Tribune news service
Amritsar, November 23
Balwant Gargi’s acclaimed story ‘Loha Kutt’ was staged as a play at Punjab Natshala. Directed by Manchpreet, the play was first written by Gargi in 1944, and is the story of its female protagonist Santi, who is married to an ironsmith.
Santi’s daughter, Baino, is liberal-minded and wants to break free from social as well as patriarchal shackles. Santi doesn’t support her daughter’s actions as she considers it against the social system. When Baino elopes with her lover, who is from a lower cast, against the wishes of her father, Santi breaks all ties with her. But with time, Santi, too, starts craving for the freedom and will to choose a life for herself just as her daughter did. This leads to a realisation that Santi, who symbolises womankind, has been forced to live a life of limited scope due to social pressures and her husband’s influence.
She decides to break free in the end, eloping with a man she loves and the climax is a sharp commentary on the patriarchal mindset that ties down women craving for a lifetime of happiness and free will. “The play depicts the rural Punjab that somehow got lost in the race of time. It also highlights the issues women face, irrelevant of their social or economical standing, in a patriarchal society. It’s a brilliantly written masterpiece that stands relevant in today’s times as well,” said Manchpreet. The play will be staged again on Sunday as a part of Punjab Natshala’s weekend theatre.
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