Street Theatre


It is a fact widely known that the University of Delhi (DU) takes its co-curricular activities in all gravity, and rehearses the art-forms day in and day out. One of them is the dramatics society, adoringly referred to as the DramSoc

The experience of viewing a play or a nukkad natak performed by the DU’s DramaSocs is similar to being in the midst of earth-shakers, both in its literal and metaphorical sense. A certain madness is transferred from the actors and inevitably catches hold of the audiences, and it might just be one of those times when people actually want to care about social issues. To those involved making a theatre production, a play is so much more than winning a tournament, it is about being the omens of change in the society. In fact, there have been numerous instances where these DramSocs have collaborated with various government and non-government organisations to promote social movements.

Delhi University’s dramatics societies have witnessed big names like Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Bajpayee, Shahrukh Khan, Satish Kaushik and Imtiyaz Ali throughout the years.  Out of them is filmmaker Imtiyaz Ali, who in his student years in Hindu college founded the society in 1991 and named it Ibtida (Urdu word for a beginning). Members of the Ibtida organise an annual fest by the name of Medina, which is followed by a alumni meet. Members of the Hindu DramaSoc have a feeling of awe and amazement upon meeting the ex-members, and their emotions are mixed with a certain sense of responsibility because they have big shoes to fill and a legacy to live up to, considering that some of the members are now full-time actors in Mumbai. “We feel like little children in front of them, but they inspire us in ways we can never thank them enough for,” the society members say.

There is a lot of time and effort that goes into making a play, and students and professors alike share this joke about how the people in the DramSoc are never seen in class, except for when assignments are due or when there is an internal exam.“Since my practices started, I had to compromise on a few things like watching movies, being able to read the newspaper, and say, hanging out with friends,” says Deepen Gondolay, a second-year student of B. Com and the member of Verbum, the English dramatics society of Sri Venkateshwara College. “But it is not as bad as it sounds if I push everything to the later hours of the evening, I am sorted. I also have to look for tuitions after 7 p.m. every day so I don’t miss practice,” he added. 

Arguably, the members of the DramSocs are more aware of what is happening in the world around them because of the hours they spend discussing it. “The process of making a play has a lot of research involved in it and if you get past the initial dread of the hard work involved, it will change you as a person,” argues Ananya Goyal, a first-year student of English Honours of Maitreyi College, and a part of Abhivyakti. “We do get knowledge in classrooms, but working on the play is far more enlightening.”

The team becomes like an extended family, and members of Ibtida say that they have explored Delhi and surrounding areas, thanks to the society and its regular oddly-placed tournaments. “You ride every metro line with them (the teammates), visit all other campuses, and the bond that you share with your team becomes so strong that you all identify as one,” say members of Natuve, (Hindi for the one who does natya or natak) the dramatics society of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College. And it doesn’t end there, the ex-members still view the society as their own, even if it’s from a distance. “The addiction to theatre captures your soul and the inevitable separation from your little home is hard to digest. Every time you see your juniors perform without you, your heart never stops weeping. It is a place where you grow as a person and indeed it was worth living with my team all these years,” recalls Tanish Chachra, Ex-President of Natuve. 

Even though the theatre circuit in India saw allegations of sexual misconduct way before #MeToo became popular, but what is interesting to see is that the popular wave of #MeToo, which is seen in pretty much every field today, is non-existent in the dramatics circuit. This could possibly be associated with the sensitisation that the members undergo while presenting a social cause. 

DramSocs of DU are a world within themselves and the zeal of the members have proven that time and again. “There are good days, there are bad days. But then, after putting in all the effort, when you end up seeing the results, all the bad days seem beautiful,” these are the exquisite lines that Satyamitran, PR of Ibtida leaves us with!



Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Maumil Mehraj

[email protected]


Day 2 of Mecca’16, the annual fest of Hindu College commenced with NDTV’s The Rising Standup Comedy Competition. The first performer was Rohan Chaudhary from IPM College. A total of 9 teams took part and the winners will be announced tomorrow. The programme will be on air soon.

