Tanashah // Navtej Johar

‘Tanashah’, a solo by Navtej Johar, explores extremes. Based on the jail diaries of the revolutionary Bhagat Singh, particularly his essay ‘Why I am an Atheist’, it examines the resolve of a young man to walk to the gallows with searing clarity, un-sublimated by religious doctrine or idealist philosophy. The impending moment of his youthful death almost seems to embolden him, propel him unto that final moment with a fierce veracity. Juxtaposed against this fierceness of a man tempting death, will be a padam, an amorous song, that talks of a lover’s unbearable longing and unacceptable separation from his beloved. Both the narratives—the powerful ardour of a revolutionary and the unbridled desire of an impassioned youth—dark, masculine, uncompromising, and almost heckling in nature—will be somatically interwoven in search of poised resolve in the finality of awaited death/consummation.

With the twin claims of unequivocal freedom and pleasurable repose or ‘sukha’, playing at the core of these two full-blooded expressions respectively, the aim of the work will be to bring both courage and desire on the same register.