C. SURESH KUMAR
Fine performances was the saving grace of the Rangadhara's latest play.
On Sunday, Rangadhara staged Takashashilechya Rhasache Akhyan (the decline and fall of Takshashila) in Marathi, with a musical story pattern.
The story written and directed by Vijay Naik, revolves around the Magadha Empire and how it fell due to the corrupt and unscrupulous practices of the kings after warriors like Chandragupta Maurya and others left the scene. An English writer, Jamelinus, who comes to India to explore the country stays in the gurukul of Chanakya's disciples for six months and writes a story that the warrior king Chandragupta Maurya was born to a daasi (maid). Waiting for an opportunity to belittle the gurukul, set up by Chanakya, the cronies of King Shalishuk convince the King to punish the teachers and acharyas living in the gurukul as they shared wrong information with the foreigner and brought disrepute to the nation and Chandragupta Maurya. They instigate the public and attack the gurukul by driving the disciples and acharyas out of the country and destroy all the valuable scripts and articles written by Chanakya and others. Thus, begins the downfall of the mighty Maurya Dynasty as per the story in the play. The play was designed as a musical with a suthradhar (narrator) and kirtanakar (folk singer) played by Madhav Chousalkar.
The music by Parag Sathe was good and as the suthradhar he did justice to the role. Prakash Phadnis, Chandrakumar Khandat and Anant Kulkarni showed their innate talent. The role of Jamelinus played by Arun Shendunikar was short.