Border tales have always been poignant stories of emotional turmoil and psychological upheavel. Since ages, we have been hearing about the tragedy of partition and what it did to millions of people across the border. Much has been written on the despair and frustration of giving up one’s home for the political whims of our leader worldwide, many stories have been enacted on the sad tales of lost love and ruined lives but Le Chayim Theatre Productions’ latest offering tries to play it up differently.
Written by London-based Kieran Lynn, and directed by Himanshu Sitlani, An Incident At The Border is an ‘absurdist comedy’, according to the makers. The story goes like this: When a country’s new border is drawn, a couple is divided by the line.
Under the rigorous eyes of a brand new border guard, they are trapped in an increasingly absurd nightmare, stuck in between two aggressive nations on the verge of war. A comic new play explores the imaginary lines that divide us and the severe penalties for breaking them. Now, the two lovers find themselves on opposite sides of a newly created border. Which side does the romance go to?
Sitlani is no stranger to identity crisis. Being an Indian living in Kuwait, the theatre artiste had to leave his then country due to first Gulf War. “I am now based in Canada. And this whole border and boundaries seem a bit funny to me. At the end of the day, it is just a piece of land. The land which has been segregated into borders due to political whims,” he says. His debut directorial work will show how lives change just by drawing a line on a piece of land.
The play, which will premiere tomorrow at Prithvi Theatre, comprises Divyang Thakkar, Divya Unny and Dhruv Louhmi in the lead roles. The three protagonists too relate with the subject.
“Border symbolises different thing to different people. It is very personal thing. Just drawing a line on land wont change hearts,” says Divyang. Dhruv comes from an Army background and hence has seen many ‘borders’ in his life. “Sometimes it is amusing to see people fighting over these things. But deep down it is sad that people have to let go of so many things close to them and settle in absolutely different environment,” he adds. Geography not only affects physical conditions, it has huge impact on our psyche.
“The play is symbolic. This can happen to anybody, anywhere in the world. It tries to find humour in this painful story of separation and confusion,” says Divya.
“How and who does decide which part of land belongs to which side. With all these questions I stumbled across this play and just felt it’s a story I’d like to say. With the recent Telangana issue, it suddenly gave us a very local and real connection to our play,” adds Himanshu.