Chanakya Captivates Houston Audience


Rajender Singh from Star Promotions with Manoj Joshi as Chanakya.

By Vanshika Vipin

STAFFORD: On Sunday, May 1, the curtain went up for the Historical Hit ‘Chanakya’, at the Stafford Civic Center. The play, with Manoj Joshi as the protagonist, is a modest attempt to read glorious pages from India’s past. Star Promotions, Rajender Singh, a legendary show promoter presented the show to the Houston audience. He is also the national promoter of the USA tour of this play. The tour, which will last for about a month, is another success story for Rajender, after last year’s hit ‘Mera Who Matlab Nahi Tha’ starring Anupam Kher and Neena Gupta. Such was the success of ‘Mera Who Matlab Nahi Tha’ that everyone really looked forward to ‘Chanakya’.

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Chanakya was a great statesman, a political strategist and the one who created a nation out of squabbling kingdoms. Chanakya endeavored to present an opportunity for introspection towards the society and the leaders of the society, to proclaim that the Nation is supreme and selfless love for the nation is the only virtuous selfishness and that Family, Friends and Fortune, all are secondary.

Veteran actor Manoj Joshi has successfully completed over 950 shows of this historical hit by priming the audience with a meaningful experience. ‘Chanakya’, the play has been instrumental to recognize sonata form, going to the heights of an emotional roller coaster and leading to droves of raving fans. Joshi, who has been doing this play for the last 26 years, had put in close to four years on research prior to starting this. Joshi has also given some amazing performances in about 100 movies and numerous serials. Some of his notable performance in Bollywood were in the movies Hulchul, Sarfarosh, Devdas, Page 3, Phir Hera Pheri, Guru, Khatta Meetha, Dabangg 2, apart from many more.

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The play started off with Joshi, who was dressed as the character Chanakya, introducing himself. Addressing the mobile phones as the ‘rakshasas’ (devils) of the present day, he requested the audiences to put their phones on a silent mode. The play resumed and so did the powerful performances of each of its actors. Based on the life and teachings of Chanakya, Joshi played the role to perfection on how Chanakya through his masterful strokes of politics helped establishment of Chandragupta Maurya’s rule in Magadha. The play also underlined the important point that the marginalized tribal’s had played an important role in the place. The story flowed seamlessly through the journey of this great visionary and statesman, who used his intelligence to make Chandragupta Maurya the king of India, while facing and fighting against all odds.  The play is an effort to praise the celestial soul known as Kautilya Chanakya and try to bring his divine work to the citizens of India. A portion of the play highlighted Chanakya’s praise for the intellect of Alexander (addressed as Alic Sunder in the play) while another part flashed some of the examples from Mahabharata, especially to have the audience note certain teachings. While some of the examples cited made the audience ponder over, the others had them in splits.

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The show was about 120 minutes long (with a break) and not even a single moment was dull. The power packed performance was an instant hit given the fact that loud nationalism is the flavor of the season. Manoj Joshi, who has already won several accolades for this show, was felicitated in the end to a standing ovation.

Rajender Singh and Star Promotions are soon coming up with the most awaited ‘Dream Team” show. The show stars some of the top of the line Bollywood stars like Jacqueline Fernandes, Aditya Kapoor, Karan Johar, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Siddharth, Badshah and Parineeti Chopra. The show will be held on August 12, at the Toyota Centre, Houston @ 9PM. Tickets for the show are on sale now.

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