Crooked Kala(a)m (2016)
Three iconic writers: Premchand, Manto and Chughtai, worked upon by three pandies’ members: Anand Prakash, Sanjay Kumar and Anuradha Marwah. This play performed the contemporaneity of their work.
Premchand’s espousal of the rights of the low caste farmer poses a question mark on the spate of farmer-suicides in contemporary times.
Manto’s powerful voice opposing all forms of communalism and bigotry provides an ironic critique of our inabilities to take a position on our religions. And feminist formulations challenge not only patriarchal constructions but also expose the limitations of the liberal masculine. The play captures the mercurial relationship between Chughtai and Manto, their agreements and differences not only regarding the emerging nation and society, but also about women who love and men who betray.
A challenge from the direction perspective, this play demanded a coming together not just of three playwrights but of three writers connected by their activism, by their desire to make the world a better place.