Make love, not war


Published on 21 November, 2014 in Mint

The National School of Drama Repertory presents a new play dedicated to World War I and women

The National School of Drama (NSD) Repertory is using the centenary of World War I (WWI) to highlight the perils of war, and the role of women, through its new play Ghazab Teri Ada. Directed by Waman Kendre, the play essentially takes a relook at his earlier production, No Sex Please. Both are inspired by Aristophanes’ Greek comedy Lysistrata, where women take charge and end the war between Athens and Sparta by withholding the pleasures of sex from their partners.

Comic timingWith Ghazab Teri Ada, Kendre, who is the NSD director, raises important questions about the role of women in society, their say in political matters, and ultimately, their determination in ending the conflict. “It’s a farcical drama with socio-political content. We’ve combined humour, music and theatrics to highlight issues that are most talked about. While wars have always been centred on valiant men and their heroic deeds, our play draws attention to women who intend to bring peace and serenity by ending the battle,” says Kendre.

Ghazab Teri Ada opens with a king ordering his soldiers to be battle-ready. Obsessed with expanding his kingdom, he instructs his army to go on fighting, conquering kingdom after kingdom, until he becomes the mightiest emperor in the world. Eventually, the soldiers return victorious. The king is in high spirits but the women are not happy, for 21,000 women have been captured and brought as slaves from the defeated kingdoms. These women have recently witnessed the deaths of their husbands, sons, brothers and fathers, and they now await a terrible fate with no one to protect them. The victorious kingdom’s women get together and discuss what to do. After much thought, they decide to withhold the pleasures of sex from their husbands until they pledge to make peace for good. Some of the men try going to a brothel, but are thrown out of there too. All the women have joined hands to end war.

The witty lines are loaded with comical sexual innuendoes. The idea of empowering women with decision-making powers comes through with great clarity. The music, inspired by Waghya Murali, a Maharashtrian folk form, flows in tandem with the narrative.

Ghazab Teri Ada is being staged till 23 November, 6.30pm, at Abhimanch Auditorium, NSD , Bahawalpur House, Bhagwandas Road (23389402). There are additional shows on 22-23 November at 3pm. Tickets Rs.30, Rs.50, Rs.100 and Rs.200, available from 11am-1pm/2-4pm at the NSD.

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