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Play on Swami Vivekananda

A Theme Well done

VELCHETI SUBRAHMANYAM

 

A sceen from the drama Swami Vivekananda presented by Yuva Kalavahini. Photo: C. V. Subrahmanyam

A scene from the drama Swami Vivekananda presented by Yuva Kalavahini

A play on Swamy Vivekananda was staged as a tribute on his 150th birth anniversary.

It is no less than a herculean task to take up biographical themes on the stage. More so in case of greats like Swamy Vivekananda whose life and works are so enormous in their impact not just on our national conscious but even on world’s perspective of our nation and the nucleus of its thought.

He is considered spiritual father of our nationalist movement. To study Vivekanada, it is said, is to study India. Taking spiritual, nationalistic and social dimensions of his life and works for its canvas, playwright PV Krishna Murhty has woven an interesting narrative and SM Bhasha, who directed it, translated it into an engaging and expertly crafted production on the stage. Combined with good dose of histrionics that defined well the contours of the characters, it hugely wowed theatre lovers at Kalabharati Visakhapatnam. Artistes of Hyderabad-based Yuva Kala Vahini staged it.

The narration is taut and flowing. It, in a way, is a well-chiselled montage of inspiring episodes from his eventful life sans a documentary tang. Further, a haunting tune of a soothing song of spiritual import in the scene of Vivekanada’s maiden visit to Ramakrishna Paramahamsa immensely helped propel its emotive appeal deep.

The play opened with a scene of singing bhajans before the idol of Goddess Kali, where Ramakrishna Paramahamsa goes into a trance in devotion. Vivekanada’s visit to Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, his initial spiritual inquiries that led to the development of inexplicable and lasting chemistry of guru-sishya bond. The play moves forward shifting the scenes in a riveting tempo that brought alive a few incidents in his life such as his interactions with Raja Mangalsingh and Diwan Saraschandra Gupta.

The flowing treatment helped unveil his distinct outlook and approach to man and matters. His great message at the Parliament of Religions at Chicago and his teachings formed the climax and downed the curtains leaving the audience in a memorable experience.

Y.K. Nageswara Rao in the eponymous role delivered a first-rate performance. KRK Murthy displayed in his portrayal of Ramakrishna Pramahamsa was superb. S.M. Bhasha and K.K. Sarma donned their different roles with élan. G.B. Ramakrishna Sastry, N. Ramarao, B. Narasimharao, G. Mallikarjunarao and G.V.G. Sankar took part. Ranga Sai Kala Peetham hosted it as a part of Vivekanada’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations.

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