Bitter Chocolate
Bitter Chocolate is based on real life incidents from Pinki Virani's `Bitter Chocolate', a collection of true stories based on the traumas of abused children in India. It delves into the inner life of tormented children and the travails of his/her near and dear ones to paint devastating pictures of aberrant morality.

Scene I (In English)
A judge, the inquisitor in a case involving a 12 year old, who lodges a complaint against her father, who plies her with alcohol... The disbelieving advocate harangues the child to tears!

Scene 2 (In Hindi)
A social worker rails against promiscuity and accuses young girls of inviting rape by wearing tight and revealing clothes. How can a reputable father even `think' of touching his daughter in `that way'! These things she advocates should remain in the family and never be brought out in the public! As they pollute the minds of others!

Scene 3 (In Hindi or English)
A male child sits shivering before a candle. Distraught with fear, he recalls his uncle fondling and ejaculating on him... He is a bright student and regrets not being able to study... Why? Because he has been given `Downers'... he feels sleepy, all the time... How can he study? Moreover his hands, his poor peeled hands .... He washes them, and he washes them... he doesn't want to be reminded of that memory... When he had to rid himself of... of... ! He is completely broken...

Scene 4 (In Hindi)
A rustic policeman from Bundelkhand, Madhya Pradesh, dissuades the father of a girl raped by a neighbor, during a Kanya Puja, a religious ceremony, from registering a case. He tells the father to protect the reputation of his daughter, for once the rape is made public, the girl will be debarred from school... Worse still, who will marry her? He adds... "Arre bhai, it is not as bad as an attempted murder... huh?"

Scene 5 (English)
A South Indian mother visits Dr. Renu Ghosh and tells her about her daughter who has slit her wrist twice. She cannot understand this self inflicted violence in her well educated balanced middle class home! The traumatized daughter confesses to being regularly molested by her brother. The mother dismisses psychiatry as mumbo jumbo! Through it all, we witness the pain of the mother as well.

Scene 6 (English)

In one of the most chilling exposes of societal indifference is Otto Sir, a saffron clad spiritual guide, who violates boys at will. No one is willing to nail the monster. A grandfather refuses to allow journalists to talk to his molested grandson. A lawyer, a family friend, wants to register an F.I.R. ( a First Information Report) with the police, and is discouraged by the grandfather! The lawyer insists. (continues into Scene 7)

Scene 7 (English-Hindi mix)
A savvy policeman suggests to his boss, his superior, that he can convince the lawyer to drop the case. `It will be too murky, too prolonged, and involve many hurdles! In the end, he succeeds.

Scene 8 (English)
11 year old Sri Lata (from Scene 5) hesitantly walks in with her poem addressed to the public.

The play will be followed by a panel discussion and reception. Panelists: Kathy Colgan, Deborah L. Scarpulla and Danielle Thomas-Taylor.

About Theatre World
Theatre World is a stage group committed to originals and theatre with a message. It has grown out of the efforts of Lushin Dubey and Bubbles Sabharwal, the creative duo who pioneered Kids World. Productions of Theatre World include `Runaways', `Women in Black', `The Life of Gautama Buddha', `Untitled' and `Bitter Chocolate'.

About Lushin Dubey
Lushin Dubey did her Masters in Science in Childhood and Special Education in the US (after a Masters in History from Delhi, India). She was deeply involved in teaching mentally challenged kids. In 1986, she set up Kids World with her cousin, Bubbles Sabharwal... a pioneer of youth theatre in India. Lushin has acted as a lead in several serials, the most recent being `Kashmeer'. She has completed 4 films, yet to be released.

About the Director -Arvind Gaur
Arvind Gaur heads the Delhi based theatre group Asmita. He is committed to innovative and socially relevant theatre. In the past 10 years, he has directed forty eight major plays. His recent ventures include `Women in Black', `Untitled', `Madhavi' and `Bitter Chocolate'.

About the Sponsor - Saathi of Rochester, Inc.
Saathi of Rochester is a not-for-profit corporation with the mission to empower women of South Asian origin who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault, by providing numerous options, linking women with local service providers and raising community education and awareness. Dr. Shashi Sharma is the Founder and President of Saathi. Saathi counselors can be reached at 234-1050 (e-mail: saathi; postal address: P.O BOX 92 EAST ROCHESTER, NY 14445). For more information on Saathi, visit the web site: