One concession my mom and I got after the great partition, was a TV, for which we were the third masters. It had great focus in its performance. Either, at once, it would give clear sound or clear picture. Ofcourse the choice was ours, which would be picture when the programes are starting and then on just the sound to follow the happenings. During one of those programes there were two men talking about three men. I was eagerly observing it, sulking under the ever present danger of volcanic eruptions from the kitchen which would drive me to my study table.

The first guy said, in the past 1000 years of literature in the Indian subcontinent, there has never been any real Indian drama. Either the plays wer written in Sanskrit which was excluding the real people of the working masses, while the stories evolved around the kings and Gods. At the other end the dramas that might have popped up in the folk lore were in vernaculars, and very specifically insulated from the life of the people with other toungs.And only after the independence the united Indian subcontinent has life that is lived in tandom with the whole set of people, and the dramas coming out now are the only dramas that can be called Indian Dramas.And among the lot, the pick are Badal Sircar and you.
The second guy[famous for his half-truth… yeah screen-play titled so] said you too.Actually its all the three.
Yeah, as you might have expected both agreed with their great analysis.
Nam volad thava idakke,
avn thika ivn, ivn thika avn thoLyadUU

A decade later, saying “Rushdie is not a phenomenon, but she is: with one novel, got an international award, became rich, famous and gets media attention.”
the first guy wrote a play called “Heap of broken Images”, claiming only those who write in thier mother toung can do the justice to literature. Well, he seems not to have got the money or fame she got with this effort too.
This she, is interstingly discribed by T Tejpal as
“with aerobically toned sexy body has the biggest balls for an Indian writer, who is both generous with her time and money”.
But the point is , there was a folk art form all the time, which would cater to the poor working classes, in vernaculars as oral tradtion. Usually the players and the writes would be from among themselves, with some extra verbal skills, and used as time pass during the monsoon times, when no work on fields were due.
There were second type of itenerant performers who would come perform amongst these simpletons, and get what ever they could bestow as return to the entertainment they derived. These were a bit more devouted and would be either more political social or mystic in thier literary creations. I know of some of the marvolous folk lores from my own village and surroundings coming down for centuries. These literary works usually were performed by a single person, as “pada”s viz ge ge pada, kamsaLe pada etc or else with a gruop of 3 to 5 people, usually of the same family. They were again supported by the village working class, not the rich Zamindars, nor patronized by temples. Since they were dedicated to the art form they would , as a rule, has more artistic elements, than the once-in-a-while singing and dancing of the working folks them selves. The other major part of there performance was the mystic part which would bring God and his favors with in the reach of the religiously kept-out people. This inspired the workers to patronize them for more than entertainment-value of the prformances.
On the other side there were Bhasa,KALidasa in sanskrit and in vernacular pampa ranna and so on directly having the royal patronage.
The two started loosing distinction slowly in the middle ages during elaborate productions arranged for the working classes by the land lords. YAkshagaana etc and finally culminating turing talkies natakagaLu and nataka companies, like gubbi company etc .
During the same time the politico-economic status of the country was also undergoing severe changes , as to shifting the balance of profitable renumeration from the highly rich few patrons to the large number of working class. Here what worked was the number. Each paying an anna would be a huge amount compared to the patronage of the numbered rich.
So, finally this impact also got into the story lines of the content. The stories of kings were also there, but the stories of people like those in the audience started getting prominance. Thus we have landed up with the master pieces of Dhuttargi like Sampatthige SawAl etc.

The key factor, here is , in both form and content , the dramas all the while, were tailored to the paying audience. Thats it.
There is no more esoteric factor to it.
If Indiana Jones has saving an indian Idol in the story line, then the Indian market is also millions strong.

The writer, can write about the life he has lived and things he/she has strong relation with, thematically. But he always tries to tailor it to be affective to the paying masters. Hence the source coding and channel coding.

The form and content are decided by only these two.

Recently, after inspiring (?) collection of or due to “the heap of broken images”, he has come up with his first Originally-English PLay .

did you say

udara nimittham bahukrutha vesham!

Published on May 11, 2007 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  

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