Yagnaseni: Of Draupadi’s destiny and desire

Adapted from Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions, Yagnaseni is a musical production by R. Muralidharan where Uma Murali portrays the story of Draupadi, daughter of King Draupad. Born from the sacrificial fire (yagna), she is known as Yagnaseni.

Yagnaseni is one of the most difficult characters to attempt and to bring out her pangs of a life with five husbands is not easy. She is regarded as the ‘Maya’ of Krishna and his instrument to create the battle of Kurukshetra that ultimately leads to creating peace in the rest of the world.

The goal of the production — to empower and inspire women — was clear but it had loopholes in terms of technical glitches and presentation.

From struggling with the headgear while dancing and people walking in between scenes to collect props to too much of lights that blurred the image on the projector in several scenes, the production failed to make an impact it could have with the kind of expertise involved.

The script was interesting and helped to knit together sequences taken from such a vast epic. Uma’s monologues as Yaganseni were captivating that served the role of taking the audience through the story. But group dances could have been better coordinated. Costumes were rightly chosen to suit the needs of a glittery production but details such as skirt lengths of dancers that made visible the pyajamas should have been paid attention to.

Draupadi asks Siva for a husband with such virtues that cannot be found in one man. So, Siva grants her five husbands in her next birth in a different yuga.

Uma aptly shows the struggle and miseries of being a wife to five men, but is that all to Draupadi? Veda Vyasa grants her a boon, which will transform her into a virgin, after she spends a year with each of them. Draupadi tells him it seems to have been designed in favour of her husbands and that she would have preferred the boon to forget the time she spent with one husband. Is Draupadi’s life surrounded only by conjugal concerns?

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 10:39:25 PM |

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