I was in Nutan Kala Niketan when “Andha Yug” was being prepared by Manoj Sharma. I was initially not considered to be part of the production because I was (as others used to think about me) too arrogant and egoist person. Manoj Sharma was really a talented singer-actor and for me as respectable as Dhanendra Kawade and Subhash Pandoriya but in Niketan, he was rarely given that importance he deserved for. He had started reading of Andha Yug but only Mohan Marskole (Gudda Bhaiya) used to cime for readings, sometimes Jalil Bhai also joined the team. Most of seniors and members of Niketan thought working on Andha Yug was just wasting time so Manoj had almost lost the hope to direct the play. Once I heard Manoj Sharma saying to Gudda Bhaiya in his own way ” Manoj Sharma sach me Andha Yug direct kar rahe hain kya?” (Is Manoj Sharma really going to direct Andha Yug?)
Next evening I approached to Manoj Sharma and said that I’m eager to work in Andha Yug with him. Here it’s needed to tell you that Manoj and me had never been friends instead Manoj used to think me his rival in Niketan. Once he had said me “Tum chahe jitne bhi concerts kar lo, tum mujhse kabhi 21 nahi ho paoge”. (You will never be better than me no matter how many concerts you do in your life). He is still much respectable person fo r me.
So, initially I was told to prepere Kritverma but later they casted me for Yuyutsu (which I still feel close to me as an atheist).
I have forgot the date of the show but it was performed once in 2004-05. Show was in experimental way where all actors were puppets and body language was little bit Robotic. Niketan had no trust on Manoj Sharma so the show was open only for Niketan Members and artists and I don’t think they liked it. Totalaudience were less then 20 and Ramesh Bel (then Niketan President) was only person awake and watching the play till end.
I can’t remember all cast and crews this time and even I don’t have photos too, I try to recollect the team with actors:
ASHWATTHAMA: Ranjan Yevle
SANJAY: Santosh Ghodeshwar
YUYUTSU: Shraddhanshu Shekhar
DHRITRASHRA: Jalil Bhai
GANDHARI: Sushma Navik/Mona Khobragade
KRITVERMA: Bhaskar Ukey
BALRAM: (Voice) Monu
SHADOW OF SHIVA: Kamal Kodle
EAGLE: Shraddhanshu Shekhar
Director : Manoj Sharma
Music : Ramesh Bel
Light : Somesh Bel
I had left the auditorium just after the show, without informing to anybody there. I did not go to Niketan for few days and when I went there after two weeks, I just said to Manoj Sharma “Main group chhod raha hu aur ab main nahi aaunga” (I’m leaving the group and I will never be back”. They kept me asking the reason and I left the Niketan forever. It was my last show with Niketan and Manoj Sharma.
Here are some lines I have taken from dialogues of the play, I feel inspirational:
भय है, तो ज्ञान है अधूरा अभी । ज्ञान जो समर्पित नहीं है, अधूरा है ।
अज्ञानि, भय डूबे, साधारण लोगों से यह तो मिलता ही है सदा उन्हें , जो कि एक साधारण परिपाटी से होकर पृथक, अपना पथ अपने आप निर्धारित करते हैं ।
जब कोई भी मनुष्य अनासक्त होकर चुनौती देता है इतिहास को, उस दिन नक्षत्रों की दिशा बदल जाती है । नियति नहीं है पूर्वनिर्धारित, उसको हर क्षण मानव-निर्णय बनाता मिटाता है ।
वर्तमान से स्वतंत्र कोई भविष्य नहीं। ..अब भी समय है । हर क्षण इतिहास बदलने का क्षण होता है ।
केवल कर्म सत्य है । मानव जो करता है इस समय, उसी में निहित है भविष्य युग युग तक का।
…इसीलिए उसने कहा, “अर्जुन उठाओ शस्त्र । विगतज्वर युद्ध करो ।”
निष्क्रियता नहीं, आचरण में ही मानव-अस्तित्व की सार्थकता है ।
इसीलिए साहस से कहता हूं, नियति है हमारी बंधी प्रभु के मरण से नहीं, मानव – भविष्य से, परीक्षित के जीवन से । कैसे बचेगा वह? कैसे बचेगा वह??
निश्चय ही वे हैं भविष्य, किन्तु हाथ में तुम्हारे हैं । जिस क्षण चाहो उनको नष्ट करो । जिस क्षण चाहो, जीवन दो, जीवन लो ।
मर्यादा युक्त आचरण में, नित-नूतन सृजन में, निर्भयता के, साहस के, ममता के, रस के, क्षण में जीवित और सक्रिय हो उठूंगा मैं बार बार ।
मैं हूं परात्पर । जो कहता हूं, करो । सत्य जीतेगा । मुझसे लो सत्य, मत डरो ।
इसको तुम मानो एक नए सत्य की उदय-वेला ।