Winning has become more of a habit for EMoTICA, the dramatics club of the university. After bagging the second runner’s up position at RANGMANCH, the stage play competition at Spring Fest – IIT, Kharagpur, EMoTICA packed and left for NITRUTSAV, the cult-fest of NIT, Rourkela.
How convenient or inconvenient is it to have a drama rehearsal for a dramatics competition? EMoTICAns have time and again proved that no obstacle is too big to tackle. They have slept till 2am in the Vikramshila lawns of IIT, Kharagpur in the cold, till accommodation was provided. They have rehearsed for plays right in the middle of less-frequented roads, rolling and being dragged in the dust. They have skipped meals, trying to get the tone of their voice correct or to get that one dialogue right or to bring out the exact emotion that serves the purpose. They have had Italian rehearsals (a fast dialogue-after-dialogue kind of rehearsal), when they weren’t allowed to have a full-fledged rehearsal or to raise their voices while classes were going on. Scorching sun or not, they have learnt not to complain.
Perhaps this undaunted spirit is what won the team two prizes at NITRUTSAV.
NATYASHASTRA – the stage play competition of NITRUTSAV, was held on the afternoon of 7th of February. For the competition, EMoTICAns had prepared a stage play that showcased a few stigmas that still survive in the nooks and corners of the country. The play showed how ruthlessly the panchayat of a fictional village ‘Dheelapur’ dealt with a cattle-thief, a lesbian couple and a woman who was believed to be a witch. The daughter of the Sarpanch, a modern girl who had just returned from abroad after finishing her studies was shocked at the state of affairs back at her village and felt ashamed of being the daughter of the man who was instrumental in all that was wrong with the village. Her monologue towards the end of the play was pretty gripping and doled out the essence of the entire play. This character, played by Salini Panda, caught the attention of the judges and that of the audience as well. Again, the members of the Panchayat, played by Subham Biswal, Sar Buland, Abhishek Nayak and Debadatta Nayak delivered impressively in their acting, which involved some really good race of dialogues that got the audience awestruck and applauding. Freya Ray, who played the character of the witch, also put up a praiseworthy performance. All in all, the play impressed the judges enough to land the team the First Position in the NATYASHASTRA competition.
Right after NATYASHASTRA, the rest of Team EMoTICA geared up for NUKKAD, the street play competition of NITRUTSAV. The street play of EMoTICA was based on ‘WHISTLEBLOWERS’ (Whistleblowers are the people who expose the malpractices or corruption ongoing within an organization) and how they are treated in India. The play featured two whistleblowers – Paridhi Agarwal and Ashok Khemka. It began with a song ‘Bharat Junta Ki Jai’ and went on to introduce the unconventional topic to the judges and the audience. It proceeded to showcase how Paridhi Agarwal had been raped by a fraud ‘Babaji’ and his acquaintances for 4 years and then killed, as a punishment of going against him. The next scene was based on Ashok Khemka’s life – an IAS officer who exposed multiple scams and as a reward, had been transferred 45 times within a career of 23 years. The play ends on a grim note, as a mirror to what has been happening to brave-hearts like these, who are either killed or raped or simply transferred as an award for their services to their nation.
The street play involved some serious exchange of dialogues, a clear cut presentation of the whistleblower instances and a number of scenes that actually gave the audience goosebumps. It went on to earn Team EMoTICA the First Position again, in the NUKKAD competition.
Team EMoTICA has always proved the maxim – hard work always pays off and with their toil and sweat and perseverance, they have added more milestones to their path. Hopefully, there are more such victories in store for the dramatics club and its members.