Hanuman Ki Ramayan
Based on a book by: Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik
Published by: Tulika Publication
Play schedule: Tuesday, 5th and Wednesday, 6th June
Age groups: 8 years +
Time: 6 pm on both days
Venue: Prithvi Platform
A few days ago, I happened to receive a text message about a staging of a play titled Hanuman Ki Ramayan. We had to attend this performance for so many reasons: for one it was based on a book by Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik (we had recently read his Fun in Devlok series and were completely bowled over). For another, it was a Gillo production (for those who missed my review of Kyun Kyun Ladki, read why I am such a fan of their plays). Besides, my older son has always been fascinated with this epic- we started out with a 12-page picture book, then moved to a 10 page word story, progressed to an 80 page small book before moving on to a 200 page version. Our last buy was a 900 page adaptation.
Hanuman Ki Ramayan is a story about the origin of our greatest epic, with a mythological twist. Valmik has just penned his Ramayan and is on a world promotional spree amongst the Devlok. All but one (Narad Muni), have high praise for the book. Valmik craves the wise sage’s endorsement for it will give his epic unparalleled status in the ‘teen lok’. Upon learning from sage Narad that Hanuman has written a much superior version of the epic, Valmik is distraught. How Valmik and Hanuman, both get the ending they desire is as overwhelming as it is astounding.
As I sat in the audience for the play to begin, nothing, absolutely nothing had prepared me for what was to come; I was completely blown away. The short performance was power-packed- the storyline packs a punch, the stage adaptation and song-dialogue in Hindi are brilliant and the performances, mind blowing. Most of all, the ‘swang-geet or nautanki’ style of performance is an inspired stroke of pure genius. The way the entire production is brought together is outstanding.
All the actors in the play are very young and it is impressive to see such seasoned performers amongst the younger set. One particular actor, who portrays the central character Valmik, comes across as a performer par excellence; I have in my mind christened her Moyna after her ‘Kyun Kyun Ladki’ character.
If I write in such superlative terms about this short performance, 35 minutes, it is because I thought it a truly enriching experience. I am going again for this play scheduled for this coming week and I am taking along 5 friends. I hope to see you there as well; leave a comment if you are coming, would love to say hi!
P.S. I forgot to mention that having spotted Dr. Pattanaik at the performance, I requested him for a picture with my son. As he put his arm around my son’s shoulder, I remember thinking to myself, “if only creativity were contagious…”.
Did you know? Nautanki, a traditional Indian form of theatre is one of the most popular folk operatic theatre styles, particularly in Northern India. The pleasure of Nautanki lies in the intense melodic exchanges between the performers. The performance is often punctuated with individual songs, dances and chorus. Storylines of traditional Nautankis range from mythological and folk tales to stories of contemporary heroes.
Did you know?
Nautanki, a traditional Indian form of theatre is one of the most popular folk operatic theatre styles, particularly in Northern India. The pleasure of Nautanki lies in the intense melodic exchanges between the performers. The performance is often punctuated with individual songs, dances and chorus. Storylines of traditional Nautankis range from mythological and folk tales to stories of contemporary heroes.