Arunachal Pradesh on The Theatre Map of India
No doubt, the Hindi language has many local dialects. But have you ever heard of Arunachali Hindi? Yes, it exists. You want to know where it is? It is in Arunachal Pradesh of course. But why is it Arunachali Hindi, it is difficult to say because it is just like standard khariboli chaste Hindi. But whatever it is, it was a nice experience to watch the play and listen to the language.
I am talking about `Drowa Jhagmu: Ek Devi Ki Kahani’ ( Drowa Jhagmu: the story of a goddess). It is a play from Arunachal Pradesh, directed by Suk Bahadur, a National School of Drama graduate.
‘Drowa Jhagmu: Ek Devi Ki Kahani’ is based upon a mythological story of Arunachal Pradesh. A king named Kalawangphu was famous for his violent nature. He loved bloodshed. One day, when he went hunting, his dog got lost somewhere in the forest. While searching for his dog, he met a beautiful woman, who was really a fairy called Drowa Jhagmu. The king wanted to marry her, but Drowa Jhagmu put a condition before him – he will have to shun violence and lead a peaceful life. The king accepts this condition and both of them got married and had two children, a son and a daughter.
Meanwhile the king’s first wife returned (she had gone somewhere for a long time). Seeing the new queen and her two children she becomes furious and plots a conspiracy. The king is dethroned and arrested. The fairy returns to her world, the two children had to hide themselves from the first queen, who acquires all the power. But at the end, all goes well. The son becomes the king with the help of his fairy mother. He rescues his father, the first queen, who is the conspirator is dethroned and killed. The daughter, who is a grown up woman, also joins her brother and father.
The director uses the local Aunachali dance forms; yak dance, aji lhamu dance, pantomimes and mask dances to weave the production. The actors did their hard work, although there is need of more refinement in the area of voice modulation. It is a good thing that Arunachal Pradesh is coming on the theatre map of India.