Social evils like subjugation of women—of a different class, stature or even generations have prevailed through centuries. We have all seen and been vociferous about it, but our society is still impregnated with this taboo. These evils, which are perforated through generations, may go unseen (ignored) in everyday lives, but when you see a vivid stage presentation of it with bold narrative and brilliant characters, it hits the nail hard in your head. Tagore’s Women does exactly the same.
It is a story of two audacious women Giribala and Mrinal—one subjugated to an adulterous husband and the other traumatized by an early marriage, infanticide of her girl child, separation from her only friend and not to mention, a patriarchal husband. They mettle with unrealistic expectations of their families: their own insecurities darned away and patriarchal quilt suffocating them. Finally, they break away collecting their abused bodies and indomitable souls.
Written some eighty years ago by Tagore, it is a feminist play and we can’t help but agree that it was way ahead of times, relevant eternally. Tagore hits the bull’s eye in terms of gender politics and deconstruction of domesticated female roles. Not only does the director brings justice to the play but he plays brilliantly with the subtext and creates his own. One of the climactic lines: “Galti tumhari nahi hai, galti humari hai” which Mrinal says to her husband, questions the inherent patriarchy as to if the discourse is present already or made in the society. How obvious is the abuse? Suicide then becomes an escape or liberation can really be achieved?
The lights and sounds profoundly enhance the intricate aesthetics of the play. The emotions are heightened with the use of ‘Ladki‘ song compounded with lights and the background music to the poem “Mujhe chaar diwari do, par usme ek khidki toh ho”, adding to the catharsis of the receptive audience.
The most striking feature of ‘Samarth’ theatre group is its brilliant cast. Every character portrays varied emotions effortlessly. The teamwork is visibly evident. The minimalism in acting not only makes the play realistic but saves it from becoming an over heightened drama.
Theatre Aesthetics – 3.5/5
Acting – 5/5
Overall – 4/5
Name: Tagore’s women
Venue: Dilli Haat, Pitampura
By: Samarth Theatre Group