These two plays negotiate with the real problems of contemporary India. If Sahyadri Kanda is about the ripples caused in the life of the people in a village on the Western Coast which will soon have a nuclear plant, Swayamvaraloka, is an allegorical narrative set in a small village that extends to include the larger contemporary world. Both the plays dwell on the seeming binaries of village-city, success-failure, modern-traditional while examining the nature of human relationships in the changing world. These plays also reflect an ambition to elevate the real experience to a mythical level. While most playwrights attempt to echo contemporary concerns by reinterpreting history and mythology, for these plays, the epics, their grandeur, the struggle, the wars are not episodes that happen in kingdoms and palaces and battlefields, they are also that which takes place in the microworld of one's consciousness. Each character in these plays find their own dharma, yet it offers no model for the reader, and remains only a pointer to the complex process of finding it.
Akshara K V is a theatre director, playwright, writer, administrator, and publisher. Currently, leading the Ninasam Theatre Institute at Heggodu, Akshara is an alumnus of the National School of Drama and the University of Leeds. In his theatre career spanning three decades, Akshara has written four plays, directed more than 50 productions in Kannada, has been a teacher at the Ninasam theatre school and other places. He has, so far, published over 30 books in Kannada on literature, theatre, cinema, culture, and it includes translations of Shakespeare's plays and books related to culture and society from English. Akshara's work and contribution to theatre and the world of arts at large has been widely recognized with many awards.
When I wrote Sahyadri Kanda in 1998 -- my first play -- the purpose was limited. It is true that I wanted to write a script for the stage, as also try my hand at dramaturgical writing. However, while doing it, I realised that what I wished to do was to write about real issues of the real world; but not in a way that is conventionally called realism. I have always believed that my writing must aspire for Puranic proportions, and therefore you will find me constantly looking at the present through people of the past Bhavabhuti, Kalidasa, Shakespeare, etc. While the name of the play Sahyadri Kanda comes from a Sanskrit, mythological text, I use it to write about the present. I am still not sure whether my play was a success or a failure, but somehow the habit of writing plays as well as my search for a dramaturgy has persisted. I have now written five plays, apart from translations and adaptations. <./p>
Around 2010, my friend Vivek Shanbhag, selected one scene from Swayamvaraloka for an English anthology of new writings in Kannada, and Jayanth Kodkani translated it. When I read that translation, I was pleased to see my words making some sense in another language too, and thanked Jayanth for his effort. But then Jayanth offered me a bonus, he wanted to translate the entire play, and I readily agreed. In the coming years, with writer Vaidehi and Neeta Inamdar from MUP suggesting that two of my plays should be published in English, the project began to take a definite shape. With inputs from all these people, it is now open to non-Kannada readers, for whatever it isworth.
Deepa Ganesh, as with most of my writing, has helped me to review the translation. Shantha Gokhale, was generous to me in offering her time to read and respond to the translation. I must also remember my erstwhile teacher, now friend, T.P. Ashoka for his support, and all members at Ninasam who collaborate with me in doing theatre. I owe a lot to my mother Shailaja, my wife Vidya, my son Shishira, my daughter-in-law Neha and Adya, my little grandson, for giving me the energy to engage myself in diverse activities.
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend