Jameela Bai Kalaali

Play by Surnai

Director – K.K.Raina

Cast – Ila Arun, Rajit Kapur, K.K. Raina, Rajeshwari, Ravi Jhankal and Gurmit Mitwa.

It was staged as part of the October Fest at Rangashankara, Bangalore (15 Oct, 2006).

In the play, Jameela Bai (Ila Arun)  runs a nondescript bar, and all the men in the play frequent her bar. The play revolves around the mystery of disappearance of Chameli (Rajeshwari, who comes to the bar along with Rajit Kapur) after Chameli and Jameela spend a night together. What ensues is a tangled mix of reality and fantasy, when everyone invents their own versions of what might be the truth. Meanwhile Ila Arun explores the dynamics of gender conflicts. All in all, the play has a feminist undertone to it.

The performance was a great success. I am not completely satisfied with Rajeshwari’s performance as Chameli, she kept slipping out of her character. For some reason, today, Ila Arun didn’t have it in her either. But Rajat Kapur, Ravi Jhankal, Gurmit Mitwa and K.K. Raina did an outstanding job. It was a bliss  and a privilege to watch them today.


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