Heart Touching Production

Sananda, 30-Dec-04
Samir Chattopadhyay

December 30, 2004


Sampa Sen and Sangram Guha.
Sampa Sen and Sangram Guha.


Real life. Two successful stage productions by Sangram Guha, one is an inside investigative story of the Parliament Attack and the other one is on the first Military Trial on earth against Abu Ghraib guards.


Heart Touching Production


Samir Chattopadhyay




Both are one acts. First one is “16 Millimeter”. The second one is “Operation Flush”. The man behind the creation of both these dramas is Sangram Guha. Guha is an avid reader, a fighter. A journalist by profession, hence finding out is his job. He has created these dramas after spending a long period of time in research. Mainly terrorism is the backdrop of both of these dramas. They should not be called dramas, rather should be called a glimpse of the burning events in our country, India and the world as well. The basis of the first drama is the inside investigation of the terrorists attack on Indian Parliament.
The event took place on December 13, 2001. The whole world had to bow down exactly three months and two days back. On September 11, thousands of men and women were killed in the suicidal attack on the World Trade Center and the Head quarter of the U.S. Army in New York and Washington DC. Even Pentagon, the icon of U.S. arrogance, had to bow down. The F.B.I., equipped with the most sophisticated technology, could not get a hint of this plan even a few hours before the September 11’s incident. The entire blame was put on the terrorists soon after the event took place.

December 13, 2001. The terrorists attacked the Indian Parliament in the morning. The police arrested Syed Abdul Rehman Gillani, a lecturer of Arabic in Zakir Hussain College of Delhi, alleging his involvement in that attack. Protesting the said arrest, All India Democratic Committee, led by Nandita Haskar, started a mass movement. Nandita was the daughter of P.N. Haskar, the famous bureaucrat. Soumi Pancholi was the lawyer for Gillani. For one long year, the case continued in the POTA special court. At 2 ‘o clock at night of December 18, 2002, the night before the verdict of this case is declared, a terrible event takes place in Soumi Pancholi’s house. Enters Rajinder Sharma, a CBI officer. Rajinder starts making Soumi agitated. A verbal confrontation on Soumi’s personal life, her professional ethics and as well as on her logical contradictions, breaks up. During the heated exchange of words in this terrible confrontation Soumi reveals a very important information to Rajinder on the spur of momentary excitement. With that changes the backdrop of the event.

How surprising! Among the suicidal group of terrorists, which launched the attack on Parliament, were two men – Mohammad Tariq and Raja. Both of them were having two cell phones in their hands. It was noticed in the video surveillance camera in the Parliament that Mohammad Tariq was dialing the cell phone without firing the “AK-47” in his hand! This was an unprecedented incident. It had come to know that they had continuously dialed a particular number for 48 times. The number was 9810037156. But neither the Police nor the CBI had conducted any investigation on this number. There was a code name “16 MM” written against that number. The objective of this drama is to identify the original person behind this number.

Guha has shown how to build up dramatic moments step by step by weaving information around such a burning real incident. The Acting was as sharp as knife. Sampa Sen in the role of the Gillani’s lawyer Soumi Pancholi or in the role of Rajinder Sharma, Guha himself were equally superb. The stagecraft was well planned and aptly utilized. Both music and light synchronized very well with the performance of the characters. Never for a moment the “not so good” feeling came up in mind during the entire play.

The story of the second drama is more of late. On May 20th, a military trial was held at California in connection to the alleged brutality on the prisoners of Abu Ghraib Jail of Iraq. From this trial we come to know that the physical tortures were not the result of some scattered incidents, but rather an experiment on the Iraqis to see how much torture could wreck the balance of their nervous system. Their blood samples were collected and were sent to America. Actually it was an experiment conducted to see if this terror could be made genetic. If this terror can be made inherited through the genes, then suppression of a nation can be possible for a long time. This plan was of PNAC’s, which is a very powerful secret organization within U.S. Army. Incidentally this PNAC was founded in 1999.

Actually the drama becomes more important due to Guha’s analytical research. The playwright never wanted to exhibit the brutal torture on the Iraqis in Abu Ghraib Jail. He wanted to unveil many true yet unknown information. Guha is cent percent successful here. His drama was weaved by love, tenderness, failures and natural innocence. The director of this drama is Samudra Guha although. The stage design by Hiran Mitra was a bonus to the audience. What an exhibition of naturalness in characterization! Here too, Sampa Sen was splendid. Guha’s acting also proved his expertise. The events for the dramas are different. But in comparative analysis, the second one act was more exciting. Smoothly sailed all along. It will not be enough if it is said that both these dramas, produced by “Spandan IPTA”, are merely good. Everyone must see these dramas to enrich himself by understanding the message and knowing the unknown information revealed in these dramas. And for this we should be thankful to Guha.


 
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