Stories of retired insurgents on stagePlays revolving around the ten-year long Maoist insurgency keep on coming. Joining the two plays staged this year that brought to stage stories from the insurgency—Chiso Bhanjyang and Khabar Harayeko Chitthi—is Janayuddha Jaari Chha?, currently being staged at Sarwanam Theatre in Kalikasthan.
Plays revolving around the ten-year long Maoist insurgency keep on coming. Joining the two plays staged this year that brought to stage stories from the insurgency—Chiso Bhanjyang and Khabar Harayeko Chitthi—is Janayuddha Jaari Chha?, currently being staged at Sarwanam Theatre in Kalikasthan. Janayuddha Jaari Chha? is written and directed by Raj Shah, who also features in the play; according to Shah, the play fuses elements from realism and the absurd.
The play was first conceived six years ago and went through several writing prompts and rewriting, owing, Shah said, to the “gravity of the subject, which at one time almost made me drop the project altogether.”
“It was six years ago, when I was done with a couple of drafts and was set to stage the play sometime soon,
I was starting to have second thoughts,” Shah remembers, “I was proud to have created the characters out of scratch all right but I also wanted to meet the real insurgents who resembled the characters I had created and I met and the whole course took a detour. After I met the characters, I could not help but tear the whole thing up, the thing that I had invested so much time and energy in. My characters, I felt, were really bland as compared to the real-life insurgents.”
According to Shah, the play doesn’t go into supporting one side over the other or about politics of the war, but rather explores the characters horizontally and vertically. Meaning, while the play charters a wide range of time frame, from the days of war to today, it also uncovers the motives of the insurgents and what made them tick.
This is Shah’s third professional directorial, following Jimda Sapana (2013) and Bukhyancha Mann (2017)—the first was about the repercussions of the foreign employment while the latter explored the deep-rooted caste system prevalent in the country’s rural hills.
Janayuddha Jaari Chha features actors Sujata Adhikari, Sharmila Nagarkoti, Indra B Chaudhari, and Krishna Khadka, among others.
The show awill run at Sarwanam until October 7, every day (except for Thursdays) at 5:15 pm.