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Baaton Mein

Emerging from multiple Drama for Development workshops by ComplexCity’s Artistic Consultant Divya Bhatia, Baaton Mein is a unique youth-led creative initiative. The production is supported by the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, UK and StageLeft, India.

Youth from different socio-economic backgrounds across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region have been trained to put up simple one-act plays on topics that are close to their lives. The plays are in Hindi & Marathi and depict slices of life in the city, especially those of young adults growing up and their struggles related to accessing jobs, in relationships, and so on.

Each play ends on an open note so that viewers’ curiosity can be further heightened, and they can further engage with the topics in their own ways. Some of the feedback the plays have already received relate to how realistically they portray everyday scenarios, and without taking a stand, but keeping endings open, as often life is.

The plays provide a great way to explore realities of young people in the city of Mumbai, linked to the larger urbanisation context and the external environment. The entire programme is for about an hour. 


To give examples of a few scenes:

In one, a dialogue between two sisters reveals the tensions within the family with respect to them wanting the elder sibling to marry again, and her firm reluctance given the trauma she has already undergone in her first marriage

In another, a mother and son struggle to communicate with one another. While she seeks financial support from him, he shares plans to move further from the family home, and this opens us newer cracks in the relationship.

YUVA has always worked to develop youth capacities, and through this theatre too, we have sought to develop the expression capabilities of youth – to invest them in creating and presenting their own stories in an authentic and artistic way, so they can further dialogue on hard truths and build deeper connections with city audiences.