One summer weekend we were at Lamakaan a culture house which was the venue for Sutradhar’s refund- an Hinglish play.The promo and gist of the play in 'the hindu 'was inviting.
The story originally from a Hungarian play by Fritz Karinthy was adapted and directed by Narayan S for Vinay Varma’s theatre group Sutradhar.
The story is about Aadarsh Vidyarthi who has been a failure in his job. He has been chucked out from whatever company he has been employed at and so is short of money. He gets frustrated and so blames the school education for his failure. Encouraged by his friend he decides to get a refund of his fees from his school. HE approaches his school principal MR. Khurana with a strange request of ‘Refund’ of his school fees since he learnt nothing from his school. The principal is zapped but seeing his adamant nature, calls his teaching staff to bail him out of the situation. The teachers Mr. Pillai(Maths). Mrs Roy(history), Mr. Jha(physics) , an UPite teacher called Ujda chaman all with their ethnic malayali, Bengali, Bihari and UPaccents decide to reexamine him. If he fails in their examination, they decide to refund his fees, but amongst the staff they decide not to fail him even if he gets his answer wrong.
Aadarsh Vidyarthi is reexamined by the school staff with their distinct dialects and this forms the base for the humour in the play. The staff decide to mark him right for every wrong answer and finally the climax is when the maths master decides to ask him two questions. One big and one small.
The small question is answered and Mr. Pillai exclaims that Vidyarthi is right. Just as we in the audience think that Mr. Pillai has goofed up and all the teachers throw a mixed angry askance glances at him. Mr. Pillai tells Aadarsh to calclulate the refund amount. Aadarsh Vidyarthi calculates the amount mentally to the last decimal and claims the amount.
Then Mr. Pillai says that this is the big question that he had set for him and so the answer is right. So there is the bait.....Vidyarthi gets no refund.
The play was well enacted by sutradhar actors all of who are professionals like Medico legal advisor, CA’s, MNC employees, engineers and retired colonels. Their passion for acting has brought them together where they have been practicing in the early hours despite their busy work schedules. The only hitch in the whole play was the volley of abuses thrown by the student in the name of humour at the teaching staff. Not in good taste.
What forms the crux of the humour satire is does education in school and college help you at your work place?
How many of you apply your school and college education at work? Not all are failures but still how many relate their work to their education.