While Ibtida, the Hindi Dramatics society of Hindu College prepared for ‘Medina 2014’, Masque – the English theatre society organised ‘Masquerade 2014’ on the 5th and 6th of March, 2014 at Akshara Theatre, a well known exquisite theatre and arts complex of Delhi. ‘Masquerade’ is the fourth theatre event organised by Masque, however the second year for it being a theatre celebration. The festival in its first two editions was a competitive event where the performing teams used to fight for a title.

“The basic motive behind organising Masquerade 2014 is that theatre, as a paid profession is not appreciated in our society quite well. Hence, we wish to attract theatre enthusiasts from DU to celebrate theatre and its spirit and cater to an audience spread across Delhi. And that is why we thought of changing it to a non-competitive event after the second edition of the festival”, Mrinalini, president of the society said.

The event formerly being merely theatre oriented, witnessed the incorporation of music into the festival for the first time.  “When we organize this festival to celebrate theatre, and then why not include other cultural aspects like music?” said Akanksha, the Vice President of Masque.” In light of the same, Masquerade 2014 had seven theatre performances (out of which, one was by the host team) and four musical performances which include bands as well as the individual acts. Through the prelim process, six stage teams were shortlisted out of total of eighteen teams.

Day One – March 5th, 2014 ( Wednesday)

Numerous colleges like Shivaji College, Hans Raj College and Ramjas College presented their annual productions namely Mission 31, Holi and The Private Ear respectively. Dhruv Visvanath, who had previously performed at the fests like Sri Venkateswara’s Nexus and Hansraj College’s Confluence also performed for the audience. Vidur Hans and The Burnt Alternative, another band that played with harmonic acoustic sounds and is indulged in serious song writing process showed up for the day.

The audience comprised of people from all age groups including the families of performers.The organising society had done arrangements wherein the photos of all teams were put up, with a feedback chart at the counters. Anybody from the audience or other teams could write his/her views about the respective team’s performance. The chart was later presented to the respective teams by the members of Masque.

Day Two – March 6th, 2014 ( Thursday)

Day 2 witnessed similar plays and audiences as Day 1. Another band called ‘L for Vendetta’ famous from its recent win at the ‘Battle of Bands’ in Hans Raj College’s ‘Confluence 2014’ also performed at Masquerade. Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi Technical University, Kirori Mal College and the host team also presented their stage annual productions which are Love and Money, Kya Dilli Kya Lahore, The Chatroom and 5th Symphony respectively.

Neeraja Narayanaswamy, the lead vocalist of the band, Moon Shadow Frequency also performed at the festival. The concluding day for ‘Masquerade’ was the first day of the Hindi Dramatics Fest of Hindu College, Medina – 2014.

Two weeks into college and the freshers already seem to have their hands full. As the ball gets rolling, every society is vying to get hold of the brightest of the lot and the students are trying to combine quality with quantity. The coveted Career Development Centre (the team that deals with the recruitment of the final year students) was the first to sieve out its Organising Committee. All the other societies, big and small, have started promoting themselves in full swing. Bullet-in boards in different corridors have been assigned to different societies to display the kind of work they have been doing, orientations are being held in break times for students to come and find out if they fit into these societies. To add to the students’ dilemma, a lot of societies become impossible to juggle with the other societies in the peak work season and a lot of other societies explicitly bar students from joining certain other societies.

Among the various things that set CBS apart, the importance it attaches to the societies is distinguishable. One of the very amusing things is the anxiety surrounding the recruitment season. Getting into the best of societies seems to be a matter of grave concern for the freshly admitted students. To add to the energy in the air, many societies like the Blitz (the dance society) and Verve (The streetplay society) are auditioning the students in open ground for everyone to see. All the other societies have booked rooms for interviews and group discussions. So if the students are not attending lectures, they are cueing outside rooms to audition for their preferred societies.

Image Credits: Darkroom, the photography society of SSCBS

So, who doesn’t fancy a little drama in their life? At the risk of sounding slightly presumptuous, I would have to say that most of us do. For those who prefer their dose of it on stage rather than off, Hindu College’s annual theatre festival—Masquerade—was the place to be.

The two day event hosted by the English Dramatics Society, ‘Masque’, saw some of the finest colleges of DU showcasing their acting prowess. On day 1 of the fest, IP College for women, LSR, St. Stephen’s and SRCC proved their mettle as masters of nuanced expressions; while on day 2, Kirori Mal College, Hindu College, Sri Venkateswara College and Ramjas College gave them a run for their proverbial money.

To judge the participating teams were two distinguished members of the theatre fraternity. Ms. Amina Sherwani, a distinguished theatre person, journalist and sculptor. She has vast experience in people’s theatre and has performed all over the country as scriptwriter, director as well as light and set designer and has produced and directed over fifty plays. Mr. Milin Kapoor, renowned cinematographer and special effects editor. He has more than 28 years of experience in film, video design, interactivity and cyber space. He has worked on over 400 productions and with some of the biggest names in the Indian film industry.


