Song of struggle, vision and serenity

Rita Dhital


It was the last performance of the week-long national theatre festival in town. The performance scheduled was the presentation of ‘Katha Sarangi Gaunko’ by Matribhumi Theatre of Bhojpur, Dhankuta. Before the curtains opened, a voiceover provided an exposition of the play. The curtains opened exposing the beautiful sets that gave impressions of natural scenes at Mangdim Gaun of Bhojpur which is the locale of the play. They contained a large painting of Mt Makalu in the background, a chautari (a stone and clay seat under a tree) on one side of the stage and a hut. The story that followed was typical of the living conditions of a poor, uneducated family of the Gaine community, in which the father earns by singing, the mother works as a domestic help, the son is mentally retarded and the daughter is sold to serve in a Mumbai brothel. The hardships they go through to earn just a living makes the viewer quite emotional. The play was supported by great acting by the cast. The performance in general was lively and powerful and the live singing was accompanied by music on the sarangi. The play ends with the message of continuing the tradition of singing done by the Gaine community at the same time highlighting the importance of attaining education for earning a decent living.