The chakravyuh of life
The Capital saw the play Arjun Ka Beta on Sunday at Kamani Auditorium. The play was beautifully woven around the Chakravyuh chapter of Mahabharata. As the name of the play suggests, the play’s central character was Arjun’s son, Abhimanyu. But when a play has a Vishnu avatar in it, namely Krishna, the space of a protagonist gets filled automatically.
The epic of Mahabharata has attracted many minds. For discussion, theatre, serials, films and research. Let’s say the play lived up to the expectations of people.
The play uses the tragic yet glorious incident of the epic Mahabhrata war in which Abhimanyu single handed takes against seven great Kaurava warriors, knowing well enough that he did not know the path of return from the dangerous Chakravyuh set upon him. With little chances of surviving, the young Abhimanyu sticks to his karma, fighting valiantly and being recognized as the most glorious martyr of the epic war.
The play takes the tale of Chakravyuh to an intellectual level and through a sermon delivered by Krishna, talks about it being a metaphor for human life. The seven warriors that Abhimanyu fought against are actually seven vices of our lives, fighting these is our karma. The fruits of it, however, are beyond our control. ‘Mahabharata has always intrigued and attracted scholars and writers as its holds a different message for everyone. Some use it as a symbol of the futility of war, others search in it the meaning of human existence.
Yet, our attempt is to derive from the epic story the wisdom to survive life and highlight the fact that life is after all a Chakravyuh and each one of us are ‘Abhimanyus’ battling vices, temptations, tribulations and tests . This is the message Krishna delivers in the play’, says Koushik, writer and director of the play.
The importance of learning from history is another major sub theme that runs through the play that is enriched with rich poetry, credible performances, a fierce war scene choreographed in Indian martial art form Thangta with live war songs and period costumes.
Krishna says, ‘More than the incidents and happenings that took place in history, we need to pay attention to the teachings and lessons that we can learn from it. Exact order and validity of incidents may be argued and questioned but not the ultimate lessons of Karma and Dharma’.
The play was a presentation of the Films and Theatre Society, and emphasised on showcasing of mythology in a way so as to make it accessible and interesting for the modern day generation.