“Since civilizations art has been a great means of presentation of human thoughts. Great painters, poets, musicians used art as a medium to bring positive changes.”
Okay take it easy! These lines were only to create an ambience and this story is not about any great thinker, writer, poet. It is about a crazy guy. A guy who believes in himself, who knows his voice can cause your nervous breakdown but he sings and he sings loudly only because he doesn’t care about what you think. My friend Akram Feroze is a twenty two year old young theater artist from Hyderabad who has written directed and enacted Monologues like “An Interview with God” , Ek tha Raja-A story of a child labour .
He is now on a new mission to take theater back to the common man of India from where it actually originated . And to do so he has taken a daring step of a cycle journey around the country covering almost every part of India from Kanyakumari to Delhi and Ahmedabad to Imphal. He is already cycling for a month now and has travelled to Kurnool, Mehboobnagar, Chikballapur, and Anantpur among several other villages and has now reached Bangalore. He stays in villages, performs with the people, shares their food and travels …. He calls it “The Cycle Natak”.
Before a couple of decades traditional moving theaters existed in India and were called Natak Mandlis. Along with the growing popularity of TV and other media these Mandlis slowly lost their popularity and are lost themselves somewhere now. Maybe you can find very few left in interiors of Bihar and UP. On the other hand modern theater is reaching a different level. But theater is not only about entertainment it is also about writing new stories, keeping old ones alive and above all it is about living different stories in your own life. Cycle Natak is trying to bridge new trends in theater along with the old Mandli style Natak to regenerate interest of people towards the art.
This cycle journey is planned to move from Hyderabad to Vizag, Banglore, Chennai, Pondicherry, Kanyakumari, Trivanthapuram, Mysore, Manglore, Udipi, Panaji, Pune, Mumbai, Surat, GandhiNagar, Ahmedabad, Indore, Bhopal, Jaipur, Guragoun, Delhi, Panipet, Chandhighar, Shimla, Dehradun, Lucknow, Varnasi, Patna, Darjeeling, Kohima, Itanagar, Dispur, Imphal, Agartala, Kuch Bihar, Barahampur, Kolkotta, Dhanbad, Ranchi, Bhunweshwar, Bilaspur, Datenwada, Karimnagar and then back to Hyderabad.
I have mentioned names of only the major cities in the route. The real target are the villages and towns on the way. In the process Akram is also spreading awareness about the theater through talks with students in colleges, panel discussions, lectures etc.
No doubt this mad guy deserves a salute for such brave step to make theater accessible again for common man of India.