BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
This February 11th ‘Dhoop Chaoon’, an Atlanta based theatre group entertained over 300 Hindi theatre enthusiasts at the Berkmar High School Hall. Started by Sandhya Bhagat in 2006 ‘Dhoop Chaoon’ has about 70 permanent members, of different age groups ranging from 3 -75.
The event commenced with a slide show of the members and previous stage shows by the group, credited to Gandharv Bhagat. Opening announcements from Brittany Trawick was followed by introduction to the play ‘Ek Bantwara Eise Bhi’by MCs Prasad Shetty and Fazleen Sohani.
‘Ek Bantwara Eise Bhi’ ( A partition such as this) followed the journey of childhood friends Champa and Bano. Separated during the India Pakistan partition in 1947, the two friends are determined to pursue their friendship across borders. They keep updated and informed about each other’s’ lives by writing detailed letters to one another over the years. Even as the two countries continue to grow apart, Champa and Banu manage to groom and nourish their relation with tender loving care, exchanging emotions through their heartfelt letters. Old in age and young at heart, the friends get to meet each other after 50 years and share the time together as if no time had ever passed by, reminiscing everything that was near and dear to them. Written and directed by Sandhya Bhagat, the play was well enacted by artists Sadaf Farooqui, Veena Katdare, Shaveta Jain, Nafees Bano Pervez, Umair Farooqui, Rita Kapahi, Navin Tyagi , Vijay Tandon, Hana Dalwai, Maha Farooqui and Ayesha Rahman, narrated by Aslam Pervez and Sandhya Bhagat. Music clips were compiled by Kartikay Bhagat.
‘Yeh Kaisa Aayaa Zamana’(What kind of world is this?), an amalgamation of various bollywood songs and a peek into the changing times of arranged marriage options, entertained the audience with the bridegroom bidding farewell to his parents after the wedding, at the climax. The play was enacted by Lakshmi Kant Pandya, Vijay Tandon, Bharti Ben Pandya , Venkat Reddy, Shweta Shetty, Prasad Shetty, Vandana Amin, Latha Reddy, Manasvi Reddy, Conceptualized and narrated by Sandhya, and music collection by Anil Bhagat.
"Baap re Baap" (dad, o dad) followed after the break. The comedy skit by Hindi writer K.P.Saxena, traces the events that follow in a household after the head of the family goes missing. The reactions of the son, daughter-in-law, the servant and the change in scenario as a prize amount is announced for the missing dad made for good comedy. Different people, including relatives bring in fake dads to claim money. The play ends with the real dad finally emerging out of the woods and clearing out the confusion. The play was directed by Sandhya Bhagat and performed by Aslam Parvez, Lakshmikant Pandya, Fazleen Sohani, Sunny Sachdeva, Gurupdesh Bedi, Chinti Bali, Renu Thapliyal, Vijay Tandon, and Navin Tyagi.
The show ended with dance item "Risky Love", a Valentines special offering. The piece was directed by Rahim Hussain and performed by Shweta Shetty, Brittny Trawick, Rahim Hussain, , Prasad Shetty, Laxmi Kant Pandya and Bharti Ben Pandya.
Sandhya Bhagat has a masters degree in Hindi from Delhi University and a Bachelor’s degree in teaching. She has participated in a workshop organized by ‘Arvind Gaur’s ‘Asmita Theater Group’ and attended workshops in NY at Theater City. Her recent venture includes “Natkhat Rangashala”, which aims to spread the love for acting and teaching Hindi language and spoken Urdu together. She is also the founder of ‘Hindi-Urdu Sanjhe Bol’ , a group that organizes Hindi poetry and Urdu Shayari in Atlanta every year.
Aslam Pervez introduced and thanked the cast and crew of the production including Main Coordinator Uzma Wazid, Sound by Sandeep Sawala, Light by Anil Bhagat, Music collection by Kartikay Bhagat, Sets by Anil Bhagat and Vijay tendon, amongst others. It was also noted that enthusiastic and energetic people like Bimal Pathak, Uzma Wazid, Seema Saxena, Suparna Pathak, Paresh Jain, Wazid Sheikh, Meenakshi Iyer, Kartikay Bhagat, Neha Saxena, Hamid Khan,Gurupdesh Bedi, Manjit Bedi, Santosh Shaily, Shaiby Bedi, Jagdeep Bedi, Goldie Khan, Saqib Mohiuddin, Dhruv Khurana, Gandharv Bhagat, Sandeep Savla, Anil Bhagat, Dr. Nazneen Dalwai, Dr. Barjindra Singh, Jitan Singh, Venkat Reddy, Subhash Razdan, Shiv Agarwal, Mustafa Ajmeri and everyone that was part of this production in any way added great value. You may refer to www.dhoopchaoon.org for more information.