The download link has been successfully emailed to you Close The point is that as a wife and a mother, Savitri fails to establish an emotional connection with her relatives as well as she fails to experience financial security on the part of her unemployed and hopeless husband and two daughters who do nothing but talk about their own problems. Despite being a family, Savitri, her husband, and their children are not able to communicate properly, discuss their feelings and concerns while respecting those of the others, which makes one arrive at a conclusion that this family is dysfunctional. The reader may even have an impression that the characters do not really talk to each other; they are rather in a state of a never-ending verbal fight. Paradoxically enough, the man is happier when his friends are around but not his family. For example, the eldest daughter who is already married is discontent with her marriage, too.

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Its appearance on the theatre scene in not only caused a minor sensation but also gave rise to a new trend in playwriting. The play deals with a five-member family caught in the vicious net of destitution.

The play has been enacted in many languages besides Hindi. But so overpowering has been the form, that no director has ever attempted a reinterpretation of the content for fear of sacrilege. The act-wise construction is broken into episodic units. A chorus of distinct Kabuki origin is used to highlight periods of external tension and inner emotional turmoil. An eerie wail, the slow crescendo of drums, but more than anything the dull striking of wooden clappers drag the audience into the core of the conflict.

Here the narrator takes over. He very calculatedly releases the tension and tries to make the audience look for related tensions outside the dramatic area. The sets, designed by Nissar Allana, take up a triangular half of the tiny studio theatre, the audience sits in the other triangle. The multi-level acting area is very interestingly divided and the triangle motif reoccurs at various points of intensity.

While retaining the basic scenic development, Amal has rearranged the order of some dialogues and played certain scenes concurrently in two areas. Her use of the epilogue, one of the weakest, and according to me, even redundant parts of the play, has been so distributed between the actor and the chorus as to create a rhythm draw out the meaning and comment on the action. When at a certain stage I find a play that strikes me I take it up," said Amal in a interview with India Today.

In any case the play did not attract me then. I was taken up with Brecht. But now the frame has become more precise. From the larger context of general statements and social class conflicts, I find myself moving to the area of the personalized, the more specific and detailed, the conflict between individuals.

I do not mean that Brecht makes general statements, but I now want to observe and perceive and not just give messages. I want to do theatre that reveals human relationships -of course within the wider social context and therefore relevant to me and to the audience.

As one grows older ones perception becomes more acute and now I want to deal with characters that have much to reveal. Her main concern is to discover a modern theatre form that can relate closely to the forms in our society. For that she believes it is necessary to study the basic elements that are used for communication in folk theatre: the face, the body, the music and other structural modes of expression.

Neither the literary word is very important nor is there much of characterization. But in order to understand and to relate to the 80 per cent of the population you mention, it is essential to study the folk forms.

I am not interested in reproducing Yakshagana or Kabuki, or in creating a folk form for the urban situation but in discovering what is authentic and what has the resonance to relate to us. For instance Kabuki characters appear to be types when you are watching the show, but later you realize that they have a psychology.

The episodic break up and the juxtapositioning of the scenes and dialogues, arose out of the internal tempo and rhythm of the play. I used human music to integrate the sound pattern of the play.

Though in exposing the characters and externalizing their problems, Amal was able to translate the "I" and place him in the general class category. I must admit though, I find Binnie the most interesting. She is the person who lifts the play to a philosophical plane. It is in her return to the house and conversation with Ashok that one comes closer to the problems afflicting the household.

Savitri is a conflicting character. Her emotional outbreaks are middle-class but her thoughts- wanting a total man for example- are westernized thoughts. I feel in the play there are the insiders-Mahendranath, Savitri and children-and the outsiders-Singhania, Juneja, Jagmohan. After the initial breakdown in the family each new circus is precipitated by the outsiders, for they are decisive, complete people, unlike the wavering insiders who till the end remain indefinite.

The beating and battering about of the young Kinnie lends a physicalized element to the conflict. The masochistic relationship between Savitri and Mahendranath reveals itself in Juneja. Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app.







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