Waltham Library is celebrating Jungle Book in this year’s theme; and what could be better than to have kids on stage enacting this popular story in a play format. Students of Bal Vihar School performed the play ‘Going By The Jungle Book’, which was based on the story of Mowgli, written by Rudyard Kipling in his most famous work, ‘The Jungle Book’.
Bal Vihar school was founded in 1996 to imbibe the values of Indian culture, and traditions in our young generation of Indian American. This school teaches not only Hindi language to its students, but also focus on their physical and spiritual well-being. Doing Yoga, reciting Shloka, celebrating each festival with tradition, and taking part in community work are some of their regular activities.
This play ‘Going By The Jungle Book’, was also an attempt to send a unique message of love and selflessness to our society. When I say ‘a unique message’, I want to emphasize on the work of this play’s writers, and also congratulate them, as they have molded this famous Mowgli Story in such a way that it forces you to think if both the villains of this story - Sher Khan (Tiger) and Baldeo (Uncle) representing the animal and human enemies of Mowgli respectively; were not based on the same ideology of Power and Greed. They both believed in power of control and domination rather than equality of law. In this tussle of domination, one thing that both of them failed to understand was, that Power of a Pack, power of a family, power of a like-minded group standing together for one cause, is far greater than any Sher Khan or Baldeo combined.
Play starts with Raksha the mother wolf, finding a man cub(kid) alone in the forest. Seeing that he could die of hunger, she decides to adopt him and named him Mowgli. Mowgli is raised in jungle as a wolf cub by Raksha, with the help of Baloo and Bagheera and whole wolf pack. On the other hand, Sher Khan see this wolf kid, Mowgli, as a threat to his power, and tries to kill him every chance he gets. Mowgli runs away to a nearby village, where he meets Messua, a kind lady who has lost her son few years back. She takes Mowgli under her care and declare him as his long lost son Natthu; which was not taken well by Baldeo. He sees Mowgli as a threat to his sole inheritance on Messua’s property. His greed for money, takes him to setting a trap for Sher khan too. Mowgli, the innocent boy, who thought that whole jungle was his family, tries to save Sher Khan from the deadly trap, but to no avail. In the end, Sher Khan dies from Baldeo’s gunshot; but Messua do manage to save his son Mowgli from Baldeo’s ill intentions.
Kids performing in this play send out a strong message that whole jungle is our family. We should preserve our jungles and our animals. We should also draw a fine line on where we need to stop our financial gain so as not to hurt our ecosystem. There is power in strength of numbers. We should stand together, just like a pack. This is the power of a pack.
Play was entertaining and everyone played their part perfectly; from baloo’s scratches, to bagheera’s irritation over baloo’s lazy attitude; from sher khan’s growling to Mowgli’s innocence; from Baldeo’s cunningness to Messua’s motherly love; from Raksha’s shield to wolf cubs Aaaooooo; it was just Perfect. Kids did a tremendous job, but It was also the effort of parents, teachers and mentors here, who deserve all the credit for this cultural and moral education to kids through a lively and entertaining play.
At the end, I just wanted to say that it was riveting to see these young boys and girls spread out the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. Our world will be much safer in hands of these kids.