Playwright Happy Ranajit brings you a drama which raises an important question: Is love a crime?
“Bhooton ke tarah nahi jeena humein” (We do not want to live like ghosts). This is one of the several compelling lines that captures the attention of the audience watching A Straight Proposal, a drama based on the LGBT community.
“Nobody is clear about the existence of ghosts, yet people still believe in their presence.” Yet, when it comes to the presence of people from the queer community, the public tend to ignore their existence and criminalise their needs, explains Happy Ranajit, director of the play.
The play follows the life of Mitesh, the protagonist, who is a closet homosexual. The story is presented through his diary, which gives the audience an insight to his love stories, his relationship with his family and eventually his death. The play not only aims to bring out the problems faced by people of the LGBT community, it also draws a track which chronologically explains the queer movement in India. Each scene shows a particular date and page number from the diary which is relevant to the movement.
Ranajit states that it was an artistic response to the Supreme Court’s verdict in 2013, that triggered the creation of this play. The SC had re-criminalised homosexuality under Section 377 in 2013. “Generally, as an artist, I pick up whatever subject disturbs me,” he says.
Organised by Unicorn’s Actor Studio, an NGO which works for the promotion of art and culture, it aims to sensitise the audience about the intolerance homosexuals are subjected to on a regular basis. It has a good dose of humour and puns to drive home the point.
“In the current political context, people should do more such sensitive pieces on this issue to raise awareness. Love above all should be respected,” the director says. He adds that it’s a dark reality of our society which should be addressed on a larger scale.
The play is a part of the Popular Theatre Festival to be held at Shri Ram Centre this month. So, head down to the theatre on May 19 to witness the story of a proposal not so straight.