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Dhoop Chaoon’s 10th anniversary show sparkles

By Shabana Sayeed
July 2017
Dhoop Chaoon’s 10th anniversary show sparkles


(Photo: Puneet Bhatnagar)

Atlanta once again brimmed with joy when Dhoop Chaoon, an Atlanta-based Hindi theatre group, came up with their marvelous 10th anniversary show on May 20, 2017.

Dhoop Chaoon grandly reached its 10th year holding the hands of Mrs. Sandhya Bhagat and Mr. Anil Bhagat, with its opulent success not from money, but from the hearty participation by its members. From every edge of the world, people are welcomed, and all members share a substantial bond of kinship. This trait makes Dhoop Chaoon an epitome of culture. While this group is a lay person’s gallery filled with opportunities for learning and exposure, it is also a broad arena for the experienced actor sharpening inner talents.

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(​Left) Director Sandhya Bhagat, emcee Aslam Parvez, Consul D. V. Singh, and Consul General Nagesh Singh. (Photo: Puneet Bhatnagar)

The 10th anniversary show, bedizened with both traditional and contemporary sensibilities, was a big hit with more than 400 people (including cast and crew). Messages of love, unity, and fraternity, prevalent in Indian culture, were delivered. At the beginning, emcee Aslam Parvez uplifted the audience by iterating the group’s past attainments in his elegant voice. When his co-anchor Renu Thapliyal joined him on stage, the show bloomed as a visual delight. Chief guest Consul General Nagesh Singh with Consul D. V. Singh and others were felicitated, and once they spread their best wishes towards the group, the performances took place one by one.

Dastangoi: Sharandata” was an act presented through the story-telling method which is almost lost in today’s world. Story writer Sachidanand Vatsyan Agey and participants Sachin Bapat, Abhinav, Darshana, Anubhuti, Akanksha Rajpal, and Satish Dharamarajan along with director Sandhya Bhagat were fantastic. Set in the backdrop of India-Pakistan partition, this play evokes the turbulence of the period and the emotional topsy-turvy experienced by both Hindus and Muslims. The terrors of partition are exposed through two friends, one Hindu and another Muslim. Devinder Lal seeks refuge in his Muslim friend Rafeequddin’s house. His anxiety and agitation, helplessness and confusion are evident.

The second performance, a dazzling one, was a tribute to the living legend of Bollywood Madhuri Dixit. Just after the serious play, this dance by Renu Thapliyal was a catharsis to the audience by releasing the tragic tension. Renu illustrated many of the legend’s songs through her lively and enthralling gestures on stage.

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(Photo: Puneet Bhatnagar)

To keep up the spirit of diversity, a parody was presented next. “Gadbad Ghotala” (“A Scandal of Confusions”), a light hearted but thoughtful presentation, grabbed the audience’s attention by bringing up the significance of different languages spoken in India and the importance of learning the national language Hindi. The play showed the unique quality of India: ‘unity in diversity.’ Actors were Arpana Purani, Veena Katdare, Paresh Jain, Madhav Katdare, Aakanksha Patangay, Anjali Chhabria, Vicky Adhikari, Aruna Vinod, Meenakshi Mehta, Renu Kumar, and Suparna Pathak.

In the whole event, even the break got much importance not only because it served some luscious dishes, but because the break itself was the launching ground for the next performance, “Namoozi Kharboozi aur Tota” (“The Knickknacks and the Parrot”), a comic play, originally written by K. P. Saxena. All the actors, Nida Pawar Shariff, Nomana Khan, Nidhi Mishra, Rozina Gilani, Nidhi Pipal, Navin Gurnaney, Jayesh Jhurani, Aloke Sharma, and Sarfraz Khan, with their gorgeous costumes, presented the first scene in the cafeteria and the rest of the play on the auditorium stage. This was a new yet enchanting approach prescribed by director Sandhya Bhagat and needless to say, enjoyed by all.

Soon after, “Dhoop Chaoon Ka Mukabla” (“Dhoop Chaoon’s Competition”) was conducted in which some talented actors participated: Jayesh Jhurani, Shree Vora, Sachin Bapat, Kamlesh Chugh, Nidhi Mishra, Aloke Sharma, Aakanksha Patangay, Satish Dharamrajan, and Darshana Kaur. Each one uttered monologues written by themselves—a great opportunity to showcase their talents.

The program went to its final steps with a Bollywood dance. A group of thirteen people (Vikas Jain, Neetu Sharma, Renu Kumar, Aarti Lunawat, Shabana Sayeed, Shree Vora, Vyoma Gupta, Aruna Vinod, Tarana Vij, Nidhi Pipal, Moiez Hussian, Manjari Hegde, and Varsha Gupta) enthralled the audience with their garba. While the original garba from Gujarat, India involves spirituality and honors the divine, the dance in this program was a beautiful fusion of ancient and modern. The song in the Bollywood movie Ramleela played an important role, illustrating the moment of excited whirling on the part of a woman waiting for her lover to arrive, and in a juncture of crisis they are blended into one. This spectacular garba seasoned with Dhoop Chhaoon’s Bollywood touch was indeed a treat for the eyes.

Director Sandhya Bhagat gave a closing speech, and the winners of the competition were recognized. Mrs. Bhagat thanked all and called participants and volunteers onstage in a beautiful kaleidoscope. Once again Atlanta was gifted a culturally rich landscape. Undoubtedly, this successful show was an embodiment of hard work, nobility, and courage.

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(Photo: Puneet Bhatnagar)

Website Bonus Feature

Satish's monologue at Dhoop Chaoon 2017
By Vidya Parameswaran
Published on May 20, 2017
Category: Comedy

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(Photo: Puneet Bhatnagar)

Recognition came for the people who had helped in the whole program to make it a hit by their precious presence, continuous support, and hard work.
Moiez, Aloke, Vicky, Hafeez, and VijayTandon helped in the stage setting.
Ekta Narula Sethi, Madhav Katdare, Bimal Pathak, Nitu Chauhan, Navin Tyagi, Shankar Mahadevan were for other backstage help.
Anil Bhagat and Gandharv Bhagat were the key persons for the brochure, and the front desk was managed by Meenakshi Iyer, Rachita Iyer, Shiwali Dariyapurkar, Vinita Goyal, and Raj Vora.
Food volunteers were Sanjeev Aggarwal and Pawandeep Singh.
Stalls were handled by Kartikay Bhagat.
The beautiful music slide show was performed by Jayesh Jurani, Abhinav Deharia.
While Ravi Gupta took care of the lights, Talat Alvi and Shresha did makeup beautifully for each participant.
The program was captured in camera by Puneet Bhatnagar and Tracy Marshall.
Rahim Hussian (Guru) was the choreographer for the dance.
Special thanks to the staff of Berkmar High School, Ms. Gloria, Ms. Bianca, and Mr. Jean, and
last but not the least, Jayshree Baveja and Giri Coneti played all the promo voices.

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