Girija Ke Sapne

Girija Ke Sapne, a play set in rural India and directed by M.S. Sathyu opened to full houses on the 16th of November at Ranga Shankara. It could have been called naïve and utopian had it not been for the alternating emotions of pain and suffering. It is a tale revolving around a small village in North Karnataka with atypical people and ideas and that creates the basis of the play. The protagonist Girija is a young girl of eighteen who, like all teenagers, is lost in a world of her own. Her life revolves around her dreams much to the chagrin of the elders in the family. As per rule, a village girl’s only dream should be to marry, settle down and see dreams only for her beloved husband.  

Girija’s dreams are colorful, daring and a tad bit incredulous. Most of her dreams are the same and has Girija fantasizing about the Badshah of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan. ‘Mehndi laga ke rakhna, doli saja ke rakhna’ is what Girija sings as she dreams of marrying her ‘hero’. The play takes a sharp turn when it is declared by Girija’s elders that they are looking for a match for her. The prospective groom is Raju, a spoilt, bratty lad who is clueless about reality.  

Girija gets married but before long is sucked into the over- normalcy of a marriage that doesn’t present her with any of the excitement, the kind that Shah Rukh offers. The situation is funny and at the same time and takes a dig at the ever- revered institution. As time progresses, Girija and Raju go through the pains of parenthood without fully understanding its consequences. As a result of Raju’s irresponsibility, the family rapidly sinks into poverty and is forced to take loans. While Girija is lead to take one loan after another, Raju plays the coward and plans to escape from the loan agents.  

What is striking about ‘Girija Ke Sapne’ is the way symbolism is used to portray the evils of society. Jatayu and Garud (as loan agents) bring the unscrupulous nature of financial institutions to the surface and quite effectively too.

Director M.S. Sathyu is magical in his approach and his efforts shine through. The cast, though, makes the play what it is. Mithila Lad as Girija is a peek at why we should welcome new performers on board. Considering “the average age of the performing group is 21”, as M.S. Sathyu put it, the cast looked impeccable and seemed to fit in with the essence of the story.
Tags: Ranga Shankara, Girija Ke Sapne, MS Sathyu

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