Saturday, October 20, 2007

Five People You Meet in Heaven

Date : October 18th, 2007
Directors : Mukul Malhotra & Khushboo Aggarwal
Production Managers
: Vivek Tiwari & Akash Agarwal
Playwright : Mukul Malhotra & Khushboo Aggarwal
: Stage Play
Type : Oasis Production

Cast :
Eddie: Chanakya Bhardwaj
Dead body: Sankalp Kathuria
Maintenance worker: Prateek Ranjan
Visitors: Neha Thakur, Akash Agarwal, Rachit Joshi, Kushal Agarwal, Prakhar Prabhakar
Blue Man: Dhananjai Gaur
Chorus: Prakhar Prabhakar , Rachit Joshi, Durba, Shubhangi Agarwal
Priest: Saharsh
At the funeral: Rashi, Pranay, Snehashish Sinha
Captain: Devansh
Behind the screen: Eddie – Rachit Joshi, Morton – Prakhar Prabhakar
Ruby: Niti Nayak
People in the party: Sankalp Kathuria, Khushboo Aggarwal, Palvi, Prateek Ranjan, Pranay, Shubhangi Agarwal
John(Dad): Prabhat Ranjan Singh
Flashback: John – Prakhar Prabhakar, Eddie – Rachit Joshi, Eddie’s mother – Divita Bhandari, Mickey: Anant Prakash
Wedding 1: Bride – Rashi Agarwal, Groom – Akash Agarwal
Wedding 2: Bride – Durba Kashyap, Groom – Kushal Agarwal, Guests – Saharsh , Rishabh Kalia
Wedding 3: Bride – Neha Thakur, Groom – Snehashish Sinha
Marguerite: Ajeytaa Agarwal
Tala: Sharad Varma

The Play :

You keep running trying to chase an unknown unseen dream. You run for so long that you lose track of time, your people, in fact your own life. And one day when you stop running you realize that dream, that purpose you had forever been looking for had always been there with you. This is the story told by the famous Mitch Albom book “The five people you meet in heaven” adapted into the award winning oasis play.

This is the story of 83 year old Eddie (Chanakya Bhardwaj), a maintenance worker at an amusement park called Ruby pier. A harsh childhood, his dad’s hatred towards him, a war that took away his leg, his wife’s death, all led him to believe that his life was of no good. He had aimed for big things but he could do no bigger than being “Eddie-maintenance” at Ruby pier.

In an attempt to save a little girl in an accident that occurred at the pier, Eddie lost his life. All Eddie could remember was that he was holding two little hands and then everything went dark, while the question remained unanswered: “could he save the little girl or was his death as futile as his life was?”

In his afterlife Eddie meets five people one by one who give a new meaning to his existence and teach him the greatest lessons he needed to learn. The first person Eddie meets in heaven is the blue man (Dhananjay Gaur), who through a musical tells Eddie how he had died while trying to save Eddie’s life when he was a boy. He teaches Eddie that he had died that day so that Eddie could live and hence no life is a waste. Eddie questions him about the little girl but he gets no answer. Next, Eddie finds himself in the war field where the Captain (Devansh), the second person brings back the war days to Eddie. The time when they killed their captors and just when it was time for them to run away Eddie chased a shadow in the hut he had put to fire. While his friends tried to convince him that there was no one in that hut, Eddie was adamant and that act led him to limp for the rest of his life.

Ruby (Niti Nayak), the third person after whom the pier was named told Eddie the truth about his dad and all that his mother had gone through. Eddie forgives his father and from there he is led into a world of weddings where Marguerite (Ajeytaa Agarwal), his wife is waiting for him. Being with Marguerite, Eddie realizes that although she had died their love was what had kept him going on all these years. Marguerite left too and while Eddie had repeatedly asked the four people he still didn’t know if he had saved the little girl. That is when Tala (Sharad Verma), a five year old girl enters. While Eddie stood there enchanted by her innocence, everything suddenly changed. All Eddie could see now was a burning hut and little Tala crying out for help as the flames approached her. She died in the hut. Shocked and overtaken by grief on realizing that Tala was the shadow Eddie had seen in the burning hut in the war days and he had killed her, Eddie lay there helpless. And that is when Tala answered the question. Eddie had saved that little girl while he died at the pier. She told him that his life wasn’t purposeless. He was there taking care of little children, making them smile, for Tala. And those two little hands, that was Tala leading Eddie into his heaven safely.

Eddie was finally at peace. As the sounds of the rides at Ruby pier and the laughter of children surrounded him, Eddie now knew what he had lived for.

The use of lights and sounds in the play, especially in the chorus, flashbacks, the weddings and the last scene made the play stand apart. Managing a cast of 25 people was a bit of a challenge initially but this blend of talented actors and over enthused first yearites made it turn out well for us. Also, Dhananjay who totally stole away the show with his juggling and that animated walk and Sharad who pulled off the last scene perfectly deserve a mention.

A special thanks to Pratyush and Kim for managing makeup so well at the last minute and also for their support and advice.

That day 19th of October is a landmark day for HDC. As oasis was coming to an end, 27 HDCites lifted the award for the best play. By the time Dhananjay was done with his victory bow on stage after receiving the best actor award, many were left overwhelmed. What followed at M-lawns is difficult to describe in words. As we sang the HDC anthem, added to that undying feeling of togetherness was a sense of victory. We thumped harder, we sang louder while everyone else in M-lawns looked on. Celebrations obviously didn’t end here. Undoubtedly, ‘Five people you meet in heaven’ was a dream come true for HDC.

Achievements :

Five People You Meet In Heaven won the Best Play Award. Dhananjai Gaur won the Best Actor award.

Gallery :

Coming Soon...

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Raheem Darediya said...

Great Work Guys! Tum logon ne sahi mein phod diya yaar.. :)

Keep HDC flag flying...

Bona said...

This is great info to know.