Nishu Dikshit is one of the thousands, or even millions, in India who get an IT job with their passions lying elsewhere, mostly art. She has appeared in shows like Aakhri Sach on Disney+ Hotstar, Criminal Justice, Mai, and Operation MBBS. She is slated to feature in an upcoming Netflix film, portraying a sportsperson. Her acting journey started in Bengaluru, where she used to work in an IT firm and did theatre part-time. At one point, she quit her job to pursue theatre exclusively. She produced and acted in plays.
She then moved to Mumbai. With theatres shut during the pandemic-induced lockdown, she looked for another artistic outlet.
“I took to writing — something I had never tried. I wrote a few stories. I did this mainly to express myself during the lockdown. However, as time passed, I began to contemplate sharing these stories with others and possibly performing them as well,” says Nishu.
The shows, to her delight, were well-received. When she wrote about 10 stories, she noticed a common thread connecting them. She also identified underlying themes in her stories. “So, I decided to weave them together and created a one-hour solo show.”
Thus, Guchcha: A Collection of Stories was born. Nishu’s storytelling encompasses the rugged terrain of Ghaziabad, the rain-soaked streets of Bagafa (in Tripura), the chaotic energy of Mumbai, and heartwarming tales of friendship forged in Bengaluru.
What sets Guchcha apart from a regular storytelling event is Nishu’s inventive use of props, real-time changes in hairstyle, and elements of costume design that complement each story.
“I incorporated subtle elements of theatre in my storytelling. For instance, there’s a noticeable transformation in hairstyles that symbolises the passage of time, taking the character from the age of nine to 30. These hairstyle changes are accompanied by the use of various props scattered around the performance area,” she says.
“When you first enter the performance space, it may not be immediately evident that it’s a set but these props are integral to the unfolding stories. Additionally, small details of costume changes are introduced for each story, contributing to the overall performance.”
The stories in Guchcha encompass a wide range of emotions and experiences. In ‘Taalaab Wala Ghar,’ we delve into a bittersweet childhood lesson set in the rain-soaked town of Bagafa. ‘Bachche Chai Nahin Peete’ invites us into a child’s fascination with tea, which is typically meant for grown-ups.
In ‘Chiffon,’ a chiffon dupatta becomes an unexpected symbol of strength for a girl after a disturbing incident in the rugged streets of Ghaziabad. ‘Kitaabein’ explores how books carry more than just words and stories; they hold moments and memories. ‘Aaghaz 2.0’ encourages us not to hesitate when it comes to giving love a second chance.
‘Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Ye’ paints a heartwarming lockdown story of an unconventional friendship in bustling Mumbai. Meanwhile, ‘Shanno Ki Trick’ unravels the tale of a childhood superstition that evolves into the foundation of a lasting friendship. And, ‘The pursuit of ‘Khushi’‘ prompts us to ponder whether we should actively chase happiness or let it come to us naturally.
Guchcha – A Bunch of Original Stories will be performed on October 6th, 7 pm at Shoonya and October 7th, 6:30 pm at Lahe Lahe. Tickets BookMyShow and Insider.