Gagan Damama Bajyo - The Life & Times of Bhagat Singh

The 19th edition of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre awards will open up with Gagan Damama Bajyo, a stunning musical that portrays the life of Bhagat Singh, one of India’s most important revolutionaries. The play delves into the life of the revolutionary, chronicling key moments from his time at the National College in Lahore to his ultimate execution on March 23, 1931.The performance manages to give a visceral sense of the nationalist fervour of the time and the revolutionary ideology of Singh and his contemporaries like Sukhdev Thapar & Bhagwati Charan Vohra, among others, as they fought as members of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association.

While the narrative primarily centres around Singh, his friends, and fellow revolutionaries from the Hindustan Socialist Revolution Association play pivotal roles. The story captures their endeavours as they navigate the diverse paths of the unfolding freedom struggle across the subcontinent. It provides insights into their perspectives on revolution, change, patriotism, and more.

It is brought to life by fantastic actors, evocative dialogues and powerful music which really brings out the emotion and transports the audience to a different era. It is also peppered with humour which comes as a relief as most of the play is rather intense and dramatic, laden with many heavy questions and thoughts about martyrdom, patriotism, love etc.

We are offered a very well rounded perspective of Singh’s life, one that humanises him. We are told of his aspirations, his sacrifices, his brief tryst with love, his friendships, his intellect, his thoughts on Gandhi’s revolutionary ideals, his frustrations, and his faults. The director, Piyush Mishra, has done a tremendous job putting together this powerful portrayal of Singh’s life in a way that makes it particularly relevant for contemporary times.

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