Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Mithingai Amagi Meeshi)
- A synopsis of the Play by Aryan Theatre -


 'Mithingai Amagi Meeshi' at 31st All Manipur Drama Festival 2022-23 :: 9th April 2023
'Mithingai Amagi Meeshi' at 31st All Manipur Drama Festival 2022-23 :: 9th April 2023 :: Pix - Derick khuman

Mithingai Amagi Meeshi is a Manipuri language translation and adaptation of Dario Foís Accidental Death of an Anarchist.

A student has died under mysterious circumstances while in the police custody. He is charged with criminal offences of blasting Improvised Explosive Devices around Imphal. People are charging the police for killing the student in their custody.

A mass unrest is erupted against the police and the government. Enquiry Commission headed by a Judge is instituted. The verdict of the Commission says that the death was not caused by the police but it happened accidentally.

The play opens in the first-floor office room of the inspector Chaothoi in the four-stoned police headquarters. He is interrogating a fraudster who is known as Maniac, and not by any particular name of his own.

The inspector is outwitted by Maniac. Maniac is finally kicked out of the room by the inspector and the inspector also leaves his room after a while. Maniac re-enters and vandalises all the office files; interrupts a phone call from the inspector Chaoren feigning as a friend of Chaothoi.

Over the phone. Maniac disinforms Chaoren and succeeds establishing a bad relationship between Chaothoi and Chaoren Chaothoi re-enters. He is enraged on finding Maniac again in his room. Maniac is manhandled and forced out of the room. Chaoren comes in angered and infuriated by Maniacís disinformation Chaothoi being guiltless, welcomes him with a smile. But Chaoren all of a sudden punches his face.

The second act opens in the room of the inspector Chaoren, the same room where the incident of killing the student suspect took place. Maniac comes in disguised as Judge. Chaoren gets nervous. Maniac asks for the Superintendent of police who was also involved in the interrogation. The SP comes furiously but gets nervous on finding the surprise-visit of the Judge (Maniac).

Maniac orders the three policemen to re-enact the way the suspect was interrogated. The policemen fabricate many versions of the event but fail to convince the Judge (Maniac). They fabricate as if it was a friendly conversation rather than a tense interrogation. They claim it was a suicide case.

The constable says that the accused ran and jumped down the window all of a sudden He says he tried to save his life by grabbing his left foot. But the boy fell and the shoe was left in his hand Maniac disproves that witnesses saw the dead boy had both shoes when he fell flat on the ground.

Being cornered. SP gets exasperated and says this case of fabricating story should have been handed to an expert director of video films. Inspector Chaoren being cornered. feels very sad and helpless and wants to kill himself jumping down the window. Maniac incites him to kill himself. As the last resort, the SP fabricates a new third version of the story and requests the Judge to help him.

Meantime, the phone suddenly rings, and informs that a lady journalist wants to meet them. The Judge (Maniac) says he will disguise as a forensic expert to help the policemen. The policemen are very happy thinking that the Judge (Maniac) is out to help them. The Judge (Maniac) exits.

The journalist enters and starts questioning. Maniac re-enters precariously fashioned as a forensic-expert. During the height of intense questioning the inspector Chaothoi the ill-timed misfit enters with an IED in his hand and finds Maniac disguised again. Chaothoi fries to expose him. But he is crudely silenced by the SP and inspector Chaoren.

 'Mithingai Amagi Meeshi' at 31st All Manipur Drama Festival 2022-23 :: 9th April 2023
'Mithingai Amagi Meeshi' at 31st All Manipur Drama Festival 2022-23 :: 9th April 2023 :: Pix - Derick khuman

Inspector Chaothoi is confused, angry and becomes uncontrollable He is chased away by the SP. inspector Chaoren and the Constable Maniac reveals his true identity that he is a rebel carrying a reward of five lakhs of rupees on his head. He ties all the policemen with a rope and attempts to blow up with the bomb. The journalist intervenes and argues that he cannot take the law in his hand.

Maniac disagrees The journalist runs away for life. The policemen arc killed. However, another ending begins. The policemen come alive. They thank the journalist for saving their life. But finally they hold back the journalist and she is tied to a chair, because they suspect she could expose the whole truth through the media.

The journalist cries for help. The policemen run away leaving the journalist tied in a chair with the live bomb licking. Maniac requests the audience to think and choose any one of the two conclusions he has proposed. The play ends here.

Directors note: The play stands against custodial deaths, forms of human rights violations and oppressive systems. The performance is satirical and aims at arousing a hilarious laughter in the audience as a therapeutic exercise. The performance was first staged in 1998 by the Aryan Theatre.

About the group: Aryan Theatre is a pioneer theatre organisation of the state founded in 1935. It has a long history of outstanding performances.

About the director: Dr. N. Premchand is a theatre director with more than fifty years of involvement in theatre practice. There are numerous plays to his credit as director shown in the state and other parts of India He is a scholar of Theatre & Performance Studies. He has authored books and published numerous research articles on theatre, and conducted national theatre workshops.

Casts and Credits:

Maniac: Phurailatpam Natraj Shartna
Inspector: Chaothoi Laishram Bikram (Chacha)
Inspector: Chaoren L. Cha Noren
Constable: Chingsubam Singhajit (Bindu)
SP: Chanambam Khogendrajit (Momo)
Lady journalist: Kh Sanatombi

See full photo gallery here

* Aryan Theatre provided this synopsis for
This article was webcasted on April 13 2023 .

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