The war of Kurukshetra is imminent. The Kauravas and the Pandavas prepare to engage in the battlefield. The day before the war, the Kaurava generals meet to formulate their strategy. Bhisma, tells Duryodhan and his men, that although he is obliged to fight the war on behalf of the throne, he has some conditions of his own. And one of these conditions is that he’d never fight Sikhandi, the son of King Drupad. If Sikhandi ever attacked him, he’d put down his bow and accept whatever weapon SIkhandi hurls at him. Curious, Duryodhan asks why he’d impose such an odd condition. Bhishma then narrates the tale of Sikhandi and explains why he took such a vow. Click the link below and listen to the amazing tale of Sikhandi.
With the war looming large, Kunti is scared for her sons. Although the Pandava brothers are strong and powerful, they are not invincible. The Kauravas have great warriors like Bhishma, Dron, Kripa and Karna, and with their combined might, they have the capability of destroying the Pandavas. And of all the Kaurava warriors, Karna is the most dangerous. With his superiors skills and a wide range of powerful weapons at his disposal, Karna alone can destroy hers sons, thought Kunti. Besides, Karna has made it his mission to kill Arjun. Kunti thought, the only way to stop Karna might be to reveal his true identity. Kunti decides to pay Karna a visit. To know the outcome of this meeting, listen to the episode by clicking the link below.
After failing to negotiate a peace deal with the Kauravas, Krishna tries a different route. He knew, if by some means he could convince Karna to switch his allegiance to the Pandavas, Duryodhan would give up his ambition to win the battle and hence the throne of Hastinapur. With this motive in mind, Krishna visits Karna and reveals Karna’s true identity. Krishna then asks an overwhelmed Karna to join the Pandavas and thus prevent the impending war. Karna is tempted but his loyalty to Duryodhan takes precedence in his decision making.
Krishna arrives at the Hastinapur palace with his peace proposal. However, his reconciliatory words falls into deaf ears. Duryodhan ignores Krishna’s proposal and claims he has done nothing wrong. Dhritarashtra makes a feeble attempt to convince Duryodhan, but fails. Duryodhan and his brothers try to attack Krishna and imprison him. However, Duryodhan was not prepared for the shock he was about to experience.
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Last fall, when I joined the Dramatist Guild Institute’s play writing workshop, I was told the objective of this class would be for each participant to write a first draft of a full length play. I was thinking what would be a good topic to write about. And then it dawned on me, the story of “The Curious Case of a Casual Terrorist” would be the perfect vehicle to try out. I have been following this bizarre story of an international salesman, who of his own will, fell into a trap set up by the law-enforcement to nab terrorists before they could act. The story, that unfolded in New Jersey about fifteen years ago, caused a huge media storm. The strangeness of this story made it a household topic of discussion, while the law enforcement touted it as their greatest success. I thought about the possibility of a play based on this true story right then, but couldn’t get to it. There were other issues too. Finally, at the end of the ten weeks workshop the play that evolved in its first draft form was not the true story itself, but a fictionalized drama highlighting the irony and absurdity of it all. Continue reading
When Sanjay visited the Pandavas with the peace proposal from Dhritarashtra, Yudhistir asked for only five villages for the five brothers. But Duryodhan denied. He said, he wouldn’t give the Pandavas even a spec of soil one could lift on a needle point. The Pandavas sought the help of their friend, philosopher and guide, Krishna. Krishna agreed to give one last effort to broker a peace deal with the Kauravas. He decided to visit Hastinapur and try to talk some sense into Dhritarashtra and Duryodhan. But will he succeed in preventing the war? Listen to the rest by clicking the player below.
The Kauravas and the Pandavas prepare for war while the diplomatic efforts to avoid it takes its own course. Dhritarashtra sends his trusted emissary Sanjay to dissuade the Pandavas from a bloody war. Yudhistir asks for five small villages for the five brothers. Duryodhan denies the request and declares. without a fight he wouldn’t give the Pandavas even a spec of land one could lift on a needle tip.
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After Abhimanyu and Uttara’s wedding, the Pandavas get busy planning to claim back their Kingdom. They knew, Duryodhan wouldn’t give back their due without a fight. They begin to seek alliances of powerful kings. To fight the Kauravas they need a large and strong army. Duryodhan doesn’t sit idle either. He doubles his efforts to reinforce his military might. Both the parties prepare to fight the ultimate battle which now seems inevitable.
King Virat was ecstatic to know that his son Uttar has defeated the indomitable Kauravas and won back their cattle. But Yudhistir’s lack of enthusiasm and unabashed praise for the eunuch charioteer Brihannala enraged him. However, his rage turned to humility when he discovered that he has been hosting the mighty Pandavas in his castle for the last one year. Enthralled, he offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to Arjun’s son Abhimanyu. The Pandavs agreed.
While the marriage ceremony took place, Yudhistir was engrossed in another thought. As per the agreement with Duryodhan, the Pandavas have completed their twelve years in exile followed by one year in hiding. Now the time has come to claim back the throne of Indraprastha. The question remains, will Duryodhan keep his promise and give back their kingdom in peace?
Uttar takes Arjun (disguised as Brihannala) to fight the Kauravas and win back the cattle of King Virat. But witnessing the might of the Kauravas, Uttar panics. Brihannala takes Uttar to the Sami tree and fetches the Pandiva weapons hanging up in the high branches. Arjun then reveals his true identity and asks Uttar to drive the chariot and allow him to fight the Kauravas. What happens next is a fierce battle and the Kaurava titans get to taste the might of Arjun.
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