Keeping the fashion quotient high, Nakshatra-The Fashion Society of Hindu College, sponsored by Forever 21, organised Panache, the Fashion show event on day 2 of Mecca. With 8 participating teams from various colleges, the event showcased a plethora of themes.

From zodiac and women empowerment to acceptance of LGBT community, colleges such as Shaheed Rajguru, Institute of Home Economics, Sri Guru Govind Singh College of Commerce presented their creations. Judged by the Management Head of Forever 21, Mr. Manav Chopra and Varoon Kapoor, GGS College emerged as the winners of the event.

Fashion Society of GGS after winning the Fashion Show | Captured by Animesh Agarwal

Ibtida, the dramatics society of Hindu College organised Nukkad Natak Competition. The judge of the event was Sahil Yadav, a Hindu as well as JNU pass out, who also was in the dramatics society. The first prize went to Dramanomics, College of Vocational Studies and Kshitij of Gargi College won the second prize. Special mention was given to Tanya from Shivaji College.

Dramanomics from CVS after winning Street Play Competition at Mecca | Image Credits: Arindam Goswami

  On being asked what he thought about the performances, Sahil Yadav commented, ‘The teams have carried on well with a new trend that was picked almost four years back, to establish the message step by step. Totally love being here.’  

Some minor events like Photography Competition, Treasure Hunt, etc also took place. The second day ended with EDM night featuring DJ Anish Sood and Dualist Inquiry.

Sudisha Misra, Riya Chibber, Arindam Goswami, Srivedant Kar

Photo Credits- Animesh Agarwal, Harshit Thukral

nukkad (street drama) and rangmanch (stage drama) have  been confined merely to perform for the competitive motives and have been restricted to perform to DU circuit audiences. With this thought of breaking the mainstream theatre culture, widening the ambit of theatre from the narrow DU restricted one, and opening the avenues for ex DU students, a theatre group called Khanabadosh was founded.

About Khanabadosh

Founded by DU alumnus Sidhaant Sharma (Maharaja Agarsen College) on August 31 2013, Khanabadosh caters to the general public with a motive of creating awareness and instigating a thought about the right and wrong. The group that initially did theatre with all the ex-students of the university has now expanded their artist base to others as well. In working since October, Khanabadosh has 24 active members and 17 performances to its credit till date. Khanabadosh is presently just a street theatre group. khan4


In words of the director, “Khanabadosh doesn’t aim to manufacture actors. It doesn’t even aim to create professionals. The vision is to create those human beings who can understand the matters of the society. Those who can notice what is happening around them, observe, analyse the problem and then play or act. Yahan motive insaan banana hai.” Sidhaant adds, “I wish to create such a team that has the freedom of expression with this clear vision in mind,never deviating from it.” The team has different people from various backgrounds. They have different perceptions and few members within the team have mutual admirations. So the most challenging task is to maintain harmony in the team where everyone has the urge to create a difference.


With this vision in mind, Khanabadosh vows never to participate in competitions and do theatre only for its target audience. They have created a mission to let the audience introspect about what is happening around. The plays of the group are a satire on the society and its systems or to put it more precisely, a slap on the face. Their theatre is different from the fancy and organized theatre at the university. ‘Khanabadosh’ (the word which means ‘nomads’) undertakes unorganized form of theatre through the dramatic art. According to the members of the group, today’s common man doesn’t understand fancy theatre which includes extensive element of music and poetry in nukkad. The group, therefore gets to the street with a less complex plan of action for the play and a dhafli and plans to cover each part of the capital city under this theatrical cause.

