The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Juddhakhetre Picnic

Natyam hosts two one-act plays: Juddhakshetre Picnic and Ashwathama. Juddhakshetre Picnic is the Bengali version of Fernando Arrabel's Picnic on the Battlefield. The play recalls the situation of young, naive youths who become soldiers and are made to fight in the name of nationalism their enemies: youths in similar predicament. And the state machinery and power brokers utilise these youths for their own benefits. The play conveys this serious message in a comic manner, underscoring the gross contradictions between basic human urges and xenophobic military training. Manoj Mitra's Ashwathama recounts the last phase in the life of this tragic hero from Mahabharata. Plagued by a serious identity crisis, this Brahmin-turned-Kshatriya youth is unable to identify his real enemy and keeps missing his target. Riddled by this maze of confusion, he realises at the fag end of his life, the image of the enemy that has been created for him is only a political construct of the King and the State. His end comes because of his inability to grapple with his real enemy. Ashwathama, in his own way, epitomises the crisis of the modern man. The two plays have a thematic semblance but their treatment are separate. Directed by Abhijit Sen.

When: Today at 6.30 pm

Where: Sisir Mancha

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