mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Tevye is coming to town!

In Ruminations and rants on November 25, 2007 at 11:31 am

Tevye and Daughters

For reasons beyond my understanding, there is a severe lack of good theatre in Delhi. In case you didn’t know – Delhi is home to the National School of Drama (NSD), the premier institute for dramatics in the country.

Bombay and Calcutta (or whatever they are calling them these days) have a strong theatre scene despite the competition from equally great regional cinema. Good Hindi movies are rare (unless you go back to the 70’s) and good Hindi theatre even more so. There is also a dearth of original playwriting in Hindi (and maybe the audience or lack of, is to blame) and most of the plays that I have seen have been translations from other regional languages or, more commonly, from English.

As a teenager I regularly got to watch plays, both in Hindi and English, produced by the dramatics society of the students of IITD. Some of them were directed by the noted theatre personality Faizal Alkazi; everything from the music to the set design and performances, was very professional. That is where my love for theatre began.

At around 17 years of age, I found myself a wonderful book at the library – An Introduction to Drama – that started with Sophocle’s Antigone in the ‘Tragedies’ section. I read original Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet!) for the first time and understood what the hulabaloo was all about; Henrik Ibsen’s famous A Doll’s House and wondered about Nora; Moliere’s farce, The School for Wives, had me smiling; Beckett’s Waiting for Godot was beyond my years (that’s my excuse anyway).

In those days even Doordarshan used to broadcast occasional plays – two that have stayed in my memory are Ashad Ka Ek Din (One Monsoon Day), and Adhe Adhure (The Fragmented), both written by Mohan Rakesh. Students and alumni of NSD made up the cast of these memorable plays; if I remember correctly (it was a good twenty years ago!), it was Surekha Sikri and Manohar Singh who were in the lead roles in Adhe Adhure.

Fiddler on the Roof

Here’s the good news. Next month Dramatech, the 25 year old amateur theatre group of students and alumni of IITD, is presenting a Hindi translation of the old classic, Fiddler on the Roof. I am looking forward to getting the winter theatre season off to a good start. I am taking my son along (he’s not keen after hearing it is a musical) – about time he saw some good theatre.

Fiddler on the Roof is set in 1910 Ukraine, in a Jewish village. Dramatech’s production has Hindi lyrics set to the original music by Jerry Bock. The translation (including the lyrics) and direction are by Ravi Raj Sagar.

To book tickets e-mail dramatech[at]rediffmail[dot]com. There are arrangements for e-ticket delivery, or you may arrange to pick up your tickets at a convenient place near you. See you there!

Fiddler on the Roof (in Hindi)
Venue: Sri Ram Center,
Mandi House
Show Dates: Dec 8, 9, 15, and 16
Show Time: 6:45 pm

(Images courtesy Dramatech)

  1. That’s an awesome musical…I’ve only seen the film version, but the music is so memorable…especially so after Gwen Stefani resurrected If I Were a Rich Man a few years ago in the discos. Aside from that, I’ll have you know that all of this talk is making me crave matzo balls, a bagel, and some cream cheese…so where’s the recipe?!!πŸ˜‰

    he, he…you want an authentic Jewish bagel? I have just the recipe for you! And here’s some cream cheese spread too! Covered, already!

    I caught bits of the film recently on TV.

  2. …and butter popcorn.

    IIT-D, eh? I’ve heard the campus is beautiful.

    And, yes, where’s the recipe? You cannot do this, you know! It’s my prerogative. You’re seriously encroaching on my territory now!

    TLO leads…and we, ordinary mortals, follow…

  3. That is such a touching musical (have only seen the film though). I sooo miss the theatre scene in Bombay (English and Marathi theatre; don’t remember seeing much Hindi theatre ever in my life except for some incredible street plays in college).

    I bet you do – Bombay does have such an active theatre scene. If only Delhi could have had half that…

  4. Awesome! This is really something to look forward to. The music is great! Hope you and your son have a good timeπŸ™‚ and yes, despite NSD, Delhi feels theater deprived!!

    Sometimes I feel even Chandigarh has a more active theatre scene!

