BY SARIKA JASWANI
Atlanta, GA, October 20, 2023: The acclaimed Dhoop Chaoon Hindi theater group of Atlanta, under the direction of Sandhya Saxena Bhagat and Nilu Gupta of UPMA and Vishwa Hindi Jyoti, California, presented the show “Adhe Adhure” at the University of Silicon Andhra, Milpitas, CA.
A beautiful sunrise on September 30th, 2023, at the University, saw Dhoop Chaoon in its full glory. The Dhoop Chaoon Theater team of eight participants: Saurabh Agarwal, Hetal Suratwala, Moiz Hussain, Ashish Kapoor, Poornima Raj, Ritambhara Mittal, Vijay Gaur, Premanand Goswami, along with director Sandhya Saxena Bhagat and her partner in work and life, Anil Bhagat, traveled to California from Atlanta to perform the famous play by Mohan Rakesh.
Mohan Rakesh’s “Aadhe Adhure” is probably one of the most significant plays to have been written in the Hindi language. Its appearance on the theater scene in 1959 not only created a sensation but also set a new era in playwriting. The play deals with a dysfunctional family of five, entangled in an insufferable situation. They rant and tear each other apart and live off each other’s misery. While the situation created is dramatically powerful, the use of poignant silences pierced by verbal whip-lashes adds to Rakesh’s creative contribution. All of it and more was brought alive by the talented group of Dhoop Chaoon’s artists.
The story has been showcased thousands of times in India and abroad. Many celebrated theater groups have performed and brought the tale to life. The first-ever performance was chronicled in Delhi by Dishantar Theater Group under the expert direction of Om Shivpuri.
Dhoop Chaoon is proud to have had the opportunity to perform and execute this play several times. The first-ever performance was in 2018 at Berkmar High School. Since then, the DC group has performed at:
- Georgia Institute of Technology on 28th October in association with Asha for Education, Atlanta.
- Eagle Theater on 4th August in association with Aabaha organization, Atlanta.
- University of Silicon Andhra on 30th September in association with UPMA organization, California.
After the hat-trick of performances brought to you by the DC group in Atlanta, the DC team takes the utmost pride fourth time in California and now in performing the show once again in New York on October 21st, 2023, at the International Hindi conference at the Indian Consulate in Manhattan under the guidance of Ashok Ojha.
The popularity of the coming-of-age narrative in “Aadhe Adhure” is attuned to the current struggles of a middle-class Indian family in preserving traditional values and culture while concurrently trying to find a footing in the modern-day world and age. The tale rings true for people who are caught up to the minute or are still in the process of social Darwinism. The story, though dipped in an Indian context, falls in with a wide range of audiences that value trust and relationships. A curtain raiser, “Aadhe Adhure,” boldly characterizes a woman in a role of a maverick who disregards hegemony at home and in society at large. A complex commentary by Mohan Rakesh chronicling the impetus for love, respect, and trust for virile relationships.
Dhoop Chaoon Theater group is one of a kind theater groups based in Atlanta, Georgia, established since 2007. Ushering the everyday life of common folks and presenting them as theatrical anecdotes that bring vibrance and color to the community. The DC team prides itself on being an arbitrator in morphing a progressive change in the community. The DC group runs on two main objectives:
- Conservation and transference of Hindi language and South Asian culture.
- Providing entertainment.
The DC theater group is comprised of 130 permanent team members, with many who contribute their time and support behind the scenes. The group is closely associated with the Indian Consulate and boasts small productions year-round in and around Atlanta. Apart from stage production, DC is making short movies and TV series.
UPMA (www.upmaglobal.org) is a non-profit organization promoting Hindi in the USA and also providing financial support from the USA for the education of needy children in India.
Founder and Chairperson Prof. Nilu Gupta, President Ritesh Tandon, board of directors, and the entire team are working hard, selflessly to promote the Culture of Bharat. For this, Prof. Nilu Gupta was awarded the prestigious award ‘Pravasi Bhartiya Samman’ in 2021 from the President of India.
Contributor List for California Production of “Aadhe Adhure”:
Direction – Sandhya Saxena Bhagat Host – Nilu Gupta (Founder of UPMA) Decoration – all team members, UPMA, and Dhoop Chaoon Background Music – Anil Bhagat Savitri – Ritambhara Mittal Mahendra Nath – Saurabh Agarwal Binni – Hetal Suratwala Kinni – Poornima Raj Ashok – Ashish Kapoor Singhania – Moiz Hussain Jagmohan – Vijay Gaur Behind the scenes – Tanuj Puri Videography – Kumar Joshi Sound and light – Rishi California Crew – Ritesh Tandon, Lata Malvia, Archana Pande Local Media Support – Atlanta Dunia, NRI pulse, Rastra Darpan, Indians in Atlanta, TV Asia, S&S, and others.
Upcoming shows of “Aadhe Adhure”:
- “Aadhe Adhure” in New York on October 21st, 2023.
- DC annual show at Berkmar High School on December 9th, 2023.