| Artistes of Arohan Organisation stage a play at Rabindra Mandap in Bhubaneswar. Pictures by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, March 2: The power of devotion and the tales of Orissa’s history associated with Lord Jagannath captivated viewers at the monthly Sri Jagannathayana cultural evening held on Monday at the Rabindra Mandap.
Organised by the department of culture, a play by city-based theatre group Arohan based on the Kanchi Bije episode of Lord Jagannath was staged at the programme.
Titled Jaya Parajaya, the drama reconstructed the tale on stage with impressive sets, costumes and touching performances by the artistes. Though a very well known story, the drama gripped the audience for its striking execution.
Maharaja Purushottam Deb, the King of Puri, was a dedicated devotee of Lord Jagannath and depended on the grace of Lord Jagannath before taking all major decisions.
When he came to know about an attack from the kingdom of Kanchi, he took blessings of the Lord and went ahead with to rage a war. The king of Puri emerged victorious, led by divine siblings Jagannath and Balabhadra. The jubilant Puri army headed home.
One of the soldiers was newly married. But his wife Manika, was a passionate devotee of Lord Jagannath. Despite various problems in her life, she waited to see Him. Though her husband loved her immensely, she longed for the Lord. Once while selling curd on the beach, she spoted two weary horse riders coming towards her. They asked her for some curd but said that theywere penniless. They offered her a ring in return of the curd and moved ahead. After some time, the entire army of the king reached there. Spotting the divine ring in Manika’s hand, the King and Manika’s husband informed her that the travellers were none other that Lord Jagannath and Balabhadra.
The presentation of the play was interesting with the war scene depicted by twenty artistes who performed martial dance steps to showcase the battle. The drama directed by Preetiranjan Mishra and dramatised from the folk lore by Shaileswar Nanda was loved by the audience.
“We have heard this tale over and over since childhood. But the drama retold the tale. It was really interesting,” said Pranati Dash, a viewer.
“The presentation of different characters in the drama was impressive. Each major character was given importance,” said Manoj Sabat.
Jagannathayana is held on the last day of every month by the department of culture. “We organise the event to promote music, dance and drama connected with Orissa’s culture,” said Bijay Kumar Nayak, director, department of culture.