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Hindi Manch Natak 2011: All The World Is A Stage

Meena Sundaram

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being”, said Oscar Wilde

This sentiment was more than evident on the weekend of Dec 10th and 11th, 2011, which marked a remarkable milestone for Hindi theater in the New England area. New England Hindi Manch presented a double feature with 2 side-splitting comedy one-act plays Thief Police and Bin Bulaye Mehmaan.  Both these plays were presented under the directorial guidance of Shri Mohan Dali, who has been a beacon of experience and inspiration in the theatrical scene in both Hindi and Marathi over the years. These plays featured numerous talented performers from all over New England.

Over 500 residents of New England were regaled with these humorous plays, both translated from Marathi by the talented Deepali Phadke Khanzode. Both plays were presented in Trottier Middle School, Southborough on Saturday, Dec 10th and McCarthy Middle School, Chelmsford on Sunday, Dec 11th. Dr Ramesh Mundra and Dr, Ashok Dalal graced the respective events as Honorable Chief Guests.

Thief Police:  Creatively conjured by Shri Vijay Tendulkar, this play was unique in its presentation featuring a bunch of actors acting as different characters in a moving train, a play within a play, if you will. Sanjay Jain played the production manager and also donned the persona of numerous characters one sees in a local train including a chaiwala, a chanawala and a beggar.  Rashmi Sathe played a wealthy woman whose necklace is stolen, Meghna Singhal played a modern working woman, Sathish Palayam enacted   the role of a privileged rich man, Anindya Mishra, a staunch communist, Chirag Parikh, a inquisitive retired man, Gagan Mahan played an embittered unemployed man and Subodh Shetty played the bumbling Railway Guard who has to solve this crime. In addition Swati Sane, Ajay Jain, Ajay Jaisingh, Ishan Shetty, Raaj Parikh, Aditya Sudhakar, Aryan Narayan and  G.L Shrikanth enacted supporting roles. The play unravels relationships and connections between these apparent strangers and came to a very interesting conclusion. All actors demonstrated excellent coordination and comedic timing, in addition, they had to simulate the motion of a moving train and they were right on! This play was thoughtful and somewhat open-ended involving the audience totally in its charming web.

Bin Bulaye Mehmaan:  This play was a comedy of errors, dealing with an interloper living in a couple’s home and how the wife one day comes upon this man. He convinces her to help him maintain his deceit in front of his girlfriend and the situation snowballs from there. Sridhar Pola played the suspicious husband, Swati Sane the bored wife, Ajay Jain the suave interloper, Mahesh Gadgil, the principled and  protective father of Meghna Singhal/Sonal Yadav, the girlfriend of the interloper, Hetal Joshi  enacted the cantankerous Parsi boss, Jawa Joshi the voluble feminist friend, Ajay Jaisingh, the simple, well-meaning inspector and Sanjay Jain,  the stern Havaldar. The humorous dialogues were mind-blowing; their delivery and word-play kept the audience in splits throughout the play.


A number of Hindi Manch team members, volunteers and well-wishers worked tirelessly to make this production a great success. In addition the director and actors put innumerable hours of rehearsals to fine-tune these plays. Their efforts were recognized and appreciated by all. Sound was managed by the capable team of Shri Jawed Wahid, Anish Khanzode and Dilip Pai. Lighting specialist was Ajay Goel. Stage and Lobby decoration was by Saujanya Pangrekar and Meena Sundaram. Shrimati Reeta Pandey, Chaitanya Godsay, Ruchika Arora, Suraj Kapur and Dilip Acharya handled the ticketing and membership in addition to publicity. Pratibha Krishnamurthy, Meghna Singhal, Anupam Wali, Neelam Wali, Srinivas Sane, Malini Vardharajan and Alok Asoor helped with costumes, backstage support and publicity. Raffle prizes were generously awarded by RareCarats and Café India of Nashua, NH who also catered the event. Darpan and Joe from D&J photography again did a fantastic job in covering the event.

Here are a few comments from the audience;

“Hindi Manch is presenting Hindi theater at its best for the second year in a row”

“I cannot believe such a professional production by local artistes; this makes me so proud”

"It was difficult to decide that which play was better.’Ek se badhkar ek plays'...”

“The acting was excellent, and besides the acting talents of the artistes, I wish to commend the directorial skills of Shri Mohan Dali.”

“We want to become members of Hindi Manch to support this superior level of quality programs and events”

Preetesh Shrivastava, the President of Hindi Manch remarks “Our goal is to bring cultural activities in Hindi to all of New England and Hindi Manch Natak is a very important part of this mission. In fact, I was encouraged by comments in India at the National School of Drama that our work to establish Hindi-based activities in spite of being so far from the subcontinent is appreciated and heralded back home”.


NEHM (New England Hindi Manch) is a non-profit organization whose aim is to bring people who know Hindi or who want to know Hindi together by cultural, social and educational programs and activities and to propagate Hindi language and culture in the future generations. This organization is not related to any caste, religion, region or area. This organization welcomes people from all religion, region and languages.
Please note that in this statement, the word Hindi is equivalent to ‘Hindi and similar languages and dialects like Urdu, Bhojpuri, Brij, Hindi that we speak in various states etc.

NEHM events include the music competition New England SaReGaMa Pa, Hindi plays, Kids talent show (Bal Manch) and Comedy night (Ek Haseen sham hasne hasane ke naam).

Hindi Manch was founded by Shri Mohan Dali, Dr. Pradeep Shukla, Chaitanya Godsay, Shubha Chungi and Preetesh Shrivastava and has established itself as one of the foremost community organizations in New England. Hindi Manch was felicitated by the Lehrein Group in 2011 as the best community organization in New England, a testimonial to its efforts in bringing the community together.

If you are interested in Hindi –based events including theater, comedy, music and want to have your children participate and be exposed to this wonderful language, please go to www.hindimanch.org for membership and information regarding upcoming events. Your support is deeply appreciated!


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