ago, reopened once again on the stage of Lamakaan, this time under the banner of Kissago Productions.
The play is the story of a boy Amal, played by Shrihari, who is trapped in his uncle Madhav’s, played by Rajnish, house due to his illness. But he does not let the words of his doctor contain his free spirit. He sits on a window and befriends everyone who passes by, and within a few days almost every hawker and tradesman has an Amal story to tell.
With his unabashed love for all, everyone who passes by the window finds a friend in him, whether it’s the curd vendor, the flower girl or even the mean Choudhary. But his best friend by far is the fakir baba, played by Avdesh, who tells him stories of mysterious lands and promises to take him once he gets well.
Amal is also promised that the new post office in front of his house was built by the king so he could write to his beloved Amal. Much to the frustration of his uncle, no matter how much he tries to keep Amal secluded as per doctor’s orders, people keep flocking him. In the end Amal leaves everyone heartbroken when he passes away due to his illness, while waiting for the king to visit him.
Throughout the play you cannot help but wonder if Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s eternal character of Anand was inspired by Amal. Either way, you will be glad to know both Amal and Anand are so full of life and love that even the fact that they are dying takes a back seat while talking about them.
Director Hindola Banerjee did full justice to the play. Her actors were one with the characters and there were no moments when the people behind the characters peeped out. Shrihari in particular, gave his heart and soul to the play. His innocence and pain was tangible to the audience.
The director also deserves credit for the seamless use of space at Lamakaan. The stairs, the green room, the stage, even the audience’s space were used brilliantly.
There were absolutely no tech glitches, a few times the actors did speak a bit too softly but by then they had captured the audience’s attention to a level where they could have just mouthed the words and it would have been understood. Kudos to the team for a wonderful performance. The works of a Nobel laureate deserves no less....