Those were the days when elopement was a common thing in society. However, things have changed since then. These days, they exist rarely.
In the play Chorko Swor being staged at Mandala Theatre currently, however, the viewers are taken somewhere around the Limbu community, in particular, in the Chemjong village and a wedding ceremony is taking place in presence of the villagers. A 19-year-old boy, Bhimhang (Prabin Magar), and a girl named Pangli Seema (Nusa Lingden), originally from Sherma village, are tying the knot after Pangli’s successful elopement.
When the groom’s party arrives at the bride’s party for Chorko Swor, the main drama begins. The title of the drama refers to the Limbu ritual, in which the groom’s family informs the bride’s family of their marriage and assures her that she is now their family.
But, the drama is not only about that.
Plot with a local flavour
In general, when the bride’s family is informed of the elopement and marriage, the bride’s family feels its ego bruised and does not accept their relationship easily. When the groom’s party reaches the bride’s home, her family even attacks the groom’s side. Nevertheless, they are somehow convinced that nothing can be done as they are already married and it is better for both the families to accept them. This shows the power of love.
Chorko Swor, the play written by Nabin Chauhan, depicts the culture of elopement specific to the Limbu community. The play realistically presents different aspects of elopement that exist in the Limbu community especially.
The setting of the play is very simple. It features just a few props such as the traditional house that is usually seen in the Limbu community, a place to prepare alcohol, a sty and a bridge made up of bamboo.
The play takes place in two places: the Chemjong and Sherma villages. With a few changes, both the places feature the same setting. The setting and the locals’ gossip on marriage, politics and development give you a local vibe. It makes you feel as if you are really around the Limbu community.
Several things occur during the play. They usually make you laugh, but they can also make you cry. That is something that will keep you hooked throughout the play.
Art of simple presentation
Prior to seeing off the bride after the ceremony, an emotional conversation takes place among her brother, a cousin of the groom, Struggle (Prayas Bantawa Rai) and his sister, also the sister-in-law of the bride, Manmaya (Laxmi Yonghang). This conversation is so emotional that it leaves some of the audience in tears.
Every character has performed admirably in the play directed by Anil Subba and Anwesh Rai Thulung. Their natural acting has made the play vibrant and genuine. The play has altogether 19 characters and all of them are equally significant to make this play beautiful and worth watching.
The entire play incorporates a Limbu accent in the dialogue and the actors have done justice to the dialogue delivery.
The wedding function features various characters that are usually seen in normal Nepali weddings. Some of them are entirely busy with handling cameras, some of them are only concerned about alcohol and some of them are always busy flirting with the girls. These characters make the play more relevant.
The power of Chorko Swor rests in a simple presentation; it does not have any fancy lighting and setup. These aspects of the play have made it more realistic.
The unexpected ending
With that, the play also allows the audience to witness Dhan Naach, a traditional dance of the Limbu community. The dance is accompanied by a traditional song and drum. It also features the tradition of juhari, where a solta (cousin brother of the groom) tries to impress solti (cousin sister of the bride) for marriage, by romantic verses. In this section, instrumental music of the Nepali popular song, Teenpatey-Dekhera Timilai, another Artmandu production, is played in the background. Artmandu did not miss a chance to promote its work graciously.
The two-hour play will not make you bored at any time. It ends on an unexpected note that includes fun, action, and emotion. To know more about the play, visit the theatre and watch the show.
Chorko Swor will run through June 29 at 5:00 pm every day except Monday in Mandala Theatre, Thapagaun. There will be an additional show on Saturday at 1:00 pm.