Members and Performances

Khanabadosh has artists from  Maharaja Agarsen College,SGTB Khalsa, Kamala Nehru College, Gargi, PGDAV and DCAC. It also has other members with no acting experience or background who are provided with required training. Khanabadosh has one production to its credit after completing six months. Their nukkad natak DEMO-CRAZY is a play based on the political truths and is a satire on the political system. It highlights how common man of the country is left with no option in this vicious circle of politics and how people who don’t vote, have no right to question. The team has performed for the general audience at metro stations, Shri Ram Centre (Mandi House), Connaught Place, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Park, Mayur Vihar, Ashok Vihar, Patparganj, Tri Nagar, GB Road, Dilli Hatt, IIT Delhi and TDI Mall as part of Manthan’14. Their viewers range from market going people to the vegetable or fruit vendors and from students to people with political backgrounds. “In all performances, it is amazing to see how people could relate to the play and gave responses. For us, it is still a learning process.”  said a team member. The team  travels to different places allover the capital city, and arranges for  certain formal permissions required to perform in respective areas.

Future Plan of Action

Khanabadosh, the team that is currently on an election break plans to resume the series of performances soon. They also plan to get the group officially registered with the government and expand itself to stage theatre as well. The new season will witness a new play by Khanabadosh on some other social topic. The team apart from Delhi will also move out of the city for both revolution and change. As one of the members of the team say, “Khanabadosh wishes to grow from a baby to kid and then to an adult.” [gallery ids="22658,22656"]

Appeal to the University Theatre Circuit

During the conversation, Sidhaant who was also a volunteer for General Elections 2014 told DU Beat how the voters of the country portrayed dilemma on their face while voting. “This is all a shitty mess, jahan janta pareshaan hai. We are happy in doing our bit by taking our political play out for the public.” Team Khanabadosh appeals to all the teams of the university to bring their brand of street theatre actually out to streets and not limit it only to the university and competitions. The group feels that the meaning of ‘nukkad’ is lost otherwise. For more updates about the team and their performances visit: Khanabadosh Facebook Page]]>

Every year, societies from colleges across the campus compete neck to neck and put up spectacular performances during the fest season. This year too, saw certain teams shine a little brighter than the rest. We bring you a series with college societies that put their heart and soul into their respective fields and took home the top prizes at various cultural fests. The best college society in each category was selected by creating a tally of the top 3 positions at competitive events held during 13 cultural fests of this season. Whenever a society won the first prize they were award 3 points, for the second position they received 2 points and for the third position, 1 point was added to their tally. S.G.T.B. Khalsa’s Ankur stands at the top of our tally with 13 points. The society is followed by Kirori Mal College’s The Players at the second position with 9 points. The third place is a tie between Shivaji College’s Vayam and Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce’s Manchatantra.

The Winning Society at a glance

Ankur, S.G.T.B Khalsa College Ankur from S.G.T.B  Khalsa ,  proved its mettle during street theatre competitions with its play, ‘We, the people!’. The play talked about the role of active participation of an individual in a democracy where governments are formed through electoral voting. Though the message they hoped to deliver had a complex thought behind it, their mantra for success was simple, “We try and keep it simple with our deliberate attempt to creatively experiment, unlearn and start from the scratch.” Names of performing members: Prabhjot Singh, Dhruv Vats, Raman Bhalla, Saheb Kaur, Firoz Khan, Divay Agarwal, Gaurav Batra, Nagender Garg, Ashmeet Kaur Ahuja, Ronit Sharma, Shriya Mukim, Tarun Kaur, Rashmi Khurana, Harpreet Singh, Guneet Singh Nanda, Sarabhjot Singh, Apurva Chaudhary, Srishtee Basera, Vipin Pokhriyal, Himanshu Brar, Harsimran Kaur, Himanshu Dua. Musicians: Ashmeet Kaur Ahuja, Nagender Garg, Guneet Singh Nanda. Note: The thirteen fests included in our analysis for this series include SRCC’s Crossroads, Gargi College’s Reverie, Sri Venkateswara College’s Nexus, LSR’s Tarang, Hans Raj’s Confluence, I.P. College for Women’s Shruti, Daulat Ram College’s Manjari, Hindu College’s Mecca, Jesus and Mary College’s Montage, Miranda House’s Tempest, Kamala Nehru College’s Ullas, Kirori Mal College’s Renaissance, SGTB Khalsa’s Lashkara. Out of the fests listed, only 10 had conducted a competitive Street Theatre Competition.]]>