Mookajjiya Kanasugalu @ Rangashankara
Mookajjiya Kanasugalu is a 120 mins Kannada play staged by Kalagangotri at Rangashankara on 13th, 14th and 15th March 2008 as a part of 38th year completion of Kalagangotri. The successful staging of Shivaram Karanth’s novel Mookajjiya Kanasugalu is a tribute to the great writer who had won the Jnanapeeth award for this novel.
The play revolves around Mookajji, an old woman staying in a tiny village in Dakshina Kannada and her visions on wide ranging issues like religion, bachelorhood, history, sex, evolution, faith and human behaviour. All these she shares with her grandson Subbanna. Though known as a person who talks too much, Mookajji is a lovable character with her sceptical and genuinely compassionate nature, humane acts (her advice to Nagi and when she unites Ramanna and Nagi , both low caste workers and old lovers) and frankness (in a scene with her friend Thippajji whom she calls Thippi).
References to various religions and beliefs, the innumerable gods in Hindu mythology, their relevance, the questioning of their existence and their powers, their relativity with human nature surely will bring some thoughts about our personal beliefs.
The abstract thoughts, uncommon characterisation and above all, the distinct style of narration in the novel has always posed a challenge to theatre persons. S Ramamurthy, senior theatre person, has adapted this unique literary work to stage and director B V Rajaram brings this spectacular novel on stage with his narrative skills and unique sets. The dialect used in the play is very much close to the actual one spoken in Dakshina Kannada. The two minute yakshagana performance adds more color to the play.
All performances are worth mentioning here. Shailaja Dharmendra as Mookajji has given a wonderful performance with all her emotions. Rajendra Karanth as Subbanna is good as usual. It’s a great teamwork which has succeeded in giving out the best. Congrats to Kalagangotri for adapting to stage a novel which otherwise is said to be hard to adapt.