Francis de Tuem’s Easter tiatr ‘Konak Patieupachem?’ is still running houseful across Goa. NT BUZZ speaks to this writer-director to know more about the story
SACHI NAIK | NT BUZZ
A new writer in the tiatr field, Francis de Tuem has gained recognition for his political tiatrs. His use of real instances and straight-forward style of putting things across in his plays has always been appreciated by the public. “It has become my subject now. Until I showcase some amount of politics on stage, even I don’t feel satisfied,” says Francis who relies heavily on people’s feedback about the truth depicted on stage about politics. “In fact sometimes I try to suggest solutions for the citizens too. If I do not present any political matter in my tiatr, my fans complain,” he says.
But with two kinds of people in the crowd- those who love political-related issues and those who enjoy family drama, Francis tries targeting both his audience by conceptualising tiatrs that have a mix of both. Hence, his story is usually based on the family that is connected with socio-political issues that he tries to create awareness about. And his tiatr ‘Konak Patieupachem?’ follows this formula
Easter season tiatrs usually end with the onset of the monsoons. This is because tiatrists come up with big budgets and a great star cast in their monsoon tiatrs. Seldom does any Easter tiatr remain in demand after the season gets over. But Francis’ Easter tiatr, ‘Konak Patieupachem?’ is still witnessing a lot of demand. It has already completed 80 shows and is soon going to touch the 100 mark.
Released on April 1, ‘Konak Patieupachem?’ is a family centric tiatr which focuses on how despite all the care and effort that parents take in bringing up their kids, some children do not return this in kind and do not treat their parents with dignity and respect. While some harass their parents for property issues, some burden their parents with their loans even after they have retired from active life.
‘Konak Patieupachem?’ has three different stories that unfold simultaneously. It begins with three elderly men in an old age home sharing their personal stories with each other. The first man belonged to a poor family but with a lot of hardwork, became wealthy. His son however spent the money on unnecessary things and finally after taking control of all the property, puts his father in an old age home. The second man is childless, hence he lives in old age home, while the third man believes that he has committed a major mistake of his life by being over concerned about his son and having high expectations from him. Despite his wife suffering from cancer, the man had spent all his savings to send his son abroad to pursue his career, hoping that the son would send back money to help the ailing mother. But no such luck. The wife passed away and the man was admitted in an old age home.
“Some children do not care enough for their parents. They only show temporary affection towards them until their names are included in the property papers. Once that is done, they ill-treat them,” says Francis.
Francis believes that parents play an important role in bringing up their children. A child will only value money after observing his parents, he says. “They learn as they are taught. There is no doubt that often children get distracted due to peer pressure and their social group, however they can come out of it when parents show them the way,” he maintains.
The problem of parents in today’s generation, he feels, is that they earn a lot and save it for their children. When the children are made aware of the amount of money kept for them, they do not feel the need to work hard in life and live off their parents’ savings.
Earlier, he says, parents would teach their children to earn and face life. This saved the child’s future. “Children today do not feel the need to earn as they do not value money, yet they roam in luxurious cars, spend on branded clothes and apparel, and are defiant; this ultimately affects them in the long run. They do not understand the meaning of earning through hard-work,” he adds.
Another message that Francis presents in this tiatr is about priesthood. He says that if any child wishes to become a priest he should be allowed to do so and not held back by parents.
The tiatr has one caant and 12 kaantaras.
(‘Konak Patieupachem?’ by Francis de Tuem will be staged on Sunday, September 9, 7.30 p.m. at Kala Academy, Panaji and Saturday, September 15, 7.30 p.m. at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao)