Monday, April 09, 2007

Nenapaadalu Shakuntale

Watched a play by that name at Rangashankara last evening performed by Aneka group. The play followed Kalidasa's masterpiece pretty much to the letter, but the notable feature was music and songs in kannada. Probably the songs occupied more time than the dialogues and they were sung very well by the group led by a youngster called Venugopal.

Highlight of the play - Shakuntala's friends Anusuya and Priyamvada run off to the ashram leaving their friend alone with king Dushyanta. Shakuntala, while happy to be alone with her lover, pretends to be scared and tries to follow her friends. Dushyanta holds her hand and she keeps saying, "leave me, leave me". Dushyanta says "yes, I will". She turns to him and with a smile and feigned impatience asks, "yavaga?" (when?). Beautiful.

However, more than the performance, while watching the play I couldn't help but admire Kalidasa for creating a masterpiece like this nearly 2000 years ago. The description of serene atmosphere of the ashram, Shakuntala's love for nature, blossoming of love in those pristine surroundings, friendly banter between Shakuntala and her friends, everything in this play reflects the sheer genius of its author. Thanks to Rangashankara and Aneka for staging this and keeping the great poet's works alive.

Another organization that is doing its bit to keep alive our tradition and culture is Sri Rama Seva Mandali of Chamarajpet. Like every year, this year too they have organized music concerts to celebrate Ramanavami. Had been to couple of concerts (Kadri Gopalnath saxophone and vocal recital by a youngster called Madurai TN Krishnan) - both were excellent.

Speaking of music, got Worldspace satellite radio installed at home. It rocks!

No comments: