Ye Aurtain Bhi Kya Bla Hain
By Renu Kumar

Since its inception in 2007, Dhoop Chaaon Theatre Group has been entertaining Atlanta community. Dhoop-Chaaon has established itself with the reputation of bringing the contemporary issues with a touch of humor. This group provides entertainment to all walks of people, including people who have left their country and settled in their new home or people who are born here, but desire to witness the culture and traditions they hear from their parents/grandparents or read about it in the books. This year Dhoop Chaaon is celebrating its 10th anniversary and this organization had evolved from presenting small skits and drama to now creating small movies. Dhoop Chaaon started with few members only and now has about 70 – 80 members. This group has grown from the incubator of Emory White Hall to the Berkmar High School to accommodate a much bigger crowd, where they are performing for the past 6 years. Dhoop Chaaon has about 50 original members who have helped the group the very first year and they are still with the organization; whereas the other members join and leave the group as their time commitment permit them.

Dhoop Chaaon show is run entirely by the volunteers and the financial needs of the group are met through private donations. As the name suggests, Dhoop Chaoon truly represents its name through its presentation of social issues of our society in a very- dhoop (sunny) side, when the artists come alive on the stage and put the stage on fire and audience responds equally with their thunderous applaud and whistles. At the same time, chaoon (shady) side of its shows forces us, the audience, think about our flaws and that each of us has the power to change those very issues by recognizing them.

For Dhoop Chaaon, even sky is not the limit as it brings out the different issues of our society. So far, this group has been producing skits and dramas but last year, it produced two small movies. Mrs. Sandhya Bhagat, Dhoop Chaaon’s founder/director, a talented and passionate person for Hindi Literature, and its enthusiastic members bring out the social issues or concepts of our society in a very entertaining way. Dhoop Chaaon has produced two short films with the same motive as it has been doing for the skits and dramas– some social issues. These films are based on real incidents that are often observed in our society.

One of these short films is “Nat-Khat Rangeley” presented by our very young generation. Nat-Khat Rangeley is about teaching Hindi to our children. This issue becomes even more pressing when they visit their grand-parents back home or vice versa (meaning when the grand-parents visit them here), they cannot communicate with each other as they had only been in only English speaking environment. To teach their children Hindi as well as their culture Although volunteer teacher’s heart is at the right place, as they are investing their time to teach Hindi to our young generation but they are so used to speaking English that it becomes a habit to speak in English even in Hindi School. It takes extra efforts to speak in Hindi. As a result, they start speaking ‘HINGLISH’ meaning Hindi is taught in English. Script for this movie “Nat-Khat Rangeley” is written by Sandhya Bhagat and it is directed by Shankar Mahadevan. Anuj Jain has done the photography and editing of this movie. Actors for this movie are: Akash Joshi, Advait Shivram, Ananya Jain, Aneesh Agrawal, Shruti Mishra, Vedarsh Mishra. Anil Bhagat is the production manager and Rachita Iyer assistant director. Satish Dharmrajan and Shekar Narayan controlled the second camera to record the movie.

The second short film is “Yeh Auratein Bhee Kya Bla Hain” is based on another social issue that is seen very often in our society, where the life of a women does not have much value particularly the value of daughter-in-law for some mother-in-law. If one daughter-in-law dies, the mother-in-law start thinking for another girl for their son right away. They do not even wait to complete the rituals for the dead person before they start looking for another bride for their son. This short film “Yeh Auratein Bhii Kya Bla Hain” portrays this social issue. Again, the script for this movie is written by Sandhya Bhagat and directed by Shankar Mahadevan. Cast-member for this film are: Akanksha Jhurani, Anil Bhagat, Gurupdesh Bedi, Jayesh Jhurani, Manjit Bedi, Mini Mehta, Nidhi Mishra Bajpai, Rita Kapahi, Shree Vora, and Veena Katdare. Anuj Jain, Donna Wong, and Shekar Narayanan did the photography for this film. Assistant directors are Anil Bhagat, Jayesh Jhurani, . Editing is done by Shankar Mahadevan and music “Vaishnava Jana to” is done by Shivali.

There were two viewing of these films- one was private and it was only for the actors and their families and for the second viewing, open invitation was sent out to all Dhoop Chaaon group and their families and friends. Both movies were received very nicely by the public during the second viewing. Mr. D.V. Singh from the Indian Consulate joined the crowd to the viewing the films and was very impressed with the concepts and talents of our local artists. Our society and community leaders lauded the concepts and appreciated the details of the movie. Hopefully all this encouragement will make Dhoop Chaaon to continue its efforts in producing the quality work and entertain our society with local talents.
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