The play is said to be historical satire but critics say that Tendulkar used history as a backdrop to highlight the politics of power. He beautifully portrays rise of a political ideology Ghashiram Kotwal in this case in response to social circumstances corrupt Brahmans , and how the masterminds Nana Phadnavis behind this rise, exploit and then discard people as pawns in a power game. This 2-act play was first performed under the direction of Jabbar Patel in Pune and was immediately banned because of the sensitive topic of Brahmans and Nana Phadnavis shown in bad light. But it got tremendous success on the international platform and eventually people became more receptive to the plot and the powerful message it embodied. Ghashiram Kotwal has been performed more than 6, times worldwide and is one of the most popular plays in the history of Indian theater. Under the banner of Taurya Mrs.
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The play is said to be historical satire but critics say that Tendulkar used history as a backdrop to highlight the politics of power. He beautifully portrays rise of a political ideology Ghashiram Kotwal in this case in response to social circumstances corrupt Brahmans , and how the masterminds Nana Phadnavis behind this rise, exploit and then discard people as pawns in a power game.
This 2-act play was first performed under the direction of Jabbar Patel in Pune and was immediately banned because of the sensitive topic of Brahmans and Nana Phadnavis shown in bad light. But it got tremendous success on the international platform and eventually people became more receptive to the plot and the powerful message it embodied.
Ghashiram Kotwal has been performed more than 6, times worldwide and is one of the most popular plays in the history of Indian theater. Under the banner of Taurya Mrs. Ramaa and Dr. Madhav Manjrekar and direction of Dr. Aanand Lagoo and assistant directors Mrs Gauri Joshi and Subodh Joshi, the talented artists of RTP area recreate the magic of this iconic play and take the audience on a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Curtain opens with invocation to Lord Ganesha by Brahmans of Pune. Throughout the play, these 12 Brahmans play a pivotal role. There is an excellent harmony in their movement and their presence on the stage from first till last scene is beautifully synchronized. Prajakta Potdar does an amazing job as Gulabi with her fearless lavni dancing and luring the Brahmans. The direction is at pinnacle in the scene showing Aditya Kandive singing a bandish as Gulabi in background finishes her day at the wee hours of morning, a drunken Brahman is returning home as his wife is starting her day by watering the Tulsi plant!!
Lagoo with his intense, predatory looks and amazing dialogue delivery nails this role. Nana is shown as an old, corrupt, lecherous guy with immense political power. However being an outsider not from Pune is ill-treated and charged with theft and imprisoned. Music is the sole of this play and each Brahman has done a fantastic job singing Lavani love ballads , Abhanga, Kirtan devotional songs and even Qawwali.
Mandar Barve has done an incredible job as the protagonist of this play. He kept me on the edge while I hastily ran from one wing to another capturing his wide range of emotions. Unfortunately, this play depicts patriarchal society that suppressed women. It is hard to see all 3 women in this play Gulabi: Lavni dancer, Lalitha Gauri: Daughter of Ghashiram and the 14 year old girl who became 7th wife of Nana used as commodities for pleasure and at times for political gains as well.
Ghashiram uses his daughter to seduce Nana Phadnavis to take revenge and ultimately serve his own benefits. Lalitha Gauri is a beautiful, shy and innocent young girl portrayed by Madhura Karnik. Nana can not take his eyes off Lalitha Gauri!! Kudos to Ramaa Manjrekar for her excellent choreography displaying great dancing steps, incredible compositions and sequences of Brahmans used to create backdrops for various scenes.
Its heartbreaking to watch Lailtha Gauri being used, abused and discarded by her father who is blinded by revenge and by Nana who is blinded by lust. He start asking for permits for everything and start throwing people in jail for the smallest offence.
He enjoys full confidence of Nana Phadnavis. He creates terror in Pune by giving harsh punishments include pulling off the nails of people and then chopping off their hands. Ghashiram is creating havoc in the city of Pune, while Nana is busy enjoying his time with women. Ghashiram learns quiet late that Gauri has died mysteriously when she had gone to the midwife, and Nana is marrying for the seventh time to a 14 year old girl.
Nana consoles Ghashiram and promises that the news of his daughter will not spread. He asks Ghashiram to move on.. By now, Ghashiram becomes totally wild and start harassing and killing people on very small offense. The situation goes out of hand when a few Brahmans in the jail die from suffocation.
Nana happily signs the death warrant as he sees no benefit in Ghashiram anymore. In the final scene, the audience freeze by the screams of Ghashiram, who blames himself for the death of his innocent daughter.
Despite of all the cruelties and terrors caused by Ghashiram, its hard to witness Ghashiram being mobbed by the outraged Brahmans who stone him to death. Nana announces to leave mangled body of Ghashiram to rot and declares celebrations in Pune to mark the end of terror!!
Your heart sinks to see this game of power play….. Hats off to all the singers and musicians who created magic with this epic play. The 12 Brahmans have done justice to all forms of Marathi folk singing and the incredibly talented musicians gave audience a chance to appreciate authentic live musical experience. Kudos to Mihika Paranjpe and Kalyanee Padhye for excellent music and working with the singers respectively.
Ghasiram Kotwal is a play by Vijay Tendulkar. It is about power politics. The play is written in simple language but its satire, dark humour, concept and content are miraculous. How Ghasiram had came there to find his fortune but situation ruins everything. This is ideal example of self criticism. You cannot praise your so called tradition, which in real sense is rotten.
Early life[ edit ] Vijay Dhondopant Tendulkar was born on 6 January in Girgaon, Mumbai, Maharashtra,  where his father held a clerical job and ran a small publishing business. The literary environment at home prompted young Vijay to take up writing. He wrote his first story at age six. He grew up watching western plays and felt inspired to write plays himself. At age eleven, he wrote, directed, and acted in his first play. The latter alienated him from his family and friends.
Become the gardens of Mathura Where Krishna played. Nana with his insatiable desires for sex and with his numerous wives parodies Lord Krishna. The power and overpowering goes on at the beginning. Ghashiram came to Poona city to achieve his livelihood but every time he defeated or humiliated by the power. Thus, he came to the point that if he wants to sustain himself he has the power.