When the tiger takes centre ‘stage’
Sujata Chakrabarti / DNA
Saturday, May 1, 2010 11:38
Theatre director Jaimini Pathak is not convinced that the nationwide Save The Tiger campaigns are doing enough for the cause of the animal. So he decided to do his bit through a medium that he is familiar with — theatre. He says, “The number of tigers in our country has been dwindling. I have given up on politicians.
That is why, my play appeals to school children to create awareness about our almost extinct national animal.”
The play — Once Upon A Tiger — is an ironical take on a fairy tale referring to a time when tigers will be as elusive as fairies. Pathak says, “It is an ironical tale of the lost tiger. I also want to portray how integral the tiger is to the Indian culture.”
Interestingly, the play has an unconventional ending. Pathak says it has a sad ending that makes the audience want to think.
He says, “In the end, the tiger and her cubs are killed by poachers. As it ends on a disturbing note, we then ask the audience a question — what changes they would like to see in the play.” That, the director thinks, makes a huge difference as the audience, especially kids, are directly empowered to bring about a change in the system.
The play also touches upon other ecological issues that the country is grappling with. Pathak says, “We refer to different situations that are leading to the extinction of tigers. We also tell kids that staying away from aerated and canned drinks will reduce the disposal of polluted water into our ecosystem, thus reducing the rate at which our wild life is disappearing.”