Deceit in the face of innocence
By Ayesha Singh | Published: 29th July 2017 10:47 PM |
Sultana’s innocence is her most endearing quality. Even as a sex worker, she looks at life only through the prism of purity. In an upcoming play, Kaali Shalwar, featuring Qawwali by Nizami Brothers, you see how things began to change for her. She’s flagrantly deceived by a man who she sleeps with for free, who breaks his promise of gifting her a beautiful black satin salwar for Muharram that she had been wanting, in exchange of a pair of earrings she had.
In her state of besottment with him, she innocently agreed to the exchange. After all, this was the least she could do for someone she was attracted to. But her happiness quickly turned into misery when she saw a fellow sex worker wearing her earring. The man had lied to her for his selfish desires, leaving Sultana heart-broken.
The play comes replete with wit, dark humour, innocent desires and insecurities that all human beings carry. Theatre artiste Shakti Singh, who plays the part of Sultana, says the latter is the embodiment of a complete women. “She’s real. Sultana is like all of us, a child at heart who takes people at face value. She parts with her priced possession, blinded by the innocent desire to get what she wanted,” says Singh, who believes all human beings are prone to give into little temptations. Those little increments, a good appraisal, a kind word, are just some examples. We give up so much—travel plans, hobbies, our family—just to get those little things in life, she believes.
Singh says that the Sultana role came to Her portrayals are more nuanced now. “Experience helps,” she says. Leaping from journalism to full-time theatre, it’s been quite a journey. And she plans to stay on the road for miles ahead. Kaali Shalwar: July 30, at 4 pm and 7 pm. Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House.