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‘Rudaali’ staged at Shaheed Bhavan
The story by Mahashweta Devi Rudaali is all about struggles of a woman. A Hindi play “Rudaali” was staged at Shaheed Bhavan auditorium here on Wednesday.
Directed by KG Trivedi , the play is adapted from Mahashweta Devi’s story with the same name. The play was beautifully performed by the artists of Trikarshi Theatre Troupe.Sanichari, the protagonist, is an active Dalit widow who lives in a village of Bihar, reeling under the burden of earning for her family. Without any earning family member, she faces much difficulty, feeding his family as she was cursed as a 'witch' who has devoured the men of the house. Sanichari was alone and she finds a supporter in her long-lost friend Bikhni, another ill fated Dalit widow who was left alone by her own son.
The two form a deep bond and a partnership for survival as they discover financial help in an different occupation as hired mourners (Rudali) to add pretension to funerals of the feudal rich in their two-faced society. The new profession gave them their first sense of mastery. But then, Sanichari suffers another blow when Bikhni dies from dysentery as given lack of basic medical care.After facing this much of loss, Sanichari is moreover shocked. But she refused to take a break and emerges revolts against her isolation. She visits the brothel to recruit a band of Rudalis all by herself from among the prostitutes, where she encounters her fiercely defiant runaway daughter-in-law Parvatia. Wishing to free them from mistreatment of the flesh trade, Sanichari motivates them on how to surpass as false mourners at funerals of the rich landlords.The play culminates with these prostitutes faking loud mourning at the death of the very man who pushed them into the pyre of prostitution.
There is a sense of freedom from their indignant life in this alternative profession that earns them cash, food grains and goodies without having to sell their bodies.
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