Rangashankara – Mallinatha Dhyana

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This was, again, a collection of three short stories by Vaidehi. Given the inclination/theme her stories has, the play too was an attempt to dive into woman’s mind.

There were three protagonists, the first one was most interesting for me. She was Shakuntala, the famous character of Kalidasa’s play. The director/playwright here takes few wonderful deviations (was reminded of the deviations by Farhan Akthar in Don) from the original. The play suggests that temporary memory loss was infact a lie told to the world and that the king just did not keep up his word. This challenges the self-respect of Shakuntala and she takes revenge – if she had wanted she could have shown the ring as proof, but she instead lies that it was lost in the river. And finally, when king tries to apologise, she doesn’t give in.

I liked the deviations because they were convincing and more practical than the original. And of course they are so consistent with the theme – self-respect and independence of woman is at the core.

Second story was of a lady who longs for love and marriage. I would not go into details but I felt it was treated a little over the top. Or may be because, I could not accept those reactions/feelings coming from a girl – we are very much used to see that from a boy just like many dialogues that she mouthed.

Two credits to this second story – one it had varied dimensions and density in the character. And while the former story invoked heavy dose emotions and was serious by nature – despite a romantic backdrop – this one evoked few smiles, so what if it combined pity with it.

Third story was a complex one. That, coming from me is saying a lot ! This character is a wife of a rich man, a poet herself but suffering by some complex. Probably an inferiority complex, or an identity crisis –somewhat similar in theme to other two- or even lack-of-attention syndrome. She indirectly questions the patriarchal society and walks out of her marriage and settles with someone who she thinks would love her.

While one lady performed other two ladies played supporting and it was interesting to watch a supporting cast don the main role in the next part, well & differently. Music support was quite simple – by the same person traditional harmonium for Shakuntala and modern keyboard for other two.

The play overall was quite low on entertainment value, but I appreciate the effort that went into it. However I guess it was quite interesting to art lovers like Dr.URA whom I spotted in the audience.

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