Karnali connection


The play Karnali Dakkhin Bagdo Chha staged at Rimal Natakghar, Gurukul has beautifully captured the rich and glorious culture, tradition and customs of Karnali. The significance a dhami (shaman) holds in this region, the pujas he presides over, the Baisakh Purnima celebrations, festivities — singing and dancing especially during ropain (planting), marriage ceremonies, and other prevalent norms have been depicted in the play.

And that is not all, it also portrays the hardships that people of this region face. From lack of educational facilities, a girl’s uncertain life after child marriage, unavailability of necessary facilities in hospitals, lack of basic necessities like rice and fighting for it, high level officials not being in their offices and laymen suffering because of it... all have been portrayed skillfully in it. Then people going in the mountains in search of Yarchagumba, putting their lives on line, and leaving for India as the situation worsens and they don’t have any other option. But that is not a viable solution as well. And other unending problems that have seemingly no end but death of innocent lives.

The attire, accessories have been well arranged, but it is the acting skills of the actors mostly from Karnali Theatre Mugu along with some actors from Gurukul that has successfully brought life to this play. Be it the humorous or serious acts, they have carried it out excellently. Khas bhasa, the original roots from which the Nepali language developed, has been used giving the play an authentic touch.

The best part of this play, which is conceptualised and directed by Sunil Pokharel, is that though it deals with serious issues, it is not didactic or preachy, nor is it too heavy. The humour that it contains makes you laugh heartily, but it in no way diminishes the seriousness of the subject that has been addressed. And as the comedy holds your rapt attention, it smoothly moves into tragic scenes that touches you deep within.

Another strong point of the play is the heartrending voice of Durga Hitan in apt situations.

It is a play that connects to almost everyone. For those who have left behind their villages and have come to the city, it is a nostalgic play as people can reflect back on the dire conditions they have left and relate to it. And for those in the city, it introduces you the stark reality and difficulties of life in villages. This play is definitely a must watch for all theatre lovers. The proceeds of the play will be used to establish a theatre hall in Mugu.

The play will be staged from August 22 to 27 at Gurukul at 5:30 pm.