The protectors transform the persecutors in the play “Giraftari” based on the novel “The trial” by Franz Kafka – The New Indian Express

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Franz Kafka in Hindi is no less powerful than in German or English because of the universality of darkness. The Trial of the Conjurer of Dark Illusions and Interpreter of Official Illnesses is now a stage performance by director Rama Pandey as an arrest in disguise as freedom, an alienated protagonist trapped in a complex political climate of smoke and mirrors and tormented by hidden guilt. .

His execution, which Kafka describes “like a dog” is the logical result of an innocent man caught in the maelstrom of faceless tyranny. Adapted to the Indian context, Giraftari will be staged at Ravindra Manch, Jaipur, on May 5 after a successful tour at the Shri Ram Center for Performing Arts in Delhi. Directed by theater, television and film personality Rama Pandey, the story takes place in contemporary Delhi, told through a folk combination of Indian oral tradition and Rajasthani ‘Keerat’ art forms in “Tasha Dhol” and “Nafiri” from Purani Delhi.

Rama pandey

Pandey spent days and nights perusing Kafka’s many works, both from the famous writer and others trying to decipher him before recreating the Hindi version of The Trial. This is his first experience in docudrama. The plot revolves around the fate of Shyam Kumar (played by Akhilesh Divedi), a 31-year-old middle-class bank employee from Delhi who suffers the same fate as Joseph K, the bank employee protagonist of Kafka’s book – he is placed under house arrest for an unspecified crime.

Abused and pushed around in his quest for justice, Kumar is exposed at different levels in a corrupt system involving the police, the military and the judiciary. As he prepares to be executed by the authorities, Kumar calls on the public to save the soul of the company. The play’s scope and scale are memorable – its cast numbers are around 30. Notable characters include Abhivyakti, the play’s narrator played by Pandey herself, as well as Bhav (portraying Kafka’s voice) played by Laxmi Shanker Bajpai.

It spans a year, starting and ending with Kumar’s birthday. The isolation, suffocation and the new rules are revealing in the context of the pandemic. “Covid has taught us how redundant a person can be even when surrounded by people. Through the voluntary form of house arrest, we can understand the feeling of being under arrest, ”says Pandey.

Originally titled Der Procez in German, The Trial was written in 1914-15. Not given his due during Kafka’s lifetime, he was a touchstone of 20th century critical interpretation holding a mirror for society and administration. True to her inspiration, Pandey kept the dialogue daring. At the same time, there is black satire.

The playwright-director completes the adaptation of Metropolis Vienna by Peter Rosei, famous Austrian author. Thereafter, she will begin her own play Lallan Ms based on the struggles of the transgender community. In addition, in October, she plans to organize the Rama theater festival including four of her plays. The whole world is a stage but Pandey is more than an actor and the theater is her world.


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