Masterji’s Play Brings Maharana Pratap & Jivram Bhatt to Life

By Jawahar Malhotra

STAFFORD: Year after year, Indravadan Trivedi, the man belovedly known as Masterji by many in the community, has brought out plays based on famous Hindu figures and historical events from India’s glorious past.  His sets have always been ablaze with brilliant costumes and an abundance of actors who spend weeks rehearsing their steps and lines in good humor and passion.

This year Masterji tackled the story of 16th century Pratap Singh I; popularly known as Maharana Pratap who was a king of Mewar from the Sisodia dynasty. He has been called the first Freedom Fighter and became a folk hero for his resistance against the expansion of the Mughal Empire under Akbar using guerrilla warfare, which was inspirational for later rebels including Shivaji.

Masterji played Maharana Pratap and was fierceful looking in his black chain-link costume and twirling black mustache.

The second half of the evening was the enacting of the popular comedic Gujarati play “Jivram Bhatt” written in 1871 by Dalpatram. The play tells the story of Jivaram Bhatt – also played onstage by Masterji – , who suffers from nyctalopia (night blindness) but does not want people to know about it. When he visits his father-in-law’s house, he causes considerable difficulty and confusion while trying in vain to hide his disability.

Both the dramas were presented at the Old Stafford Civic Center on Constitution Ave. on Saturday, August 27 and coincided with Masterji’s 75th birthday. Several well-known supporters of the arts and Masterji’s plays were in attendance, including Subhash and Sarojini Gupta; Stafford City Councilman Ken Mathew; Vijay Pallod; Madan Mohan of Vadtal Dham; Jasmeeta Singh; Mukund Gandhi and candidate for 240th Judicial District Court Judge Surendaran Pattel.

A cast of over 40 people who have worked with Masterji for years acted in the two plays and gave background support. Jasmeeta Singh emceed the program with narration of the drama scenes and other items of the show. Students of Aditi Dance School and Dipti Dave of the Nrityam School of Dance performed the beautiful dances while Hemant Dave sang melodious hit songs of Mohamed Rafi and Mukesh.