"LEELA" (2019)

Devised, designed and directed by: Ajay Manchanda

Date: January 29 & 30, 2019

The play ‘Leela’ is based on Bhisham Sahni’s ‘Muavze’ and Rewti Sharan Sharma’s ‘Parmatma’. It is a satire on the social norms and conditions that we live in and informs about the extent to which we lack in understanding the scenarios and facts which are presented to us. The word “Muavze”, meaning compensation is a relieving word and it is an irony that everyone is eyeing for ways to distill some form of personal advantage from what is expected to be most bloody communal fighting. Apparently a dead horse is instigation for entire community to go into riot prep mode. While no one thinks of ways to prevent the riots, everyone is preparing for them from politicians who are keeping prepared speeches to be given at the beginning and end of the riot, to speech writers, to police team going on high alert ready to intervene after the riot begins, but not before, to arms and knives sellers hawking their wares to the highest bidders. Even some brave individuals are preparing to sacrifice the men in their families so that the remaining members of the family can benefit from the compensation that the government has announced, for anyone killed during the riots. It is such an irony that value of life and limb is predetermined and therefore the riot is now looked at by everyone as a mere fact of life to deal with and benefit in ways they can. ‘Leela’ is also a commentary on the greed of people and how greed and thirst for power drives people to commit heinous crimes.