Sunday, April 8, 2007

Nenapaadalu Shakuntale @ Rangashankara

Nenapaadalu Shakuntale @ Rangashankara

Aneka's adaptation of Mahakavi Kalidasa's Abhijnana Shaakuntalam as 'Nenpaadalu Shakuntale' is the well known love story of Shakuntala and Dushyanta.

Abhijnana Shakuntalam (The Recognition of Shakuntala) tells the story of king Dushyanta who falls in love with a lovely girl Shakuntala who is at sage Kanva's ashrama. The couple get married in gandharva style and things seem to be going smoothly until Fate intervenes. When the king is called back to court by some pressing business, his new bride unintentionally offends the angry sage Doorvasa who puts a curse on her, erasing the young girl entirely from the king's memory. Softening after her friends describe to him her situation,the saint concedes that the king's memory will return when Shakuntala returns to him the ring he gave her. This seems easy enough--that is, until Shakuntala loses the ring while on the boat travelling to meet Dushyanta. And to make matters worse, she soon discovers that she is pregnant with the king's child. Upon reaching Dushyanta's place, he fails to recognize her and humiliates her. She then goes to sage Maareecha's ashrama where she gives birth to Sarvadamana. True love is destined to win the day, and when a fisherman finds the ring, the king's memory returns and he starts to repent for his mistake of not recognizing Shakuntala. He accidentally happens to visit Maareecha's ashrama where he chances upon Sarvadamana who is playing with a lion cub. His mother Shakuntala comes in search of him and thats when Dushyanta recognises her and accepts her.

The story and hence the play is very simple and has all the elements to make it worth watching. The colorful sets and the various shades of lighting used were the highlights of the play. The major highlight was the climax wherein Shakuntala feels sorry that she being recognized by Dushyanta is related to a mere ornament and not love, thus questioning the status of women in present society where material love rules. Nenapaadalu Shakuntale is remarkable not only for its beautiful love poetry, but also for its abundant humor which marks the play from beginning till end. Good effort by Suresh Anagalli of Aneka in directing the play.

No comments: