The Misunderstanding


The Play
The son, Jan, who for 22 years has been living in an unnamed land, returns to Europe to visit his mother and his sister, Martha. He comes with his wife, Maria, and decides not to disclose his true identity. This is unfortunate, because the two women, who run a lonely inn, murder their guests and rob them for survival. The only other character is the mute manservant, who in the final scene is Camus stand-in for God.

Director’s Note
The play is based on Camus’s concept of an unjust and indifferent world. The misunderstandings of the play exist on several levels, all of which are applicable to life. First there is the simple misunderstanding of identity. Then there is Jan’s failure to recognize the importance of words in relationships. There is the misunderstanding of Maria who failed to recognize that men and women in love cannot share every moment and at some point must part. The mother failed to recognize the promptings of her own sympathy and valued her need for peace more than another
human being. And there is Martha with her own complexities. So for me, these misunderstandings separate a human from himself, from others and from the world. Human desire is in a perpetual conflict with a world that is arbitrary, illogical and unfair; and the life is equally cruel to the innocents and the criminals which defines the absurdity of existence. Just like the saying “grass always looks greener on the other side” the characters of this play dream of something beyond their league and these farfetched ambitions become suffocating for each one. To sum it all “everyone imagines their heaven in the place where somebody hell is”.

The Director
After graduating from Indraprastha College for Women in 2014, Aruja completed her Diploma in Dramatic Arts from National School of Drama in 2017 with specialization in Design andDirection. She is practicing theatre since 2002 with prominent theatre personalities and artistsacross the country. During college days she has directed and acted in various plays and hasrecently assisted Sanjna Kapoor in a Children’s Theatre Workshop and film director Leena
Yadav in her forthcoming venture, Rajma Chawal.

The Playwright
Albert Camus was born on November 7, 1913, in Mondavi, French Algeria. Camus became known for his political journalism, novels and essays during the 1940s. His best-known works, including The Stranger (1942) and The Plague (1947), are exemplars of absurdism. Camus won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957 and died on January 4, 1960, in Burgundy, France.

The Group
This play is being presented as a part of national school of drama’s graduate showcase (class of
2017), which aims to provide a platform for emerging theatre practitioners, allowing them to
share their work with a wide audience.

Cast & Credits

Martha: Aruja Srivastava
Mother: Jina Baishya
Manservant: Lanuakum
Jan: Baljeet Singh
Maria: Indra Tiwari
Costume: Aruja Srivastava
Set Execution: Sagnik
Light: Swati Dubey
Sound: Susheel Kant Mishra
Video Design: Vishala
Video Operation: Vinati Sehgal
Playwright Albert Camus
Dramaturgy, Design & Direction Aruja Srivastava



Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He was an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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