Bol – A Play About Language, From Sufis to Memes

Posted by The Quint in Quint: Bol
July 29, 2017

Do you at times find it difficult to understand what your dadi is talking about? Or at the end of most of the conversations go, “Huh? What did you say?”

My dear friends, this is not generation gap but language gap!

The boli in which our grandparents converse is totally different to the Internet lingo we talk in nowadays.

This could be best explained by Akriti Singh in her latest play Bol. As the name suggests, it’s a play about language. The play will take you on a journey through the world of poetry and stories, from Sufis to Internet memes.

So what was the idea behind Bol?

Well, it was pretty simple. It was written simply because of her love for poetry and languages. Akriti, by the way, knows Italian and Persian apart from Bangla, Hindi and English. She can read Bangla and Farsi. She is also learning to read Brahmi and Gurmukhi.

It was during this phase when Akriti realised that she had deliberately made her language very urban. She had stopped using words from Hindi dialects like basan which meant utensils or tadke which meant morning.

“I realised how I’ve stopped using certain words in Hindi. In becoming urban, we are losing the beauty of all these diverse dialects,” says Akriti, who studied architecture.

Who is Akriti?

Akriti is an architect, who has been acting on stage for a number of years. She started writing and directing her own plays from last year. Her Mumbai-based theatre group called Storia Senza Storia (story-less stories in Italian) has produced eight plays in the last year including one based on the French masterpiece ‘The Little Prince’ which was co-produced with National Centre of Performing Arts (NCPA).

(We all love to express ourselves, but how often do we do it in our mother tongue? Here’s your chance! This Independence Day, khul ke bol with BOL – Love your Bhasha. Sing, write, perform, spew poetry – whatever you like – in your mother tongue. Send us your BOL at or WhatsApp it to 9910181818.)

Click here to visit the Bol microsite. 

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