Aishwarya Rao
Its deep plait with mythology is the reason why I loved Masquerade's play "Thus spake Shoorpanakha, So said Shakuni". It was refreshing to see the protagonists Prateeksha (as Shoorpanakha) and Amit Singh (as Shakuni) explore the great epics Ramayan and Mahabharath to highlight the relevance and importance of these characters in classics that almost forgot to honour its victors.
On one hand, Shoorpanakha gets insulted by the Ayodhya princes Ram and Lakshman. She urges her brother Ravan to take revenge, thus igniting the war in Lanka.
On the other hand Shakuni, who survives the ill-treatment meted out to his family by the Kurus vows to destroy them. He initiates a game of dice, laying the roots for the battle of Kurkshetra.
Giving refreshing insights, the play also highlights contemporary issues like racism and sex. Prateeksha as Shoorpanakha questions how Ram could shun a woman only because she was black. Was it wrong for her to fall in love with a married man?
However, the loose script apart, I was disappointed that the play got its facts wrong. We have all studied how Shakuni's dice are made from his father's bones, giving it magical properties. Amit Singh, however cries out angry and loud, as to how his dice were made from the ashes of his brothers. I haven't ever heard this version of the story and my cross-checks didn't prove me wrong either. If you are not a sucker for minimal sets and mythology you might not exactly be excited about this play.
In the meanwhile, I have resumed compering after a 4 month hiatus.

Yesterday I emceed a dance recital at The Indian Fine Arts Academy. Medha Hari , Sathvikaa Shankar & Yatin Aggarwal, came together to put up a splendid show on the occasion of Maharajah Swathi Thirunal Day Celebrations. All of them are students of Bharathanjali, a dance school run by Guru Anitha Guha.

I simply love hosting these dance recitals. Unlike corporate shows, it compels me to do my homework on mythology, religion, arts and literature. (This show, for example, made me find out how the veena (a music instrument) originated. Ravan is said to have given life to this instrument by severing his arm and one head to form the base of the veena.) Okay, there I go. If your interested in knowing the rest of the story, you can mail me. I will spare the other readers of a mythology session. Cheers!
5 Responses
  1. Mark Isuak Says:

    compeering? what is it that you do not do?

  2. a nice blog indeed.

  3. Hemamalini Says:

    Oh Ohh !!I am able to flash-back that Ravana story.His nerves being the strings and all that!*kicked grin*

  4. Hemaaaa!!!!!!!

    I love it I say!

    I just loved the comment.

    I am so kicked now!

  5. Oh hi Aishwarya

    chanced upon your blog. am touched that someone actually went out there on the weblog and wrote a blog on a play I directed. Thanks for coming for the show. We are now trying to tour with the show. Though not with the same two actors.

    Thanks again