Theatre

A divine journey

A scene from the pouranic play Sri Raghava Mahaprasthanam staged at Kalabharati Visakhapatnam

A scene from the pouranic play Sri Raghava Mahaprasthanam staged at Kalabharati Visakhapatnam  

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The Ramayana abounds in myriad dimensions in its emotional appeal. Whatever aspect taken up from this great epic in any genre of expression, it is sure to sway hearts and more so in theatrical idiom. So did the Pouranic play Sri Raghava Mahaprasthanam at Kalabharati, Visakhapatnam.

It was about Rama’s departure from earthly life. Whatever it may be for one to depart from the world, it remains painful for the near and dear. If it happens in case of a divine presence, its impact goes beyond measure. It found poignant expression in this play. The play takes place in three scenes. It opened with Rama’s court and then it turns to his private chamber and finally the scene of Yagam, where Rama takes leave from worldly life. The play delivered a packed emotional drama that held the viewers captive all though.

Added to its inherent emotional potency of the theme, gorgeous costumes, appealing set designs and stage props besides remarkable histrionics made it a memorable theatrical treat. Equipped with lucid verses of idiomatic nature and their presentation in an array of alluring classical ragas, kept the audience glued to their seats.

Be it the scene of Rama’s court or that of Yagam before His departure for heavenly abode, it vivified the episode in all its intensity with clarity. Rama’s bidding adieu to sage Vasishtha, Hanuman, Jambavantha, Sugreeva and Vibhishana was touching in every frame. Each actor in the scene portrayed emotional contours of their respective characters so well that while Rama remained cool and poised in his taking leave, its emotional impact on all around found a poignant expression, deeply moving the audience. The final scene where Rama takes a dip into river Sarayu and then emerges as Lord Vishnu came alive with a dramatic effect that capped the performance in a dazzling manner. The theme is a well-known one. Towards the end of Rama’s incarnation, when Lord Rama was in his court, Yama comes in the guise of a Brahmin and seeks one on one meeting with Rama. He asks Rama to ensure complete privacy. Accordingly, Rama asks Lakshmana to guard the entrance. He lets no one enter the chamber for anyone, whoever interrupts would be given capital punishment. Inside the chamber Yama tells Rama, it is time that He put an end to his avatar and reaches the heaven. As fate would have it, sage Durvasa comes and seeks immediate darshan of Rama. Lakshmana, in a bid to avert the curse of enraged Durvasa, breaches their privacy and merges into river Sarayu. Rama follows suit.

A team of seasoned actors, B.A Naidu, L. Achhibabu, M. Subrahmanyam, K. Adikesava Rao, G.L. Naidu, S.V.R. Kumar, B.V.S. Patro, B. Vijayasaradhi, B. Vijayasai, C.K. Durgaprasad, K.S.V. Ramana Rao, K. Appa Rao, Sivarama Krishna, and B. Dhavaleswara Rao displayed the best of their talent. Illa Appa Rao on harmonium, P.V.S Bhagawan on tabla lent commendable support. Gummaluri Premakumar scripted and Chalasani Krishna Prasad directed it well.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 11:05:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/a-divine-journey/article3657379.ece

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