November 17, 2002
Laughing at oneself
N. K. Oberoi
both by Chetna Vaishnavi, International Research Institute, Delhi.
Pages 80. Rs 200 and Pages 87. Rs 275 respectively.
Realm is about thorns one
is likely to miss while one is infatuated with flowers. It is a
bunch of "playlets" if one could call them so. By no
stretch of speciousness are these "tragedies," as Chetna
Tragedy is a specific
genre and has a structure and a literary form. It is not something
amorphous, sad and depressing. These "playlets" do have a
structure woven out of a wide range of encounters with the
unexpected in the daily life of each one of us. The play A Thief
deserves special mention for its dramatic treatment of what may not
have made even a newspaper story. Do we not all run into situations
in our daily life which we cannot describe as tragic or comic as
they keep hanging in between?
Hilarious Moments depict
amusement that the writer has at others as well as at herself. The
way she raises an unexpected laugh in situations that are not of her
making is highly skilful and yet not deliberate. Where from this
laughter comes one keeps guessing. The entry of the snake in her
bathroom and its exit is fraught with undertones and overtones which
she handles deftly.