Sarat Chandra’s mas­ter­piece: A play which tack­les is­sues of caste, re­li­gion

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY -

AKVar­i­ous Pro­duc­tions’ lat­est of­fer­ing Un­der The Gypsy Moon is a ren­di­tion of Sarat Chandra Chat­topad­hyay’s clas­sic Srikanto. Di­rected by Akash Khu­rana, Un­der The Gypsy Moon will have its open­ing shows at St. An­drews on Septem­ber 30 and Oc­to­ber 1.This is sixth of seven plays to be staged un­der the Aditya Birla Group’s Aadyam b[an­ner this year. Sarat Chandra’s orig­i­nal is con­sid­ered the first mod­ern In­dian novel, which set the prece­dent for so­cially con­scious writ­ing in mod­ern In­dian lit­er­a­ture. It is also con­sid­ered the writer’s mas­ter­piece.

The pro­tag­o­nist is a no­mad who be­lieves that ev­ery new ex­pe­ri­ence en­riches him. He does not want to be bound by re­la­tion­ships. He rep­re­sents that part of ev­ery man which is in search of the true mean­ing of life. In this jour­ney, he en- coun­ters two di­a­met­ri­cally op­po­site women who both be­lieve that he is their saviour.

Khu­rana who has also adapted the novel for stage says: “There’s al­ways been this affin­ity to Ben­gali lit­er­a­ture and sen­si­bil­ity. And I had never worked in that space be­fore. Sarat Chandra’s work is mar­vel­lous in its com­plex­ity and sim­ple in its ex­po­si­tion.”

Srikanta’s en­coun­ters and ex­pe­ri­ences with var­i­ous women give him re­newed per­spec­tives on mat­ters he con­sid­ered close to him.

The play graphs these ex­pe­ri­ences while also com­ment­ing on so­cial set­ups by mak­ing Srikanto as much a pro­tag­o­nist as he is a spec­ta­tor.

Aadyam’s artis­tic di­rec­tor Divya Bha­tia says: “Un­der the Gypsy Moon is re­mark­able. While it is flush with mu­sic and charm, it re­tains a cu­ri­ous, won­der­ful 'ev­ery­man, ev­ery­day' qual­ity to it. It's rare to see some­thing like this on the Mum­bai stage.” Star­ring Arghya Lahiri, Omkar Kulka­rni, Shivraj Waichal, Aastha Arora, and Rad­hika Cho­pra,the play is a pen­e­trat­ing anal­y­sis, tack­ling is­sues of gen­der, re­li­gion and moral­ity that res­onate even to­day.

En­joy the show.

The play is set in early 20th cen­tury Ben­gal

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