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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Meghdoot to be performed as a play

Meghdoot is a poem of 111 stanzas divided into two parts, Purva Megha (previous cloud) and Uttara Megha (consequent cloud). 25-year-old Nikhil Shete is directing the poem as a play

pune Updated: Jun 30, 2017 18:19 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune

Meghdoot by Kalidasa is considered to be one of the greatest Sanskrit lyrical poems by many literary experts. Over the years, this poem has been read, performed through dance dramas, and recorded in audio books but it has never been performed as a play.

25-year-old Nikhil Shete, who is directing this poem as a play, had a big task at hand. “It is a beautiful piece of literary treasure, the Meghdootam Kalidasa (Sanskrit) is a short poem of a little over 100 verses. The descriptions in the poem are very vivid and one can visualize what the poet wanted to convey. Meghdoot literally means the cloud messenger,” he said. 

Shete was involved in experimental theatre while attending Fergusson College. “I was keen on presenting something different. Most of the plays now are realistic and family oriented plays, we find the trend even in TV and films too. I wanted to do something different hence as a director I was looking for components which are strong in theatre , so thought of doing non realistic plays. Meghdoot has never been performed as a full fledged drama, it has been mostly shown as a dance drama or a dance performance, hence we, under my production ‘Pravesh’ decided to put up a play on Meghdoot. The poem has been turned into a play by Pranav Patwardhan and we have kept elements of dance using Kathak and Bharatnatyam to help with the flow of the play,” said Shete. 

Meghdoot is a poem of 111 stanzas divided into two parts, Purva Megha (previous cloud) and Uttara Megha (consequent cloud). The poem is about how a Yaksha, convinces a cloud to deliver a message to his wife at Alkanagri on mount kailash in the Himalayas, after he was exiled for a year to central India by King Kubera (God of wealth) for neglecting his duties. He convinces the cloud by telling him stories of beautiful landscapes the could would witness on the journey to Alkanagri.

This play has 25 members including dancers, actors and musicians and is a performance of an hour and 40 minutes. Sanskrit format is used to present the play using Marathi sangeet natak style. Shete has also added a new character, Megh, which is only mentioned in the original poem. For introducing this character, physically, they have used the Greek chorus theatre style. This is their sixth show and is open to all. It will be performed at 9 am at Yashwantrao Chavan Auditorium on July 1.

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First Published: Jun 30, 2017 18:15 IST

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