Iss Majhdhar Mein

April 29, 2017
Esplanade, Recital Studio
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Rifat Shamim’s adaption of Saadat Hasan Manto’s play ‘ISS MAJHDHAR MEIN’ encapsulates the tornado of emotions that goes through the lives of a newly married couple and the members of their household.

The story painstakingly illustrates the real life dilemmas that challenge our notion of love, loyalty, servitude, devotion and fidelity. Set in 1950s India, the play depicts the lives of a wealthy Muslim Nawab family forced into self-reflection as they face their own personal “Majdhaar” – a vortex. The three women in the play represent different social status and power. The thought provoking narrative casts light on the many shades of women while they work with their own sexuality, their gender’s position in the family and their freedom to choose.

Manto uses the symbolism of a calamity and makes us see how it can force one to take sides, however the choices we make remain our own…as Shakespeare puts it “to be or not to be” that is the question.

A play in Hindi

Saadat Hasan Manto (11 May 1912 – 18 January 1955) was an Indo-Pakistani writer, playwright and author considered among the greatest writers of short stories in South Asian history. He produced 22 collections of short stories, 1 novel, 5 series of radio plays, 3 collections of essays, 2 collections of personal sketches and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics.

Manto was tried for obscenity six times; thrice before 1947 in British India, and thrice after independence in 1947 in Pakistan, but never convicted. He was awarded the ‘Nishan-e-Imtiaz’ award (Order of Excellence) in 2012 (posthumous). It is the highest honour given to any civilian in Pakistan.


Tania’s first much lauded theatre performance was in 2010 in the Singapore Repertory Theatre with William C. Kovaksic’s original work- “The Masrayana “. From 2010 to 2017 Tania has had the privilege to work with some famous directors and prestigious productions in Singapore and India. She has performed in equal command in English, Hindi and Bengali in her associations with a number of performance groups. Her recent and major performance was in February 2017 in Padatik theatre’s production “Atmakatha” which was received very well by the audiences in Kolkata, India. In “Atmakatha ” she played one of the protagonists with the acclaimed actor Kulbhushan Kharbanda.

Tania has acted in several major productions in Singapore “Dance of the Birds” (September 2016) remains one of her best, as it showcases her talents as an actor as well as a dancer. She has played the lead in “Maya- The Demon Architect” which was part of the Kalautsavam festival in Singapore. She made her film acting debut with the 2012 feature film, “A Gran Plan”. The film was nominated and won awards in several international film festivals. Her short film “Ex Wala Love” was screened in the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival 2014 and in Singapore in March 2015 as part of the 6th Singapore Short Film Awards.

A shipping professional by day and a theatre artist by night. Charan’s involvement with theatre goes back to his active participation in School and College productions. Once he started pursuing a career in shipping, his passion for theatre took a back seat for some 20 years. He restarted acting on stage again in London in 2010 when he joined Aks Performing Arts, London’s Premier South Asian Theatre Company. Charan made his first appearance on a Singapore stage in September 2016 when he played the lead male character in Gauri Gupta’s ‘Dance of the Birds’.

Charan’s acting and directing biography to date reads as follows:

1. ‘Caught in the Net’ – 2010. A play by Ray Cooney. Produced by Aks Performing Arts, London./ Lead male character
2. ‘Summer Studio’ – 2010 Theatre workshop – Directed two short plays with new actors
3. ‘Call me Ishmael’- 2010. A play by Sheraz Khan Niazi. Produced by Aks Performing Arts,London / Supporting character
4. ‘Rumours’ – 2011. A play by Neil Simon. Produced by Aks Performing Arts, London./ Lead male character
5. ‘Winter Cocktail’ – 2011. A Theatre workshop. Directed two short plays.
6. ‘Baba Shakespeare’ – 2012. A play by Emmeline Winterbotham. Produced by Tower Theatre,London for the Royal Shakespeare Company Open Stages National Showcase at CourtyardTheatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon/ Supporting character
7. ‘Come As You Were’ – 2012. Director & Actor. A play by Nicholas Kharkongor. Produced by Aks Performing Arts, London / Lead male character
8. ‘A Kind Bowl’ – 2013 – A play by Helen Niland. Produced by the Perfect World Theatre Company, London / One of 7 lead characters
9. ‘Dance of the Birds’ – 2016 – A play written and directed by Gauri Gupta / Lead male character

Renitas journey as a performer started in a small town in India in school & carried on till college. Acting and dancing on stage have always been her passion but due to her family circumstances she could not pursue it as a profession. She got the opportunity to act on stage after an 18 yrs gap in a Theatre production by Singapore based Director Sangeeta Nambiar called ‘Another Ticket to Bollywood’ and thereafter as a dancer in Gauri Srivastava’s ‘Dance of the Birds’ in 2016.

She has received the “Best Dancer Award – Solo” twice by Dance Planet Singapore in their yearly dance competitions in 2013 & 2016. She also runs a chain of restaurants with her husband while pursuing other creative interests as a singer and painter. Spending quality time with family, meditation and yoga are therapies that keep her relaxed and energised to continue chasing her passions and dreams.

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