The Modern ‘Chakravyuh’—Street Play by ADA Dramatics
On the 6th of September, ADA Dramatics performed ‘Chakravyuh’—their award-winning play as a part the cultural fest M.I.L.A.P.
The play was performed in TMA Pai hall with people from all colleges of MAHE in the audience. It was centred around the idea of issues that we face in our society today and how we can look towards our mythological epics for inspiration to resolve them. The play portrayed Lord Krishna seeing these social issues in person and reminding people of how others before them have fought through such misconduct.
The play first portrayed a transsexual being harassed and beaten by people all around him for no apparent reason other than his gender identification. Seeing him beaten and broken, Lord Krishna arrives and reminds him of Shikhandi, a fellow transsexual from the epic, Mahabharat. He tells him of how she was initially mistreated by everybody around her but she didn’t lose hope. She fought both literally and figuratively to get over the obstacles and be treated with respect. Her bravery in the war was something that spoken about throughout history.
The next issue that the play tackled was that of marital rape—a wife waiting for her husband, being forced to act according to the husband’s whims without caring for her consent.
Her struggles were heartbreaking to watch and her tears forced Lord Krishna to come forth and inspire her to get through this difficult phase. Lord Krishna reminded her of Draupadi, another woman from the Mahabharat who was mistreated by her husbands and gambled away by their folly without her consent. He reminded her of the harsh treatment that the Pandavas went through for treating her in that manner and assured her that no act goes unpunished. Just as how Draupadi felt unsafe in her own home, women today feel unsafe with the threat of marital rape looming over their heads. The play then reminded the audience of how the disagreement between the Pandavas in the time of war led to the death of Abhimanyu in the Chakravyuh. This was proven to be a mirror to the countless disagreements in our present society which will undoubtedly lead us all towards misery and death of humanity, freedom, and expression.
The different sections of the street play were connected through well-written jingles with an effective use of simple props to emphasize the trauma faced by the different people through the course of the play. The play had a special eye-opener, in the end, showing the crowd how to progress towards the uplifting of humanity and allowing everybody to be treated fairly and with respect. This jingle was dedicated to the abolishment of Article 377, making the day a little more special. The play received tremendous praise from everybody in the audience including the MILAP organizers who were very impressed by the depth of the play and the acting calibre of the students.