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In selfish times

John D’Silva’s upcoming tiatr ‘Dhongiponn’ is based on how people have become more self-centred in the recent times. In a chat with NT BUZZ he talks about how this idea for his new production comes from a real life incident

SACHI NAIK | NT BUZZ

Following his Easter tiatr ‘Porzoll’- a family drama on the importance of girls, John D’Silva is now all set to release his new tiatr ‘Dhongiponn’ in October.

‘Dhongiponn’ literally translates to hypocrisy, and the tiar attempts to showcase how people today are more concerned about themselves and rarely step out to help others if it isn’t beneficial to them.

“Not all people are what they portray themselves to be. There are many hidden qualities about them that we remain oblivious to. I have seen many hypocrites who point out fingers at others for being hypocritical in certain situations and it is only with time that we realise that those who pointed fingers at others are no saints,” says John. He adds that in today’s selfish world, it is difficult to trust people. “If anyone comes forward to help you, when you are in trouble you have to watch out for the reason they are doing it for you,” he cautions.

‘Dhongiponn’ is based on similar lines, and it tells the story of a Goan girl Shabana, who is a swimmer. After winning a state level competition, Shabana is now all set to represent India internationally. However, due to financial crisis and other related assistance she requests for help from a few prominent Goans, who are aware of her calibre in sports. However, she soon discovers that they are ready to help, but have an agenda- of it being useful to them.

The story takes a twist when a major life-threatening incident takes place in the young Shabana’s life and suddenly those who refused to help her, come forward to support her. She then realises that they are only doing it to get public attention and fame and in fact do not care about her life. What happens next forms the climax of the story.

The tagline of the tiatr is ‘They think that they expose the truth until truth exposes them’. John discloses that the tiatr was inspired by a real life incident he encountered. “When I fell in trouble, some people genuinely supported me, while many came out only for their self-interest. These people never came forward when I actually needed their support. There was another category of people who blamed me without giving a second thought,” he recalls.

The tiatr also highlights how we like to give importance or focus on negativity around us than the positives. In this story, Shabana is cast in the limelight because of her life-threatening situation and not because of swimming laurels. John believes that there is a need for us to focus more on the good things done by people in our society, appreciate their efforts and encourage others to follow that path.

He also believes that in earlier days people were simple and had genuine care and concern for people. “Today, everything is ruined. The people, their honest behaviour, traditions, culture and that old Goa no longer exists.  Earlier we would keep our house doors open, call out to our neighbours to talk or share things. Now we are so busy that we do not even have time to spend at home with our families. As children we would come together to play games on the ground. Today, children are engrossed with their phones. When our basic nature is about thinking about ourselves, why will we not become selfish? This is the reason we only think about our own self today,” he says.

‘Dhongiponn’ introduces Meenakshi as an actor on stage. There are 11 kaantaras and four caants. John D’Silva’s friends will be delighted to see him play two characters, one of a comedian and the second, as himself.

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