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Wisdom For Sale

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
By Deepa Gahlot

Ank has produced a children's play for the first time, written and directed by Nivedita Baunthiyal.

A simple fable like story is set in a fictional village, where the annual fair is a cause of great excitement for the kids.

A bunch of vendors sell their colourful wares with song and dance-- the music is live. Young Bhanu (Mitarth Tewari) is given a coin by his father Shamsher (Sumit Bharadwaj), and instead of buying a toy, he buys for a piece of gold, an 'akal ki pudiya' (piece of wisdom) from Chatura (Preeta Mathur), who has a stall dispensing 'akal'.

The slip of paper advises Bhanu not to stand around to witness a fight. When the father hears of this, he accuses Chatura of being a cheat and demands his money back. After a bitter argument, Chatura agrees under the condition that Bhanu does not go by the advice she has given him

What should happen next, but Bhanu witnesses a fight between the maids of two rival queens and gets himself into a load of trouble with the king (Aman Gupta). It is Chatura whose intelligence and wit comes to the rescue.

It's a short and sweet play, with a message. The Hindi may be tough for kids to follow, but the humour, bright costumes and attractive set decor would please them.

There is something charmingly old-fashioned about it. If there is a slight problem about the King having two squabbling wives, there is a strong hint of progressiveness in the character of Chatura. A single woman, wise, brave and kind-- who gets her due in the end.

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