Pankhu: A Garhwali Drama about Dilemma of Mismatched Marriage
(Review of ‘Pankhu’ a Garhwali stage Play)
(Notes on Garhwali dramas, Kumauni Dramas, Uttarakhandi Dramas, Himalayan Dramas)
The resident of Tihri Riyasat Shemiar established a ‘Shemiar Dramatic Club’ in Tihri on 17th October 1917. He built a drama hall in 1921. Most the officers of Tihri court were the members of this club. This club used to exhibit Parsi styled dramas in Urdu/Hindustani. Dr Sudhrani claims that ‘Pankhu’ a second drama in Garhwali was staged in Shemiar dramatic club hall in 1917. However, Dr. Anil Dabral claims that ‘Pankhu’ was staged first time in 1932 written by ‘char mitr sukhak’ (four friends –Pundit Satya Prasad Raturi, Devi Datt Nautiyal, Vidya Lal Nautiyal and Medhkar Nautiyal). Vijay Ram Raturi wrote songs for the drama.
Dr Anil seems to be more appropriate about date of staging. . Raturi performed as ‘Parma and Medhakar Nautiyal performed ‘Pankhu’ in the drama. Satya Prasad Raturi published the book in 1938 from Dehradun in 1938. Himalaya Press Muni ki Reti published second edition in 1955 and great historian Dr Shiv Prasad Dabral published its third edition in 1995 from veer gatha Press, Dugadda, Pauri Garhwal with an introductory note. The story of ‘Pankhu’ is the mirror of Garhwal of that period. However, the emotional presentation of the drama is forever.
The story is about a young girl ‘Pakhu’ was married to an old aged widower. She had a one minute romance before marriage with Parma in a jungle. When Pankhu is married, the drama opens many secrets of human psychology due to mismatch marriage. There is need of emotional love, need of physical satisfaction for a young woman, there is need of sharing with equal terms between husband and wife and there is frustration and fear of a old person due to his beautiful young wife in ‘Pankhu’ drama’. The dramatists have been successful in showing the deep love between active age’s persons with the help of songs on background.
The dialogues are from the society and are common today too. Father of ‘Pankhu’ wants to take more money for his daughter from old man who wishes to marry her and there is conversation as if ‘Pankhu’ was not a human but a she goat-
Barmi (later who becomes Pankhu’s husband)- pandra sau t tum kami mangadan? Aji pandra sau ma t hondu kano aur kano . sau aathek ma t kwee bi lee java.
Balkhu(Pankhu’s father)- t jan dya tum ni deen t …
The above conversation style still exist in Garhwal at the time of selling-purchasing of a domestic animals or field etc. The language in the conversation is perfect as per the situation and as per the character.
The duologues are helpful in creating characters of the role players in the drama.
The dramatists have been successful in showing the emotions by dialogues and the background activities of the role players as making patbedi (a Garhwali cigar), blowing Hukka, going to fair etc.
‘Pankhu’ had been a stepping stone in developing modern Garhwali drama tradition.
1-Dr Anil Dabral, Garhwali Gady Parampara
2-Abodh Bandhu Bahuguna, Gad Myateki Ganga
3-Dr Sudharani, Garhwali Rangmanch
4-Drama special issue of Chitthi Patri magazine
5-Dr Shiv Prasad Dabral, introductory notes of Pankhu’
Copyright@ Bhishm Kukreti
Notes on Garhwali Dramas, Kumauni Dramas, Uttarakhandi Dramas, Himalayan Dramas to be continued …..