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On an emotional journey with old parents

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A play Akhari Vasant penned and directed by Shubdeep Raha took Lucknowites on an emotional ride. The powerful acts by veteran Bollywood actor Anil Rastogi and Chitra Mohan captured the problems faced by old-age couples when their children leave them for greener pastures and forget about them when they need them most.

Raha, a National School of Drama (NSD) alumnus and presently a faculty at Bhartendu Natya Academy (BNA), was inspired by what he saw at an old-age home in Siliguri as a kid. “I was deeply attached to old age inmates so the play title is inspired from them. Then, during my research I studied about outsourcing of children in Japan which I eventually wrote in a play, 20 years after,” says the director.

The story revolved around an old couple Sudhir and Geeta living alone in India after their only son with his wife settle abroad. After Sudhir refuses to sell his parental property, the son never turns back and stops talking to his parents which leaves them devastated.

After five years, the children decide to return from abroad after their business is doomed. The atmosphere fills with emotions and the father agrees to sell everything for his child’s happiness. But suspense surfaces when a cop enters the scene. The couple had actually rented children who were outsourced by an agency. Emotions soared when despite knowing he is an actor the father wants them to stay with them. A thief who had been hiding in the same house and witnessing everything offers himself to become their son. The audience gave a huge round of applause and appreciated the performances.

Other actors for the day included Alka Vivek, Vikas Srivastava, Sanjay Deglurkar and Vansh Srivastava.

“This is for the seventh time that we are staging this play. Last year, just before the second wave, we had done a show in Lucknow as well,” shares Rastogi. The play was organised by Darpan theatre group in association with Indian Council for Cultural Relations and UP Sangeet Natak Academy at Sant Gadge Auditorium.

“We dedicated the play in memory of our group’s founder-member late Urmil Kumar Thapliyal. His wife Beena Thapliyal with Padma Shri Raj Bisaria and Vidya Sagar Gupta paid homage to the ace theatre personality,” he further said.

ICCR’s regional director Arvind felicitated Saha.

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