BWW Previews: MAHABHARATA, A PLAY By The Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust
Mahabharata is that epic tale that every Indian has read in various version. from Mahabharata stories in school text books to philosophy classes and on entertainment channels, there are scarcely any more tales told and re-told in so many fashions in the country.
So, when one hears about yet another Mahabharata showing on stage, one does wonder if the play would bring along any novelty factor. And perhaps, this is where the craft of The Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust comes to play. The play directed by Anurupa Roy, looks at the dilemmas that form the central theme of the Hindu epic tale.
The play also comes up with pertinent questions about the world we live in. When everyone is looking for peace then why is the world always inching towards war? The other striking thing about this new play is that the story does not focus on one or two central characters in the tale. instead it explores the dilemmas and backstories of 15 characters from the epic tale that boasts of hundreds of characters. The inner dilemma, the need for calm and the chaos everywhere can sum up the stories of lives in the ancient Indian tale as well as the lives today. the emotions portrayed on stage also touch upon our inner battles.
Talking about the play, the makers say, "Each character in the Mahabharata is an archetype whose single minded and unquestioning loyalty to one belief leads to the inevitable conflict. Was there ever a moment when each of these human beings by making a choice, the choice of letting go, could have averted the war."
The Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust, that is behind the play also deserves a mention for the commendable work it is doing to revive an ancient craft. Katkatha conducts intensive short courses and workshops in puppet techniques, supports interns who learn by following the work of the company. The focus is to train the next generation of professional puppeteers,
The show is not a public event. It is a part of Junoon's programme Through The Looking Glass: