About Us Contact Us Help




Chandu Shah Wins Major Award, Looks Forward To Khelaiya On Stage

Chitra Parayath

It is a matter of great pride for the whole New England community that Mr. Chandu Shah, playwright, poet, and Gujarati scholar is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Chan.Chi. Mehta Award. The highly coveted award is presented to outstanding Gujarati playwrights every other year.

He has also been invited to Greece this summer to present his much-acclaimed English play Mahatma Gandhi.com at the International Drama festival.

Mr. Shah’s play Khelaiya will be staged in the area for the first time since it’s first run.

First brought to Gujarat stage in 1981, this play written by Chandu Shah has been charming theatergoers for over twenty years now.

Don’t miss this opportunity to watch this entertaining play on Thursday, March 21, at the Museum of our national heritage at Lexington.

Khelaiya, the musical is a play about risk and romance, life, love, dreams and the loss of innocence.
Based on the longest running Broadway musical ‘ The Fantastiks’ that in turn is adapted from Les Romanesques, a play by Edmond Rostand (1894), Khelaiya has been described as both fresh and innovative by critics.

Expressing great pride in the honor, Mr. Shah tells us that receiving this award is particularly poignant for him as his style mirrors that of Mr. Mehta’s who was a famous Gujarati playwright himself. “And it is an added matter of pride to be invited to present my play Mahatma Gandhi.com at the International drama festival in June 2003 at Cyprus, Greece.”

He admits candidly that Khelaiya is his favorite play. When asked about its apparent universal appeal, Mr. Shah said that ‘simplicity, humor and good faith’ is what the play is all about. Sharing some amusing and amazing anecdotes with us, he said that Khelaiya was so popular in Bombay in the 80’s (after it’s debut in 1981) that doctors would ask their heart patients to watch the play. ‘Maybe it unburdened their souls and gave them some moments of joy and merriment” suggests Mr. Shah. He laughs and admits that an estranged couple patched up and forgot their spat after they watched this play together!

Critics and fans have been known to compare the joy of watching Khelaiya to the pleasant Oscar Winning film ‘Il Postino’. “I know people who have seen this play over twenty times, so great is its charm” says Mr. Shah.

The play, which debuted in the Prithvi Theater at Bombay, ran to record crowds with an original cast that included popular film actor Paresh Rawal and Feroze Khan (of Tumhari Amrita fame). The songs gained so much popularity that they would be played in public places in place of popular film songs. Khelaiya also exposed the Bombay public to the joys of Gujarati Theater and introduced them to the rich and literary heritage of Gujarat.

Khelaiya is coming to the Boston area for the first time as the troupe performs all over the US.

Khelaiya, asserts Mr. Shah, is a lighthearted fun filled musical that can be enjoyed by whole family. Periodic translations and cues will be narrated in English during the play.

Having heard so much about the play my curiosity is piqued and I ask Mr. Shah if the play can only be enjoyed by Guajarati viewers. Mr. Shah hastens to clarify the point, stating that this play can be understood by most Hindi-speaking folks. “ Some of the dialogues and lyrics may be hard for non Gujaratis to understand but the gist and spirit of the play is transparent and transcends language barriers.

More information about the play can be found at www.narmad.com.

Bookmark and Share |

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help