When Raigadh woke up in Indore
HISTORY REPEATS itself. Many in the audience might have sighed after watching the Hindi version of the historic play ?Jeva Raigadhala Jag Yete? (When Raigadh wakes up).Updated: Feb 08, 2006 00:39 IST
HISTORY REPEATS itself. Many in the audience might have sighed after watching the Hindi version of the historic play ‘Jeva Raigadhala Jag Yete’ (When Raigadh wakes up).
It is never history, but individuals who do not learn from it and commit similar mistakes that have led to the downfall of mighty empires under nepotism. Mistakes are not the sole prerogative of weaklings. Shivaji, the alter ego of Maharashtra and the very embodiment of courage and foresight, had to walk the plank.
In this celebrated play, noted playwright Vasant Kanitkar envisions the final days of Shivaji. With slight alterations the model essentially remains the same, the one that existed in Ramayan era when Ram had to relinquish the throne and Dasharath buckled under pressure from queen Kaykei.
Shivaji, after all, was a mortal and found himself wanting as a father when it came to putting reigns on his youthful son Sambhaji and the matter came to a head at the time of appointing an heir.
The play staged at Ravindra Natya Grah on Monday by Drama School of Indore and sponsored by Lok Sanskriti Manch was interesting as well as dreary. For the masses, Shivaji stands as a great Maratha warrior.
His virtues as a compassionate ruler and his escapades of guerilla warfare are the usual topics for drama. The real drama in his life, which caused him great consternation, could come as a disappointment for casual viewers.
At the same time, for those with a fascination for history it commands rapt attention. It was a rather lengthy play even after a generous break.
The production was lavish, the settings elaborate, costumes impressive and the details of appearances well studied.
If ‘school’ is what the group calls itself then it sure has a bunch of bright students.
Shivaji aptly downplaying his character’s customary vigour to suit his years and the dilemma he faced; an ambitious queen Soirabai and his coterie of scheming confidantes; Sambhaji the cad good at heart and finally the young but dignified Rajaram, in whose favour Sambhaji abdicates made a desirable impact in the closing moments of the play.
Director Kiran Shani deserves to be complimented, but surely he and others could use some editing when staging period drama and work on other peculiarities of music and verse.
First Published: Feb 08, 2006 00:39 IST