December, 2016

Meet Kirdaar- The S. T. A. G. E. for Ashoka

 By Sparsh Agarwal

The theatre society of Ashoka University, Kirdaar, is trying to break cliches and go beyond the ordinary in creating a legacy of a society that instils passion, commitment, enabling conversation and awareness through the medium of theatre.

Kirdaar believes in a central philosophy that each member reiterates. Kirdaar is not constituted by the best actors of the University, rather, these are a group of passionate theatre enthusiasts who are committed to the stage. Kirdaar tries channelling this commitment to not just participate and win competitive events but also to use theatre as a medium for the creation of awareness on issues. After a month of research and preparation, the Kirdaar team is going around various small villages in the Sonepat district to raise awareness about mental health. They are also in talks with NGOs and UN bodies for collaboration in spreading awareness with regard to the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender/Transsexual-Queer-Asexual  movement through the forum of theatre.

Kirdaar, created by a group of students from the Founding Undergraduate batch: Ribhav Dhingra, Arpit Kumbhat, Srishti Shrivastava and Sayali Pallikar with Narmada Vardarajan being the initial President and Founder.

Kirdaar, now a group of 60 students have made the Atrium of the University their very own everyday stage where you will see them practice from 10 to 11 pm beneath the Ashoka and Indian Flags. In a span of only three years, Kirdaar has started grabbing eyeballs and stumping minds across the nation. ‘Campus Diaries’, an online publication names Kirdaar as one of the top 10 Theatre societies in India one should know about. Famous acting agencies like ‘Actor Prepares’ have recognized the talent of members of Kirdaar who have been given scholarships as well.

In addition to using the Stage as a medium for awareness they also actively represent the University nationally in events, having won important accolades for Ashoka at Symbiosis Law School, Chitkara University’s National Theatre Festival, Jindal Global University’s Biswamil, National Institute of Technology Kurukshetra and BITS Goa.

Kirdaar performing their street play at a college festival

Kirdaar performing their street play at a college festival

Divyaj Sharma (UG Batch of 19) interestingly lists the two governing rules of Kirdaar. The first reflecting the liberty that the Kirdaar members take in their act and the second which speaks for itself, “Rule number one is that any and all verbatim is allowed and rule number 2 is that Kirdaar is the biggest commitment in Ashoka University”.

Students who are a part of Kirdaar have gone beyond just performing on the stage. They have created an eager audience for their brilliant Nukkad Natak (Street Play) Team. They have also taken Mime acts and Stand Up Comedy within their ambit. In the future, they look at hoping to adopt Abstract and Forum Theatre in their performances too. Kirdaar truly hopes to be a society which understands the power of theatre and to discover new and influential forms of theatre for its audiences who they believe form an integral part of Kirdaar.

The Society travels in a contingent which consists of actors, scriptwriters, production directors, theatre directors and a message that underlies each play. Aditya Khemka (UG Batch of 18), says, “the rigorous practices of the contingent led to a team of strangers coming together as a family.”

Kirdaar photo 1

Kirdaar has ambitious plans for the future as more incoming students enter this robust and growing society. It aims to become self-sufficient, backed by its supporting partners and the funds they accumulate by participating and winning in national competitions. They plan to organize workshops with famous theatre actors and directors very soon and in March, a Theatre Festival is being planned, to celebrate Theatre as a medium of change.

Members of Kirdaar believe that Kirdaar is not just a rigorous everyday commitment but a portal to transform oneself into people who seem to be performing at every moment of their lives and putting up a good performance at that. One of the founders and senior Kirdaar members, Arpit Kumbhat (UG Batch of 17) speaks vividly about bhavnayein or feelings, “it’s not about the words you see, it’s about the feelings behind them”.

 Here is the Facebook link to Kirdaar to follow them on a regular basis: https://www.facebook.com/ashokakirdaar/?ref=br_rs

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