  5. Hey! Just read about the earthquake in Delhi. All well?

    All’s well – thanks for checking. It did wake me up as the bed shook and things rattled…I checked to see if there was someone in the room…mercifully, it was no burglar, just a mild earthqauke (4.3 magnitude).

  6. Will see if we can make it to the 15th show… out the earlier weekend.πŸ™‚

    And interested in receiving a mystery ingredient from me? The Indian surprise chain?

    Book right away.
    Mystery ingredient – yes, absolutely!

  7. Done dealπŸ™‚

  8. Hi! I have been reading your blog for a while and wondered if you have any recipes that use fresh fenugreek/methi that you would share. I have never ever seen it fresh in our stores and yesterday, there it was staring back at me, so I had to buy it, now to use it!

    Yes, it’s methi season here as well…check your mail!
    If in an indulgent mood you can make methi-poori (scroll down to suggested variations)!

  9. Ooooh..fresh methi! It’s a rarity here too…alu methi…er…methi wale alu..or is it alu wale methi? Oh, I forget! Taters with methi-greens. Terribly delicious!πŸ™‚

    Yes, alu-methi (that’s the recipe I sent Ginger!). Ever made it with tiny new potatoes? Best, and so easy!

  10. Is everyone on India time today er…tonight?!

  11. The two of you keep the craziest hours!

  12. Oh, she’ll love that one I’m sure! Was it an Uttari Pradeshi recipe?πŸ˜€ Baby new potatoes…oh, how those just melt in the mouth! I have some blue ones…possibly…I should check to see if they’re still edible before I say that, but no methi! I just checked at the grocer an hour ago.😦 But I do have some beet-greens!

    Beet greens with potatoes, yes – brothy perhaps…but methi-aloo is in its own league.

    There is another way to cook (bigger) baby new potatoes: see, how they are difficult to peel and being small even more so? Just smash them with the stone (on the sill with the battaπŸ˜€ , or using a pestle…) so they are shattered but not mushed, and then use either rai-heeng-haldi for a Maharashtrian take or zeera-hing-haldi-lal mirch for the north Indian (UP-Punjabi) version. Makes quick work of preparing the potatoes!

  13. I love good theatre, unfortunately we don’t get that here.

    Hope you have a great time.

    …not that we are spoiled for choice here in Delhi!

  14. Anita, how are you doing, heard in the news about the earthquake in Delhi. Take Care

    All’s wellπŸ™‚ – thanks for your concern.

  15. I shall try to come too! Thx for the infoπŸ™‚

    It will be great if you can!

  16. Smash ’em on the sill? Oh, I’d love to try that but my mother wouldn’t be pleased when she’d try to open the window, but it does sound like fun! Are you sure it was an earthquake? Or is it just new-potato season in delhi?πŸ˜€ I’d love to stay and chat about a similar method for chana jor garam, but I’m nearly on my way out the door…

    Yes…that is the exact spicing I use for my alu-methi- you just can’t go wrong with the cumin-turmeric-asafoetida-red chilE combo! I love UP food, now that you’ve taught me how to recognize some of these dishes that I’ve been making all these years, but I’ll try the Maharashtrian spicing sometime. I’ve been overdosing on potatoes lately, I say!

    You say chili, I say chilli, let’s call the whole thing off…!πŸ˜†

    What, you overdosing on potatoes? Sleeping at work are ya?

  17. Oh, mashed affect me the worst! One hour after having some and I’m nodding. I say “no” to seconds of them nowadays.

    Hold on there Miss Billie Holiday! I didn’t say “chili”…. LOL

    ChilE-chilli…whatever…we can still call the whole thing offπŸ˜†

  18. Thanks for posting that….havent ever seen Hindi theatre before what with being in Mumbai first and then Madras….good time to start now

    I have been making the most of being in Delhi, while there might not be enough theatre, the music scene is fab! went to a Jazz evening last month at Garden of Five senses and then the Jazz yatra the past weekend ,managed to go on all three days and it was amazing stuff. Next week Sascha – The Lady Miles of Jazz is playing at Sathya sai auditorium and Im hoping to make it

  19. I have been to a few plays in Delhi. My brother is a big theatre fan & he often takes me there. I really enjoy them a lot. N sometimes wonder, how much fun it would be rehearsing & preparing – right??

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