WBRi Theater Review: Krishan vs Kanhaiya - Paresh Rawal delivers another brilliant performance

Paresh Rawal on Stage

Calcutta, February 11, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations): Did you ever think why you keep a fast on a certain festival? When you go for “anjali” (offering to God) in different temples or puja pandals, did you even try to find out the meaning of the Sanskrit chanting that you repeat after the priest? Did you ask yourself why you make a hefty donation in the temples when a number of beggars are sitting right outside pleading for a penny or two?

Paresh Rawal on Stage

If your answer to these questions is “NO” then “Krishan vs. Kanhaiya” is a must watch for you!!! If “YES” then you are already in sync with our story tellers and will be thoroughly enjoying this show!!! This Paresh Rawal starrer play was enacted for the 4th time in Kolkata at Vidyamandir auditorium on February 10th.

Rajatava Dutta

The theater production compels you to question the customs which you have followed till date. This is the story of an atheist, Krishanlal Mehta who owned an antique store. He used to sell various worthless items at exorbitant prices by adding a religious angle to them, which always was untrue (a piece of long cloth was sold by him to someone as Draupadi’s sari). This shrewd business man is only one facet of his personality as otherwise he is a responsible and caring husband, a true friend and a man who only went by logic.

Krishna vs Kanhaiya

His life turned topsy-turvy when his shop was destroyed in an earthquake and his insurance claim was declined. It was said that earthquake is an act of God and insurance claims can be approved only for man-made disasters. Infuriated by this, he files a case in the court against God. The plea was: If his shop was destroyed by God, either he or any of his representatives like the temples or the religious organizations must compensate for the loss but if it is proven that there is no existence of God the insurance company is accountable to pay him the money.

Finally at a point of time during his ongoing struggle, God himself comes in front of him and guides him through this phase of life. He was nothing like we think him to be. No sermons and no “Know It All Attitude” the God here does not impose himself on Krishanlal but stands by him as a good friend and shows him the ways he can choose. You need to watch this play to know how the interaction with God and the course of this case changes Krishanlal’s thought process!!

Bhavesh Mandalia does a good job in coming up with a smart and crisp writing. Director Umesh Shukla plays very well with humor and shows that a serious message can be conveyed well packaged in a hilarious comedy. There were some moments when people were jumping on their seats laughing and the next moment a hard hitting fact comes their way. The humors of our day to day life were portrayed aptly in the conversations of Krishanlal and his wife. It was only the last part of the play that could have been a little more compact.

As far as acting was concerned, any appreciation will fall short for Paresh Rawal (Krishanlal) who was absolutely in sync with the character of a perfect Gujarati Seth. Amongst the others the ones who played the characters of the lawyer, Siddheshwar Maharaj and Liladhar Swami were also well received by the audience. A section of the audience though felt that the lady who acted as Krishanlal’s wife was at times not in harmony with her character. But apart from Paresh Rawal, one actor who really grabbed the eyeballs was Dharmender Gohil (The God himself). The man had the perfect looks and attitude to play lord Krishna. He was the one who made his presence strongly felt while sharing the stage with an institution like Paresh ji.

Paresh Rawal in Krishan vs Kanhaiya

There is an all powerful existence and that is within every individual. Search for God is the quest for truth and that can be found in our own heart. The doors of temples are open for those who seek consolation for their sorrow, not the strength to fight them back but those willing to take things in their stride and move on are sure believers of that powerful existence. A food for thought… why gallons of milk are allowed to flow in the drains outside Shiv ji’s temple in a country where a large portion of the population is below the poverty level and underfed? Watch “Krishan vs. Kanhaiya” to understand the unsaid…

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