Westwood Horizon

Two Westwood Parents Feature in Local Play About Societal Issues

By Dia Jain, Reporter

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All of the cast members and the director, Rohan Joseph, stands before the audience at the end of the play while the audience claps.

Intriguing, astonishing, and impactful barely begin to describe the fantastic play that two Westwood parents, Mr. Manoj Jain and Ms. Asmita Kashikar, starred in. A local play, Khamosh! Adaalat Jaari Hai (Silence! The court is in session!), was presented on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Hyde Park Theater. Mr. Jain played Mr. Kashikar, the judge, in the play and Ms. Kashikar played the judge’s wife.

The play was entirely in Hindi and was presented by the organization, RangaMancha. Directed by Rohan Joseph, the play is an adaptation of the play written in Marathi by Vijay Tendulkar in 1963. The main character was Leela Benare, played by Prajakta Naravane, who was fantastic, and even moved the audience to tears with some of her more powerful dialogue. Some lines that Ms. Naravane delivered were so moving that Mr. Jain felt it was difficult to react as his male chauvinist character. Tanuj Potra played Sukhatme, the lawyer, and did a fantastic job interrogating the rest of the characters with his powerful voice and strong acting. Ashish Jain played Raghu Samant, Harsh Joshi played G. N. Hegde, Gajanan Paranjape played Karnik, and Anuj Dixit played Balu Rokade, each giving their individual characters a unique personality that entertained and amazed the audience. Many cast members sacrificed time spent at home with their family and had to balance their practices with their busy work schedule. They have been practicing since Sept. 11 and met to practice four days a week. Their family members were incredibly proud of the work they put in and the audience could tell how much time went into the play.

“My mom put a lot of effort into it. Even when she was at home, she was constantly practicing her lines. She was fabulous. I’m so proud of her,” Anaya Kashikar ‘21 said.

The play is about a group of social workers that are scheduled to perform a play about a court trial in a remote village. A local resident has to replace a missing cast member leading the group to perform a mock trial to acquaint him with court procedures. Their mock trial is of infanticide against one of their members, Leela Benare. This fake play goes downhill and turns into a verbal attack of Benare when a secret is revealed about her. The play addresses the double standard of society on women in the issue of abortion and pregnancy before marriage in a remarkable way and impressed the audience.

“I think this issue is still very relevant and it makes a big difference, making you think a little more in introspect. These kinds of issues are everywhere and it’s very important to know what the issues really are. I think it’s really cool that [students] can see this play and learn from it,” Ms. Kashikar said.

For the opening night of the play, the cast members felt that it went very well; the tickets sold out and the audience was hooked on every second of it. Though some lines and jokes were missed, the audience couldn’t tell and they enjoyed the play a lot.

“The play addresses abortion in such a way that adds comedy and seriousness to the overall tone. It also takes a big issue from the world and puts it into perspective,” Dhruv Pant ‘22 said. “In Indian culture, only women were looked down on if they got pregnant before marriage and this play shows the aftermath of an event like that. They did a really good job showing this.”

Although the subject matter of the play is heavy, the director managed to incorporate humor, lightening the play. Mr. Jain and Ms. Kashikar had lots of fun banter between them, entertaining the audience.

“I didn’t expect to laugh as much as I did. I couldn’t stop laughing at one point,” one audience member said.

While some members had a lot of experience in acting, for others, this play was their first time and they delivered their role wonderfully. Ms. Kashikar has loved acting ever since she was in fifth grade, and Mr. Jain had experimented with acting in high school and had acted in RanghaMancha’s play last year.

“I’ve always loved acting. It’s fun and helps you relax allowing you to get your mind off of the daily grind,” Mr. Jain said.

Overall, the play was exceptionally delivered and addressed a serious topic in a great way. The following shows are Nov. 10, Nov. 11, and Nov. 17. The play starts  at 3:00 p.m. and the doors open at 2:45 p.m. They run for approximately two and a half hours, with an intermission in the middle serving complimentary snacks. To watch the play, you must be 15 years or older. Tickets are $25 and can be bought here.

About the Contributor
Dia Jain, Reporter

I'm excited to start my first year on Student Press as a sophomore. Outside of Student Press, I enjoy...

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Two Westwood Parents Feature in Local Play About Societal Issues”

  1. Manoj Jain on November 7th, 2018 2:54 pm

    Well written and nicely captured the experience of the play and its message … so proud of you 🙂

  2. Sujata Gadre on November 9th, 2018 9:37 am

    Very nicely wriiten Dia . Great job.

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