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Natkhat Rangeelay variety show connects roots and gives wings to children

By Shilpa Agrawal
December 2013
Natkhat Rangeelay variety show connects roots and gives wings to children


Priyanka Menon performs tabla during the November Natkhat Rangeelay 2 program.

There are two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children: roots and wings. Natkhat Rangshala, Sandhya and Anil Bhagat's acting school in Duluth, connects kids of the South Asian diaspora to their roots and cultural heritage, along with giving them wings of confidence and expression. Its annual show, “Natkhat Rangeelay 2,” presented a truckload of entertainment on November 10, 2013 at Fusion Event Hall, Atlanta.

The untiring efforts of children aged 6-16 blossomed in fruity colors as they decorated the stage with their performances. Kids also managed, and organized the event and got the extra perk of learning teamwork and team spirit: 12-year-old Tanishq Jain managed the ticket counter, Saurabh Sharma (aged 14) explored the budding photographer in himself, effervescent Eshaan Jain (9) and Hema Jain confidently mastered the ceremony, and a wonderful team of enthusiastic children danced, sang, and acted to change hours into minutes and minutes into seconds to make the time smoothly flow by.



Superheroes: Arjun Mongia, Tarun Rajpurohit, Kabir Mongia, Manav Bhatia, Amolica Rajpurohit. (Photo: Saurabh Sharma)

Theater: A small skit “Kanjooso ki Nagri” meaning “a town of misers” threw the audience into a fit of laughter as the miser family members brought to life on stage by Hana Dalwai and Manika Bhatia created silly situations in their efforts to save money. Malkin and Naukrani, played by Hana Dalwai and Manika Bhatia, showed how the world of a comical mistress and servant go topsy-turvy when roles change. The audience remembered childhood days as kids revived a popular parody from Bollywood movie Mr. India. “Sabse Taakatvar Kaun,” a satire on the modern trend of superheroes, illustrated the thought that Lord Hanuman in his modern avatar of Hanu-Man is the strongest; Arjun Mongia played Hanu-Man, and Tarun Rajpurohit, Manav Bhatia, Kabir Mongia, and Amolika Rajpurohit acted as popular superheroes. Hana Dalwai, Manika Bhatia, and Manav Bhatia presented a mime bringing out petty things that bother teenagers.



Sonal Sharma and Saumya Khanna dancing to “Jiya Re.” (Photo: Saurabh Sharma)

Songs and Music: Rachita Iyer sang “Bachche man ke sachche, saaee jag ki aankh ke taare” beautifully, absolutely befitting the occasion. Talents like Priyanka Menon, a budding Zakir Hussain, gave us a hope that Indian classical instruments will test the waters of time and distance and will be immortal.

Dances: Manasvi Ramanna Reddy had the audience tapping their feet and humming the song as she danced gracefully on the tunes of “Barso re Megha.” Saumya Khanna and Sonal Sharma danced with agility and grace on “Jiya Re,” choreographed by Tarana Malik.



Above: The full team! (Photo: Saurabh Sharma)

Website Bonus Feature

Natkhat Rangshala, Published on Aug 17, 2013
Supporters include Dr. Jagdish Aggarwal, Shakher Bishnoie, Venkat Gaddam, Chitwan Mongia, Paresh Jain, Edward, Smita Shrivastav, Anil Bhagat, Kartikay Bhagat, Neeraj Mongia, Sasi Vallolil, Shankar Mahadevan, Gandharv Bhagat, Neeraj Mongia and many more.
TV coverage: Anjali Chhabria and Anwar Ajmeri from TV Asia.

After the drama group Dhoop Chaoon became popular in the Atlanta South Asian cultural activity scene, founders Sandhya and Anil Bhagat began working on Natkhat Rangshala. Its annual presentation is beautifully called "Natkhat Rangeelay." It uses an innovative concept of learning spoken Hindi-Urdu language through playful activities like theatre, quizzes, puzzles, dances, poetry, and tongue twisters alongside casual conversation while learning other crafts in a friendly atmosphere. It is supported by Dr. Nazneen and Shameem Dalwai. Natkhat Rangshala's new session begins in January 2014. Please contact Sandhya Bhagat at 770-680-1770 or 404-585-7247 or email natkhat.rangshala@gmail.com. For more details visit www.dhoopchaoon.org.

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