Soul-Swapping Play 'Bhagavadajjukam' Enthralls Udaipur

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13 Sep, 23 10:02
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Soul-Swapping Play 'Bhagavadajjukam' Enthralls Udaipur

Udaipur, AThe theater group "Natyaansh Natakiya Evam Pradarshaniya Kala Sansthan" of Udaipur city organized a one-day theatrical evening. The artists had been diligently preparing for the presentation for the past two months.
In this context, the renowned play "Bhagavadajjukam," written by Bodhayana, was staged. Written in Sanskrit, this play is an excellent example of classical theater tradition. The ancient Indian theater pioneer Acharya Bharatamuni described ten types of plays in his Natyashastra, and among them, "Bhagavadajjukam" is an intriguing and refined pure Sanskrit comedy from the 7th century. In this play, humor is significant, and the story is poet-created. It features ascetics, sages, and Brahmins as its characters, and it exhibits a satirical disposition towards ideas, conventions, and personalities, making it quite contemporary.

Plot of the Play:
The play centers around the interchange of the soul between two individuals - a monk (Bhagavad) and a courtesan (Ajjuuka).
"Bhagavadajjukam" revolves around a wandering monk, a yogi, and a sage, who has attained spiritual wisdom. Accompanying him is his disciple, Shandilya, a restless soul lacking focus in his studies. Early scenes involve discussions between the monk and his disciple, pondering over the relationship between the soul and the body. The yogi is detached from worldly concerns, while Shandilya is troubled by the teachings of his guru. The discussions occur amidst a garden adorned with colorful flowers and vines, akin to the variety of thoughts, beliefs, and characters. Amidst this, the yogi enters into a deep meditative state, and it's at this moment, Vasantsena, a courtesan, and her companions enter the stage. Vasantsena has come to meet her lover, Ramilaka in the garden. However, soon after her arrival, a Yamaduta (messenger of death) appears to claim Vasantsena's life. The messenger assumes the form of a serpent and takes Vasantsena's life, leaving Shandilya grief-stricken. Shandilya implores his guru to revive Vasantsena, leading to his guru's decision to transfer his soul into Vasantsena's body. The monk's body dies, and Vasantsena comes back to life. The play culminates in the return of both souls to their original bodies, and Shandilya learns to embrace the teachings of his guru.
Presentation of Artists:
The program coordinator, Mohammad Rizwan Mansuri, highlighted that the presentation of the play "Bhagavadajjukam" by the Natyaansh Society of Dramatic and Performing Arts was in Hindi. Rekha Sisodia oversaw the direction. The presentation incorporated elements of the Natyashastra's preliminary and main parts, creating a classical theater atmosphere, and included singing of Sanskrit verses. The play was a seamless blend of tradition and innovation.
The cast included Amit Shrimaali as Parivraajak (monk) and Urvashi Kanwarani as Vasantsena, leaving their marks on the audience with their acting prowess.
Noteworthy performances were delivered by Augusty Hardik Nagda as Shandilya (disciple), Rhea Nagdev and Krishna Sharma as Vasantsena's friends Paribhritika and Madhukarika, respectively. Bhuvan Jain portrayed Yamaduta, Yash Jain was the Sutradhar (narrator), Kushagra Rajan played the Vidushaka (comic character), Arshad Quraishi portrayed Ramilaka, Harsh Dubey as Mitr (friend), Harshita Sharma as Vasantsena's mother, Mukul Khantia as the physician, Mohammad Tanzim as the assisting physician, and Divansh Dabi as Mali (gardener), all displaying their remarkable acting skills.
Rekha Sisodia managed the play's adaptation, conceptualization, direction, and music. Dance coordination was handled by Krushnendu Sahaa, Anjana Kunwar Rao, and Urvashi Kanwarani. The singers Shreya Paliwal and Harija Pandey enriched the musical dimension. Costume and set design was the work of Yogita Sisodia, stage arrangement and management by Ashfaq Nur Khan, lighting design and execution by Mohammad Rizwan Mansuri. Stage assistance was provided by Mayur Chavla, Shreya Chavla, Pramod Reger, Kailash Dangi, and Ratan Sethia

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