IPTA’s ‘Tajmahal Ka Tender’ takes us back to the times of the making of an iconic building that is considered the pinnacle of both architecture, beauty and a man’s love for his wife. As the name would suggest, the satirical twist to the tale is – the story is taking place in our own times, and is caught in the quagmire of a corrupt bureaucracy, ministry and public officials.
The play centres around the CEO of a corporation floated to build the Taj Mahal, which must build its own office building first. The stage is set with a small dilapidated table of the bureaucrat, and the king’s court takes place in front of cut outs of a Mughal palatial façade, plain sets lacking the shine and luster expected of a rich times. The king himself, dressed in opulent regal clothes, visits his Dewan-e-Khas in a makeshift throne of a wheelchair, and the play is replete with modern paraphernalia such as mobile phones implanted in story’s original era.
The construction of the Taj Mahal in modern times must get clearance from all the concerned ministries and public bodies. As the corporation gets in its act, with its more than expected hurdles of agitators, shady land acquisition, bribes and under the table deals and prolonged delays, we get a good dose of what ails the present system in its length and breadth. There is a spoof on the media too, and the acts are well formulated and presented with some good acting. Rakesh Bedi shines as the bureaucrat CEO, and succeeds in presenting the image of a corrupt official who holds himself in high self esteem.
All said and done, the play regales with its funny moments, and though most of the plot runs along the all too expected and familiar lines of satire on the modern times, some acts – the woman protestor, the media presenter and the pollution board official – are remarkable for their witty and lively presentation. It could perhaps polish the final act, for at one stage it seems the play is over, only to continue with the final scene.
The two hour play was performed housefull at Prithvi on April 30.