Saturday, August 11, 2007

the gift of a daughter

Last evening I watched 'Kanyadaan' (the gift of a daughter) an award winning play by Vijay Tendulkar, directed by Lillete Dubey. The original Marathi play written around early 1980s, has been staged in various languages over the years but this was the first time it was staged in English.

The promotional literature and the earlier reviews did not prepare me for the myriad emotions I experienced through the 105 minutes and long after. The auditorium was packed and the crowd most discerning. Though the screen opened half an hour late, the riveting performance made the delay inconsequential.

Much has been written in its praise but for me this was a personal experience of the most intimate nature. More than the social, moral, cultural and political questions that the play raised, it was the human emotions that moved me. The play examines the complex father–daughter relationship and how the various circumstantial compulsions and decisions transforms that relationship based on respect and inspiration into hatred and self-loathing. A coming of age story of the violent kind. The violence both overt and covert is aimed at our ideology, personal beliefs, value-systems and cultural mores and therefore loathsome. It is also a story with a simple narration but complex interpretation. The emotions are multi-layered yet transparent. It talks about a woman’s struggle with her inspired belief and how that fails to prepare her for reality and finally her acceptence of the same. There are no real heroes in the story as each character carries multiple shades of grey just like in the real world. Finally, the play makes us reexamine our long established belief systems and there in lies its greatness.

I suspect some of the nuances would have been lost in translation but to the director's credit much of the emotional spew was allowed in its origianl Marathi which enriched the impression and leaves me longing for experiencing the play in its original language.


Shreyasi Deb said...

You watched it ? wow...I had watched it sometime back at Prithvi...simply awesome!

DreamCatcher said...

SD : Truly awesome...but I want to experience in marathi or atleast hindi