Archive for January 23, 2009

Main Gha Haan

Posted in Paash-in English, Paash-News Items on January 23, 2009 by paash

Sangeeta does justice to Paash

CHANDIGARH — The verses of Punjabi poet Paash have seldom failed to stir emotions of his readers. Even when performed on stage, his compositions certainly have the quality to arouse these. This was what the audience experienced today during the Punjabi play ‘Main Gha Haan’ staged at Tagore Theatre.

The one-character play, directed by Dr Atamjeet Singh, was presented by the Roopak Kala Manch in the memory of young theatre artiste Rajiv Firani. He was a product of Punjabi University Patiala who had worked with the likes of Kewal Dhaliwal, Shekhar Vaishnavi, Balraj Pandit and Dr Atamjeet.

Based on the poems and compositions of Paash, ‘Main Gha Haan’, was about fighting the evils of the social and political systems. The unvarnished candidness of Paash’s poetry was highlighted by an energetic performance by Sangeeta Mehta, who is known for her work with slum children.

Everything that the lovers of the poetry of Paash would imagine the poet be, was brought out well by Sangeeta, whether it was his passion, isolation or whimsical enthusiasm about life. The way letters and poems were penned by Paash, popular verses “Asi Ladangey Saathi” and “Chidian Da Chamba Ud Ke Kitey Nahi Jayaga”, were interwoven between various scenes by script writer Rana Ranbir. He did not let the fast-paced tenor slack at any place.

The set, which included four Nek Chand-like dolls made by Ranjit Singh, was interesting and helped Sangeeta in keeping the interest of the audience alive while delivering her monologue. With dialogues like “I am what I was made out to be by the system” and “I am a dog who wags his tail”, the play was an interesting experience.

Loveleen Kaur’s production and Dr Atamjeet’s directorial venture, needs to be commended for starting on time, but it did not have many takers. The light drizzle in the city seemed to have taken its toll on the play.

( The Tribune 13-05-1999 )


Capturing hues of Paash’s poetry

Posted in Paash-in English, Paash-News Items on January 23, 2009 by paash


Capturing hues of Pash’s poetry


The Roopak Kala and Welfare Society staged a Punjabi play ‘Mein Ghaa Haan’ at the Tagore Theatre today in association with the Chandigarh School of Drama. As solo theatrical performances are a rarity in the region, the elite city audience relished the captivating performance by acclaimed actor Ms Sangeeta Gupta. The play, based on the writings of revolutionary Punjabi poet Avtar Pash and scripted by noted actor Rana Ranbir, turned out to be peerless production under the directorial elegance of Dr Atamjit.A humanitarian and resolute reformer ‘Pash’ was a poet of conscience who fought for the rights of the credulous masses, articulating their pain in his poetry. Dr Atamjit had delved deep into the profound depth of the poetry of Pash for its vivid dramatisation. Moods varied from grief , nostalgia, dismay and revolt as the play progressed to see Sangeeta bringing alive the poet’s protest against anti-human forces, social evils, metaphysical dogmas and anti-human prejudices.

Sangeeta, with an immaculate dramatic narration and eloquent stage movements spelt magic keeping the audience glued to their seats. Her mastery over Punjabi dialect augmented the level of performance, structured in the pastoral ambience.

She demonstrated the courage and conviction of the legendary poet seeking resurrection of an ideal society and governance when terrorism had assumed threatening dimensions.

Sangeeta, the acclaimed actress of 15 TV serials, 35 plays and assistant director of four feature films, an alumnus of the department of Theatre and Television had staged this play 17 times seven years ago. “But today’s performance and appreciation was very satisfying, she said. The chiaroscuro effects by Jaspal Singh and soothing music by Vevel Sharma, Subhash and Deepak enhanced the level of production.

Earlier, Dr Sahib Singh while speaking about the achievements and sacrifices of Pash maintained that Pash and his poetry were immortal and no one knew his terrorist killers. Thespian Gursharan Singh and Parampal K. Sidhu, chief guests paid tributes to Pash and honored the artists.


( The Tribune of 23-08-2005 )


Udaas Pehar Ki Shan Shan

Posted in Paash-in English, Paash-in Hindi, Paash-News Items on January 23, 2009 by paash

Paash’s poetry comes alive


‘Udaas Pehar Ki Shan Shan’ a solo performance based on revolutionary poet Paash’s poetry was today presented at the Theatre and Television Department of Punjabi University. Staged at the department’s intimate auditorium, the solo was performed by Kulwant Sidhu, a second-year student at the Department of Theatre here and directed by Mr Ranvir Rana, a technical assistant in the same department. The thematic fibre of the play depicted the contemporary socio-political conditions and their consequent impact on the conscience of an individual, his frustrations and disgust for a system which seems to cater and exist only for the elite.

Giving the message through Paash’s poetry and attempting to bring alive the thoughts of poet, the whole fabric of the play, not only commented on the common man’s plight but also focussed on the essential question of existence of an individual in face of an atmosphere of insecurity, confusion, political opportunism, religious fundamentalism and corruption. Although written decades ago, the poems managed to correlate the poet’s times with the present.

Kulwant Sidhu’s sensitive portrayal of a poet desperately seeking answers from a relatively passive common man and realistic acting made the one-hour performance a treat for the audience.

Intelligent direction by Mr Rana made sure that the performance did not turn out to be a monotonous poetry recital session but a spellbinding performance treating the audience not only with some of Paash’s best poetry but also an interesting script with delicately-handled verse and fractured prose.

Sans costumes, music and any set, ‘Udaas Pehar ki Shan Shan’ proved that a powerful script accompanied with good acting and sensitive handling of the theme could do wonders to an almost nil-budget production. 

(The Tribune, 25-05-2002 )

An Ode To The Soul

Posted in Paash-News Items on January 23, 2009 by paash

Creative Zone
An ode to the soul
Neha Walia

— Photo by Vicky Gharu
— Photo by Vicky Gharu

“PHOOLAN diye daaliye, siron tere uchian dwaran da mein das ki karan; tuhion ehna kadd kadh, ban ke daler appe mal le bulandian de thaan.” These lines describe piece of heart of a poetess whose thought and undying passion for literature has remained unchallenged through time. Meet Ratandeep or ‘Ratneev’, a pioneer in Punjabi poetry and a member of the Chandigarh Sahit Academy. Her love with poetry started at an age when most children don’t know how to spell correctly. “My father was a farmer and we had a humble background. But my father had a collection of Urdu books that introduced me to reading and writing,” says Ratneev.

Though she’s penned down numerous poems since then but it was in 1988 that her thoughts personified in form of her first book, Gehne Pai Dhupp. “It had all the different colours of my poetry. It covered social issues, romantic poems and war poems,” says Ratneev, who was also the vice-president of Punjab Sahit Academy. Some of her best works include Jung; a poem based on war issues, Rooh de banere te and Mere Saheb, a poem based on women exploitation. Her works have been published in many newspapers and magazines. Indo-Canadian newspaper in Canada, run by Tara Singh Hayra, published 14 of her poems in single edition. Her inspiration? “I am a big follower of thoughts and ideas of Avtaar Singh Paash, Amrita Pritam and Shiv Kumar Batalvi. In 1979, Amrita Pritam published my poem on the title page of her magazine Nagmani,” she says.

Her most prized possessions are the letters of appreciation she received from Amrita Pritam and Paash, who she calls ‘ an inquilaabi writer’. And what is her take on status of literature today? “Literature has lost its position. It lacks tolerance and depth. It’s all pakhand baazi now, for fame and money,” says the poetess who refused awards, as it would have corrupted her work