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Unformatted text preview: MEANINGS OF THE REVOLUTION: LANGUAGE IN THE STiuET PLAYs OF THE JANA NATYA MANcH-- /A rju n G hosh ,) (Ajun Ghosh teaches in Shivafi College, Delhi University. His Ph. D. is on street theatre. He is a member of Jana Naya Manch.) One by one 5 actors come to the centre of the acting arena in a rhythm. In a mechanical style, while produdng mechanical noies with thetr voice, they move their hands and legs they enact a machine. After runnilg for a while the machine stops in rhythm. Sutradhar: Ji haan; yeh hai machine! Lohe ki machine! Karkhane ki machine, machine ka hai ek malik aur bahut se purze, yani ki mazdoor. Din-bhar chalti hai aur raat ko bhi. Deti hai bahut kuchh ek ke baad ek, lagataar tarah tarah ka saman, tarah-tarah ki araishein. Ham na bahut khub. ... zara gaur se dekhiye agar ek purza na chale to dusra band, aur dusra na chafe to tisra khamosh. Isliye to kaam karte ham saath saath, aur rahte ham saath saath malik aur mazdoor, goonde aur majboor; aur batayoon kalihu aur ganna, thakur aur harijanna, saath saath, saath saath [Narrator: You are right; this is a Machine. A Machine made of iron. A Machine of the factory. The Machine has an owner, and has many parts, that is workers. The machine runs all day, and all night too. It produces a lot of things one after another, continuously various goods, different wares. Isnt it wonderful... Give it a close watch-. if one of the parts does not run then the next stops, and if the next does not work then the third falls silent. That is why they work together, and they stay together the owner and the worker, the goon and the helpless, and also the juicer and the sugarcane, the thakur and the harijan, together, together .11 First performed in October 1978, Machine was Jana Natya Manchs first street play. But more importantly it set the style which was going to by emulated by street theatre practitioners across India. It was a rhythmic, poetic prose in which most of the characters spoke in rhymes. What needs to be noted here is that the style which Jana Natya Manch (Janam) adopted for Machine was not one which was worked out with a lot of difficulty or effort. This was the first occasion when Janam produced its own script for a play. Till before the Emergency Janam performed proscenium plays with ready scripts. Though the script itself was written by Safdar Hashmi and Rakesh Sharma both young men who had no experience of writing plays the entire group of six actors discussed the play and contributed to the dialogues. The entire process took three days. The first show of Machine was at a trade union conference, where it received an absolutely overvhelming response from the delegates....
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- Fall '09