Daraundi ko Pani at Shilpee Theatre
Daraundi ko Pani, a play that recasts from a piece of history, is currently being staged at Shilpee Theatre in Battisputali. As its subject, the play, written and directed by Aashant Sharma, draws on actual events that transpired in Gorkha druing Ram Shah's regime, his death and the consecration of the famous Manakamana Temple. “There is a shortage of plays based on history in Nepali theatre. Plays like Ranadullav, by Natya Siromani Balkrishna Sama, and Amar Singh come to mind, which were written in the last century. In the resurgence of Nepali theatre, which many term a renaissance, there have been no attempts to adapt history into drama,” said director Sharma. Speaking about the genesis of the play Daraundi ko Pani, director Sharma said, “As a student of history, I felt the dearth of historical plays strongly. I have been reading this famous historical text Gorkha Bansawali, which narrates the events that transpired in Gorkha, in the run up of the Shah dynasty. Daraundi ko Paani is a fictionalisation of an episode of the text.” Daraundi ko Paani tells the story of Siddha Lakhan Thapa Magar (not to be confused with Lakhan Thapa, often cited as the first Nepali martyr), who is appointed by King Ram Shah as a helper for his wife. The drama picks up as King Shah dies and his widow, Queen Lila Wati, kills herself by climbing onto the funeral pyre (Sati), even though Magar requests her not to. “There is some sort of untold love between the queen and Magar, and I have fictionalised that,” said Sharma. Sharma also said “with the play, I am trying to inspire researchers and readers to peel beneath the façade that is Nepali history.” Daraundi ko Pani features actors Namita Ghising (as Lila Wati), Ajashra Dhungana (as King Ram Shah), Prayas Bantawa Rai (Lakhan Thapa Magar), Kamal Pyasi Devkota (Guru Gorakhnath) and Bina Thapa (Bishnuwati, King Ram Shah's first wife), in the lead roles. The play is currently on stage at Shilpee Theatre in Battisputali every day at 5:30 pm and will run through August 15.