About the play
“Marichana Bandhugalu “
Surprises, Problems and Dilemmas keep revolving and troubling mankind since time immemorial. The stories of TODAY are actually the ideas and planning’s of TOMORROW. Also the PROBLEMS of TODAY might become the SOLUTIONS for TOMORROW, which creates a psychological myths and confusions. The traditionalists have a tendency of declaring the values portrayed in ancient literature as everlasting and unquestionable. The phases of life, Human values, traditions and history are contemplated very well in the Puranas and ancient texts which are universally acknowledged as well. It is ardent that the values propounded in them have underwent the test of times which have brought in different results at different times. As a river meanders along the plains carry along the sediments, rocks and minerals to the sea, Human lives too carry on the experiences of past modifying it to suit the changing times. Static blind followances of the erstwhile would make man look foolish with the evolving world.
Modern contexts have a prerogative of collecting the values from the stories of ester years and questioning their relevance to the contemporary needs of the society. The play ‘MARICHANA BANDHUGALU” which was written in 1970s by Arun Mahopadhyaya has a Kannada translation from Bindiganavile Narayanaswamy compares the value of judgement of RAMAYANA with today’s context. ‘The judgement has been paralleled with two modern plays and shows their diversed results. Maricha from Ramayana , Eshwara from Modern Indian context , Gregory from American context play the oppressors who are oppressed by Ravana, Jameendaara and Williams respectively. Wrong dialogues and wrong entrees jumble the minds of spectators as the play progresses; here comes the Jadugar Ustad who tries to bring things to normal with the base of ancient values. The play concludes that the Oppressed are always ruled by the oppressor at all times. Sharp dialogues with radical thoughts provide a enthralling experience with the spectators.
Plays Performed by NSD
‘Gunamukha’ is written in the historical context of Nadir Shah’s invasion of Delhi in the 17th Century and his subsequent inner struggles between his egoistic ambitions. His cruel and idealistic self that is latent in him till a realized Sufi hakim awakens it at the end of the play. Keeping Nadir Shah at the centre, the play unfolds the pictures of a sickened bureaucracy, which decays the living ambience of a society.
The renowned Persian Emperor Nadir Shah lived for about 60 years (1688-1747). In 1739, he defeated the Mughal army at the battle of Karnal in 1740, and captured Delhi. Even before coming to India, through his riots and rages, Nadir had set a deadly terror among his enemies. This ‘reputation’ helped him a great deal in building his Iran-Persian empire. Born in an obscure nomadic tribe, he worked as a soldier, and then a regent of an infant King. Finally, situations favoured him in such a way that in 1736 he became a crowned King; and thus from being an ordinary solders Nadir rose to become an emperor.
In 1740, when Nadir invaded India, the country was in the grips of the affluent Mughal dynasty; it had a strong army of more than a million soldiers, but Nadir was a seasoned invader; and when it came to warfare tricks and strategies, there was none to beat him in the game. More than the wealth and comfort that he would get after every conquest, it appeared that he was thrilled by the cruelty involved in the war.
The Hakim Alvar Khan, who plays a major Sufi role in this play, helps Nadir step back from the abysmal hell in which he was entrapped. Nadir’s life strange conquest and failure, Lankesh says he was drawn towards: his suspicious nature, frank and fortnight attitude, sickness and disease; the way he surges forth even when strong natural forces and strange human ambiguities push him down to the abysmal depths; and finally, towards the manner in which Singh’s novel Delhi, where he demotes a couple of Paragraphs on a hakim called Alvi Kahan.
This prompted Lankesh to read on Nadir and do some odd research for about a year before he comes up with this play in 1993.
Tulvanada Siri among the popular epics of Karnataka has significant places in the folklore of the region. Born as the granddaughter of Birmalva of Satyanapura, sir married to Kanthu punja of Basruru Battakeri who proves to be a wrong match for her.
Soon after the death of Birmalva, Siri takes divorce from her husband after a fierce argument ensures over the inheriting of the former’s wealth. Remarrying after the divorcing her husband, Siri marks is the first woman to do so. She has become quite the cult and given the status of goddess with the Tulu speaking community marking her as the symbol of a liberated woman.
Even today, Siri cult is seen across three important regions of Tulunadu. The transcending of Siri on themselves is one of the ways the oppressed women of the region tried finding a voice to their sorrows.
Not just fighting for equal rights of a woman after marriage, she also argued that if a man comes to marry another woman, then it had to be with the consent of the wife.
The present play has in abundance of the beliefs and rituals of the period of Siri and of the miracles attributed to the Siri cult. The story of Siri transcends all time and space and this play is built using the very essence of Tulu culture, folk forms ad music.