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Laughter Rules At The Showings Of Ballabhpur Ki Roopkatha

Meena Sundaram

December 12th and 19th were cold days weather wise but this did not stop more than 400 of the theater-loving public from attending the showings of “ Ballabhpur Ki Roopkatha”. There was a feeling of intense anticipation as people settled in to watch the shows. As the play unfolded with creative sets, well-crafted props and talented actors and performers, the audience was hooked.

The clever storyline interspersed with subtle humor and excellent acting had people chuckling and having a great time. The production was professional and flawless and all the performers gave their best! Comments from the audience members included “The play was amazing, Mohanji delivered performances from the artistes that surpasses even their own expectations”, “Your efforts for Hindi language are admirable”, “I laughed hysterically after a very long time”, “I haven’t watched a Hindi play for ages, it brought back so many memories”, “A professional production with excellent organization!” to name a few. The performers not only did a fantastic job, they also demonstrated great team work.

New England Hindi Manch (NEHM) 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. Preetesh Shrivastava, the President of the organization comments "This organization’s mission is to keep Hindi language (and all its dialects) alive and well and celebrate the cultural context and history of the language while keeping an eye on its contemporary role and development. We welcome people of all regions, religions and languages to join us and become members of NEHM”.

In order to promote the Hindi language and propagate performance art in the community, NEHM proudly presented a full –length play in Hindi titled” Ballabhpur ki Roopkatha”. The renowned director Mohan Dali, who is no stranger to the New England theater scene, directed the play.

Ballabhpur ki Roopkatha was a comedy written by Shri Badal Sircar, originally in Bengali. The play is set in the 1960s in rural Bengal. Bhupati, who descends from an aristocratic family, lives in a decrepit mansion that he has inherited from his forefathers. His economic difficulties have forced him to be in debt and the only way out of his situation is to sell his ancestral home. With the help of his friends, he sets his plan into motion. Luckily, a prospective buyer and his family decide to visit the property. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But Bhupati’s plan is fraught with obstacles, complications and a lot of laughs.

Will Bhupati succeed in selling his home and clear his debts? What happens to his ancestral home and all the memories associated with it? Will the crumbling haveli, one of the remnants of feudal society and its withered glory disappear forever and be replaced with another modern monstrosity? And what about the little secret that lies within the ancient walls of the haveli? Will this secret be revealed and destroy Bhupati’s future in the bargain?

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