Watch the ancient characters of the Mahabharata come alive at the ruins of the Delhi Sultanate. Andha Yug (The Blind Age), is a play set in the last day of the Mahabharata war, which has been adapted for the Delhi stage with a modern perspective. It is being performed against the backdrop of the Kotla Ferozshah Fort.
Directed by theatre personality Bhanu Bharti and presented by the Sahitya Kala Parishad, the play is based on one of the most celebrated works of Padmashree award winning playwright Dharamvir Bharati. "It is a saga of light in the time of darkness," says Bharti. He explains that through the years, almost every director has staged the play and usually it is always interpreted as an anti-war play. "But, I’m attempting to see it beyond war. The play revolves around the question, ‘What are the reasons, the human follies that cause war?’ and that’s what we are exploring," he adds.
Written in the post-partition period, the five-act tragedy is a meditation on the politics of violence and aggressive selfhood. The moral learning of the play is that every act of violence inevitably debases society as a whole. "Man is capable of great destruction, at the same time, capable of rising above and walking on a new path," says Bharti.
Talking about the decision to perform the play against a historical backdrop, the play explains that it is to distance the audience from the current reality, so they get a richer, deeper understanding of what the play’s message is. "When you see Mahabharata characters in those ruins, you get a different perspective than you would in a regular auditorium in Delhi," he adds. The play is also being touted as the largest ever theatrical performance to be held at these remains.
Besides the screenplay, Bharti has added a prologue and an epilogue to the play. The introductory voice-over will be done by actor Om Puri. Members of the cast include Mohan Maharishi as Dhritarashtra, Uttara Baokar as Gandhari) and Bollywood actor Zakir Hussain as Sanjay.
Bringing an age alive on stage
What: Andha-Yug: The Significant Play of the Modern India
Time: 6.30pm onwards
When: October 15 to 23, (There are no shows on October 17 and 20)
Passes: Available at the venue only
Where: Kotla Ferozshah Fort, Near ITO
Nearest Metro Station: Pragati Maidan on the Blue Line