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Locally Produced Hindi Comedy a Hit

June 2003
Locally Produced Hindi Comedy a Hit

The Fairy Tale Ballabhpur ("Ballabhpur Ki Roopkatha"), a full-length Hindi play, was staged at the IACA auditorium in Smyrna on May 2nd, 3rd and 4th. It was written by the famous Bangla playwright Badal Sarkar, and was presented by our local talent in Atlanta. It is a rib-tickling comedy about a pauper prince, who has trained as a dentist and wants to own his own practice. Since he has no money, his only hope is to sell his 400-year-old palace, which is in a dilapidated state. He finds a potential buyer in an eccentric businessman, who comes over with his wife and daughter to see the palace. Along with his servant, friend and local merchants, the prince tries to make an impression with fake pomp and royal style. Another secret is that the palace is haunted! The spirit of Raghuda, the prince's ancestor, still lingers in the palace. The play takes the audience through the twists and turns of a typical fairy tale, with hilarious situations involving cover-ups, pretenses, misunderstanding and allegations. In the end, all is well when the truth is revealed and Raghuda is finally liberated. The prince and princess are happily reunited.

The play was produced and directed by Anuraag Misraraj. With period costumes and an elaborate set design, the play stayed authentic to the Indian milieu and ethos. Music, lighting and special effects added to the effectiveness of the play and provided a rich tapestry of experience for the audience. It's interesting to note that the actors came from all corners of the Indian subcontinent, truly representing the its rich cultural diversity. The audience generously applauded the performance, and many people said that they would love to see more such productions in the future.

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