A scene from the play 'Ek Aur Birbal' which was staged at Jammu and received a standing ovation from the audience (Pic. Courtesy ANI)
Vomedh theatre's acclaimed play 'Ek Aur Birbal' recently received a standing ovation from the jam-packed audience in Jammu.
Written by Rakesh Roshan Bhat and directed by Rohit Bhat, the performers staged the play at Abhinav Theatre Jammu in collaboration with TRN and Radio Sharda. First staged in 2015, the play has been staged countless times across India. It mainly revolves around the plight of Kashmiri Pandits during the Afghan Durrani Rule in 1812 AD and the bravery displayed by Pt Birbal Dhar by bringing in Sikhs under Maharaja Ranjeet Singh's rule to end Afghan domination of Kashmir.
This time the play was specially staged on huge demand from the Kashmiri Pandits to spread awareness among KPs about the sacrifices given by Pt Birbal Dhar to save them from treacherous rule of Afghan ruler Azim Khan.
According to Rakesh Roshan, the play "is a tribute to the legend of Birbal Dhar and how he got Maharaja Ranjeet Singh to end reign of terror of Afghan Durani rule thus becoming the real hero of Kashmiri Pandits."
The play chronicles the sequence of events, such as Birbal being forced by tyrant Azim Khan to recover unethical heavy tax amount from the Kashmiri Pandits, but Birbal's conscience prevailed and he revolted to take on the governor at the cost of losing his wife and daughter-in-law.
Pandit Birbal Dhar approached and convinced Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Lahore to save Kashmiri Pundits and the general public of Kashmir. The benevolent Maharaja attacked the Mughal Army and forced Azim Khan to run to Afghanistan. The play relies largely on the narratives with background music and costumes suggestive of the Mughal splendor of the 18th century.
Speaking of the cast, the play features Arvin Tickoo as Mirza Kak, Rahul Kilam as Pt Birbal Dhar, Puneet J Bali as Azim Khan, Rajni Bhatti as Birbal's wife, Sachin Sharma as Anwar Khan, King C Bharati as Bassa Ram, Amit Gupta as Raja Kak, Shazi Khan as Sukhram, Irfana Bano Mir as Phool Singh, Kamakshya Dogra as Mirza Son, Anil Bhat as Maharaja Ranjeet Singh and Himagini Moza as Raja Kak's wife.
The narration was given by Dr Sudhir Mahajan and lyrics were penned by Rakesh Roshan Bhat. Singer and composer Arvind Ji, Set Virji Sumbli, Makeup -Shammi Dhamir, Video Heeramani Singh, Stills, Kamal Ganjoo, Lights Ravinder Sharma and Sandeep Manhas, Costumes Bharti Kaul, Assistant Costume Designer Irfana Bano Mir, Music Arranged by Dr Abhishek Bharti, Recording studio Kongposh (Rajesh Kher), Host Bindiya Tickoo, Properties Suman Bhat and Priya Kher. The backstage was managed by Drishti Rajput and Ritik Singh Jamwal. Fight Scenes were choreographed by White Angels Crew.
Prominent Social activist and DDC member Taranjit Singh Tony was the Chief Guest on the occasion while Ramesh Hangloo, Director Radio Sharda was the Guest of Honour.
Prominent social activists MK Yogi and Anita Chandpuri also attended the play.
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