Since 2015 KathaSiyah has staged four plays in English, Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam. Our first production was a multilingual play, Taramandal (2015) in English, Hindi and Bangla. Since then we have done Gidigaduga (Kannada, 2016), 3 (English, 2017) and Nagamandala (Malayalam, 2018). We focus on political and social themes with a deliberate re-centering of gender issues. Read more about our activities on the KathaSiyah blog.
Satyajit Ray’s short story, ‘Patol Babu, Film Star’ tells of a chance opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream. Taramandal extends this little story by constructing parallel narratives that set up and mirror Patol Babu– in younger versions of himself or people just like him. The play alternates between the story of Patol Babu in Kolkata and other characters in cities and towns around India. Each vignette outside of Patol’s story is intended to punctuate his life.All of these stories of failed ambition in the theatre, movies or television culminate in his one single walk of opportunity.
Gidagiduga is about Puttani, a young girl living with her family in the suburbs of metropolitan Bangalore. Her playful fantasy laden world changes dramatically when she finds blood on her pants. As this young girl slowly transforms into a symbolic site of familial beliefs, Gidagiduga raises the timeless question of control over the female body – Why is there a need to control a woman’s sexuality and reproduction? Are notions of purity and impurity, protection and safety, mere surrogates for ‘Domination’?
The play asks the questions — “what are the moral physical boundaries between a parent and child?” and “should you stay true to your values at any cost, even if that leads to destruction of your family?” while it also looks at the dynamics of relationship of a nuclear family. What is the one disaster that a perfect family cannot withstand?
Locked up at home by her indifferent husband Appannan, Rani fills her loneliness with stories, creating a fantastic world of dreams and half-truths. The creature in the anthill outside both scares and fascinates her. Is her fear of the cobra stronger than her desire to pursue this relationship? When Rani acts on an impulse, her reality turns upside down. How will reality reconcile with her half-truths when she becomes pregnant? How will society judge her infidelity? And how will Rani negotiate her way forward?