Play on Ahilyabai shows life journey
Nagpur: ‘ Punyashlok Ahilyabai Holkar’ was a brave attempt to showcase life journey of the 18th-century woman warrior who was crowned the queen and ruler of Malwa kingdom, present-day Indore. The play was held at Scientific Society Hall on day two of Lekhika Natya Sammelan 2016 on Friday.
The play, written by Mala Kekatpure, was directed by theater veteran Sanjay Pendse. The presentation attempts to depict the childhood of a simple girl who rose to be a just and brave ruler, Ahilyabai Holkar.
The starting scenes aptly showcased her humble beginning, simple nature, and big ambitions. “I want to make every one happy,” says the wide-eyed little protagonist, making us fall for her peculiarities. Knowing prayers by heart, carrying a ‘shivling’ with her at most times, and her bubbly dialogues with other characters was a treat to watch. Holkar is married into the royal family of Malwa at an early age.
Incandescent lighting, colourful saris in a golden lining, draped in the way typical Maratha women dressed, added a historical touch to the play. The set used a digital backdrop of a palace, showing royal red carpets and pillars which made the set look royal.
A scene where young Ahilya and her husband Khanderao are seen sword-fighting received applause from the audience when it worked as a transition to show them grown up. Background music chosen for the play evoked interest and intrigue.
There were a few technical snags which resulted in a five-minute break after first 20 minutes of the play. But the effort of the director and his crew won over the audience’s heart in the near-packed hall. The play set an example in depicting a historical play, without making the script heavy and boring.