A gutsy war widow’s amazing journey

After her husband was killed in an encounter with J&K terrorists, Subhashini is on a mission to bring the story of Army widows before the world through theatre, reports R Singh.
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Updated on Aug 20, 2007 02:50 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Rahul Singh, New Delhi

Not everyone can understand the mysterious ways of life but Subhashini Vasanth is making an effort. And in doing so, she is scripting a tender story of love, loss and triumph. Drawing courage from her husband Colonel Vasanth Venugopal, who laid down his life in an encounter with terrorists in Kashmir on July 31, Subhashini is venturing into theatre to bring the story of army widows to the world.

The Vasanths had conceived the play a decade ago to inspire war widows to take control of their destiny. It was Vasanth's wish that Subhashini be the creative force behind the project and that she play the lead role, of a widow.

Barely three weeks after the tragedy, Subhashini and her theatre crew, made up of NSD (National School of Drama) graduates, are slogging through a six-hour daily rehearsal schedule in Bangalore. The play, The Silent Front: A Tribute to a Soldier's Wife, is scheduled to premiere in New Delhi on September 8.

Subhashini, 36, told HT, “The intention is to celebrate the strength of army wives, who sacrifice a lot but it goes unrecognised. The play is also a tribute to my husband.” Vasanth was conferred the Ashoka Chakra, the peacetime equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra, for writing a blazing script of gallantry. He killed three terrorists.

She said, “I was to portray a fictional character when the play was planned. But today that role pretty much mirrors my life. Only difference is that the on-stage me is stronger. Perhaps I need to learn from her.” She is determined to be strong for her daughters, Rukhmini, 10 and Yashodha, who is seven.

Seema Azmi is directing the play, which will be staged across India as part of AWWA's (Army Wives' Welfare Association) raising day celebrations.

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