This 'Dhumrapaan' is not injurious to health!

New Delhi: The office gossips and smoking areas that have gone hand in hand since time immemorial, were brought to life in a play that highlighted the stressful lives led by employees at work places.

Set in the smoking zone of a corporate office, 'Dhumrapaan' plays out over a period of a week, as an angry boss, a senior employee waiting for his retirement, a new joinee, a reluctant worker, an english speaking tech-savvy employee and a carefree intern, enact the nuances of what is popularly called 'office politics'.

Taking from the 'chicken-egg dilemma', the story delves deeper into the reason why most office-goers indulge in smoking. Laden with dark humour, it shows how insecurities and fears win over an individual in the rat race to be successful.

"I always think whether it is the cigarette that is killing us or is there something that is killing us from within because of which we take up smoking?" asks one of the characters.

The unfavourable situations in the characters' lives play antagonists, as the smoking zone in the office transforms from an area for discussing the 'singing talent' of one of the employees' child to a platform that witnesses the blame-game between co-workers.

Akarsh Khurana, who has directed the play, came up with the idea while observing the smoking room at the Delhi airport here, as he waited to board his flight.

"The body language of the smokers, the unspoken camaraderie, the personalities of different types of smokers, some alone and others in small groups, is what sowed the seed for the play," Khurana said.

The story also depicts the irony of how employees use the smoking room to get rid of the claustrophobia they suffer from in their air-conditioned cubicles.

The production stars veteran actor Kumud Mishra of "Rockstar" and "Jolly LLB 2" fame, in the character of the 'angry boss'. Mishra is also the producer of the play.

The play was performed at Kamani auditorium here as part of the ongoing Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards.

PTI