The most striking performances on the first day were that of LSR and SRCC; wherein SRCC stole the limelight with their witty mystery piece titled ‘Three Blind Mice’. While each member of the SRCC team did a commendable job; it is noteworthy that the IP team consisted of only three members and their dedication was par excellence. Their play ‘Sonata’ explored the world of a writer as the events of one night that occur in the lives of these women are penned down. LSR presented ‘Skeleton Woman’, a story about two people who defeat fantastical odds to be together. St. Stephen’s had put together a play that dealt with the phenomenon of False Memory Syndrome called ‘Anna Weiss’.

On the 22nd of February, Sri Venkateswara college mesmerised the audience and the judges with their play ‘Pulp’, a  comical journey of two playwrights and their rushed attempt to churn out one decent play after another, in order to pacify their producers. Hindu College won many accolades for their production ‘Dead Man’s Testimony’—an adaptation of Ayn Rand’s ‘Night of January 16th’, although they did not compete. KMC presented ‘Line’– a story about five people attempting to reach the front of a queue using all kinds of strategies and Ramjas told us what happens when a joke goes awry in ‘Mr. Kolpert’.


The results declared were as follows:

1st place – Sri Venkateswara College for ‘Pulp’

2nd place – LSR for ‘Skeleton Woman’

3d place – KMC for ‘Line’

Outlaw Award (For the team which did something different)  – St. Stephens for ‘Anna Weiss’






Taj Mahal ka Tender

It took Shah Jahan twenty years to build the Taj Mahal for Mumtaz owing to the hardwork put in by his workforce and the intricacies of the marvel. Now that’s a fact. But how long do you suppose the Taj Mahal would take to build if Shah Jahan made an attempt at it today, with the resources and more at his fingertips? Never, probably. Not so much a fact anymore is it? Tajmahal Ka Tender explores the possibility of the Emperor coming alive in our age, amongst us, giving orders to construct the Taj Mahal in collaboration with engineers, contractors, babus, politicians, social workers et al, which come into action and take the emperor for a roller-coaster ride.

The play first got commercial notice by the National School of Drama under the direction of Chitranjan Thripathi, for which it won the Mohan Rakesh Samman in 1996. Since then several directors have made an attempt at the play with farce as a theme, while some took it up as a serious observation of corruption. Among the many, the latest version was performed by the Mitr Cultural Society under the direction of Anil Sharma, who decided to showcase an amalgamation of both elements in the play. First staged in the Sri Ram Centre, the production through this play makes an attempt to reveal the notorious bureaucratic machinery, along with its infamous red tape. Anil Sharma has re-edited the play and added more lines to highlight the flaws of the system with reference to the present day scenario, a move that was well received. He also plays the chief villain of the play, Guptaji, the corrupt chief engineer, giving him a satirical edge. He provides the undertone of irony and deception in the otherwise slapstick comedy. The performance of Rahul Vashisht as Shah Jahan has been very well received for his movement and dialogue delivery. Umesh Goel as the mafia, Nisha as Jaatni and Manish Thankur as Pandit and Sansani news also give impressive performances. Owing to its popularity the play is regularly staged in Delhi in the Indian Habitat Centre and Alliance Francaise.

So, if tragedies are not your thing and you’re looking for a lighter perspective of our times, this play will grab you and leave you wanting more


Huge crowds. Incessant singing and slogan raising. Raised voices. Loud invitiations to draw in the audience. A rampant air of festivity.

If you’re in DU and you notice an event with the above characteristics, then make sure you stick around. For what you’ll eventually witness will be a fine piece of street theatre performed by enthusiasts and concluded with a message meant to mobilize the youth.

Street theatre in DU is usually performed by the Hindi Dramatic Societies. However there are also a few groups which function as separate societies dedicated solely to this form of theatre.

Street theatre is largely devoted to addressing social and political concerns. Society today is witnessing widespread internal and external crises. From terrorism to communal riots to a wholesome political paralysis, the country is plagued with numerous evils. Hence it’s commendable that students of the university take it upon themselves to spread necessary awareness through a medium which shall reach the largest audience.

The street play societies also have the most amount of fun, aays Samriddhi Kukreja, Vice president of Kahkasha, JMC, “We have these sessions where we aim at making the voice of each member reach its highest frequency. So the whole group repeats “anna” and each time the frequency increases. Also, we want each of us to be comfortable with words that would otherwise make jaws drop. For instance, we have sessions where each member is expected to say “condom” really loudly. So these are some the fun things we do.” Various events last year saw the JMC girls perform on the much controversial theme of “homosexuality” and receive significant appreciation.

Besides JMC, Venky has Anubhuti which has been in existence since the last eight years and has immense popularity to its credit. St. Stephens has Shakesabha, Miranda’s Anukriti is popular for its signature human pyramid and Khalsa’s Ankur have been extremely instrumental in raising awareness.

The most reputed of all is Verve, The Street Play Society of the College of Business Studies. Last year their Annual Theatre Festival, Manthan, got a lot of colleges together to perform street plays in government schools and public places.

The street play culture ensures that even while you’re having fun, you’re getting across important messages to the society. Surely it’s a combination well worth exploring!