Monday, July 23, 2007

Saavu Dhyeyakilla

Saavu Dhyeyakilla (No death for Goals) @ HN Kalakshetra 21st July 2007

Staged by : Darpana
Script, Screenplay, Lyrics, Dialogues and Direction by : K Sri (K Srinivas)
Lights : Jagadeesh
Make-Up : Ramakrishna Kannarpadi/Vijay Kumar
Costume Designer : N.MangaLa
Sets and Properties: Vasu/Abhijith/Manjunath

Sounds like an inspiring title right?? Yes it is!! Its a tale of patriotism and goals.. goals which dont have death! But not of the present times wherein people are forgetting what true patriotism means and are turning towards fanaticism in the viel of patriotism! Its a tale of burning desire of one man to free his motherland first from the clutches of a foreign invader and then to cleanse or remove autocracy. And how he achieves this with his great tact and knowledge of politics and statecraft forms the crux of the story. Yes its about Chanakya (famously known by this name, Vishnugupta or Kautilya as he has been referred to in history) who has given us "Arthashastra".

Arthashastra is "a book of political realism, a book analysing how the political world does work and not very often stating how it ought to work, a book that frequently discloses to a king what calculating and sometimes brutal measures he must carry out to preserve the state and the common good." Centrally, Arthaśāstra argues for an autocracy managing an efficient and solid economy. It discusses the ethics of economics and the duties and obligations of a king. The scope of Arthaśāstra is, however, far wider than statecraft, and it offers an outline of the entire legal and bureaucratic framework for administering a kingdom, with a wealth of descriptive cultural detail on topics such as mineralogy, mining and metals, agriculture, animal husbandry and medicine. The Arthaśāstra also focuses on issues of welfare (for instance, redistribution of wealth during a famine) and the collective ethics that hold a society together. - Wikipedia
This story is about the life and growth of Vishnugupta from a normal teacher in Takshashila to a powerful and tactful prime minister of Chandragupta Maurya. Vishnugupta faces immense humiliation from Dhanananda, the ruler of Nanda dynasty when he approaches him with pleads about safegaurding the nation from the invader from Greece, Alexander. Vishnugupta takes an oath that he would not to tie his long hair(shikhe) until he overthrows Dhanananda from the throne. In the process of searching like minded people who are passionate about protecting the country against invasion, he chances upon the young Chandragupta who impresses Vishnugupta/Chanakya with his leadership qualities. Chanakya decides to mentor him and vows to make him the emperor of India. He also gets some more people as aides to Chandragupta like Simharana, Alakanandindi, etc., With his tactful thoughts, wit and usage of all the political tactics like using spies, bribery he manages to break the unity amongst the Nandas and overthrows Dhanananda thus completing his oath! Chandragupta Maurya is made the king of Magadha. He then wants to make Amatya Rakshasha who is the most trusted and ablest minister of Nanda Kingdom as one amongst the ministers of Chandragupta Maurya. To get this thing done, he again hatches a plot against Amatya Rakshasha in acquiring his ring and using it to prove that he is not loyal to the Nandas. This incident is famously known as Mudra-Rakshasa in literature. Finally Chanakya manages to bring Amatya Rakshasha under Chandragupta Maurya and leaves Magadha for Takshashila.

This complex story of politics, deceit, plots, visha-kanyas, statesmanship and changing loyalties which lead to a stable and strong empire has been enacted by Darpana troupe. And they have done their best in doing justice to this long and hard to enact tale. Scripted by K Srinivas the drama has got its own defining moments where Chanakya swears on Dhanananda to overthrow him, the plot to kill Bhadrasena, defeating Dhanananda, and finally the Mudra-Rakshasha story are where the actors have excelled. K Sree(as K Sreenivas is known popularly) has given some modern touch to the play with usage of modern Kannada language at places. Also in the war sequences, the usage of Kalaripayattu (Kerala's traditional martial art form) gives the viewer a visual treat. Costumes by N Mangala are truly imaginative yet realistic enough to give a feel of the ancient Magadha. The story told from the point of view of the rivers of Magadha Kingdom - Ganga, Sindhu and Jheelum, where the three rivers are personified and act as sutradhaaras for the play is really innovative. Music by Saikiran leaves a perfect impact at the right time though I felt the drums were a bit loud at times.

Coming to the actors, its Shesha Murthy who plays Chanakya who leaves a big impact with his thundering performance. Malatesh who plays Simharana is very good in his bodylanguage and narration as usual. Nirmala C who plays Alakanandini leaves a good impact. Nanjunda Murthy Rao (whom we better know as Mukta Nanjunda) has given one of his best performances as Bhadrasena. Others who leave a good impression are Rakshit Shetty who plays Chandragupta, Lokesh Gowda as Dhanananda and Santosh Shivling as Nipunaka. Totally a great team work in enacting this story! The lights and makeup are truly apt and well suited for the scenes and hence the characters.

On the flip side, at places prounounciation by some actors were not that clear. May be due to the poor acoustics of the auditorium! I personally feel the team should work on this aspect to improve the impact of the play. Knowing the vastness of the story and large number or characters and references to people and understanding the difficulty of the performers (some being amateur performers or budding artists) their effort shows off in bringing out their best.
All the best team!! Will look forward for your performance again!!

A note to the people who want to watch this play! Brush up the history about Chanakya or else you might feel lost!


naveen said...


I wonder why these good stuffs don't get telecasted on TV channels and encourage the drama team.

I hate watching 300 to 1000 episodes on some nonsense shows on TV.

Thanks to these drama artists who still keep the stage show alive.

Hats off !

Banavasi said...

kannaDada para chintane, charche, hot discussions
ella ee hosa blog alloo nadeetide. illoo bhAgavahisONa banni !

- KattEvu kannaDada naaDa, kai joDisu baara !