Jayadratha, the husband of Duryodhan’s sister Duhshala, sees Draupadi in the Kamyaka forest and is enamoured by her divine beauty. Unable to control his lust, Jayadratha tries to abduct her against her will. When the Pandavas come to know of this, they chase Jayadratha to teach him a lesson that he could never forget.
Plays find their life on stage. They also die on stage, just when the curtains come down. Still plays live on the pages of text. That’s how it gets transported to different parts of the world, to different readers and theater enthusiasts, to find another life on stage somewhere in front of a new set of audience. With this hope, to reach out to theater and drama enthusiasts around the world, a new collection of my plays have been published – “Rajar Chithi O Anyanya” by Pratibhas a well-known publisher of Kolkata. The book is now available in USA from Amazon (click here) and in India from books stores where Bengali books are sold.
The book consists of seven of my plays, some new, some not so new. The play “Rajar Chithi”, which I wrote on the occasion of Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary, is about an incident which stayed hidden in the pages of history until I stumbled upon it by accident. Although the story depicted in the play is fictional, it is based on Rabindranath Tagore’s visit to San Francisco in 1916 and the failed attempt to assassinate him by the Indian nationalists. The play was staged in New Jersey and now it is in production in India. Continue reading
In this episode, we hear two enchanting stories from the Mahabharata. In the first story, Rishi Durvasa grants Mudgal an eternal life in heaven. But Mudgal declines the offer in search of eternal truth.
The second story is more exciting. Pleased with Duryodhan’s hospitality, Durvasa offers him a favor. Duryodhan asks Durvasa to pay the Pandavas a visit to embarrass them. But Lord Krishna comes to the rescue and saves the Pandavas from the wrath of Durvasa. Listen to these stories by clicking the player below or download them on your smart device from iTunes.
“Theater is an art form that makes us face our inner demons and helps us deal with them.”
The phenomenon of Cold Fusion came to the limelight in 1989 when Dr. Stanley Pons and Dr. Michael Fleischmann, two world-renowned scientists, announced they were able to create nuclear fusion at room temperature in their laboratory in the University of Utah. This announcement caused a major stir in the scientific community since it promised unlimited energy at minimal cost. As per conventional wisdom, two positively charged particles repel each other. Hence, in order to fuse two nuclei of Deuterium (an isotope of Hydrogen) and generate fusion energy, one would have to subject them to extremely high temperature and pressure to force them to come close and fuse together to create a new atom (of Helium). For example, the heat generated by the Sun is a result of nuclear fusion caused by the extremely high temperature inside the Solar core. Fusion at room temperature seemed like a pipe dream. The scientific community rolled up their sleeves and tried to reproduce the Pons-Fleischmann experiment in their labs. Unfortunately, most of them failed to reproduce the results. An inquiry committee was formed under the leadership of Dr. Huizenga. After a thorough investigation, the committee criticized the research for its unconventional approach and came to the conclusion that claims made by the Cold Fusion proponents were unfounded and it defied our understanding of nuclear physics. Some scientists debunked the research as pathological science, although few continued the work under different names and descriptions but with limited success.
This story of Cold Fusion research intrigued me as I followed it off and on since 1989. The conflict between those in favor and those against has been chronicled in several books. The story had all the ingredients of good drama. So why not a play about Cold Fusion? And that’s how the play was born.
What is the play Cold Fusion about?
Many, who hear the title of my play Cold Fusion, think it must be about some esoteric scientific topic that only nuclear scientists could comprehend. Let me try to allay your fears. Yes, the play does talk about science since it takes place in a research institute and the characters are scientists, but it isn’t about science. Cold fusion is a play about hope, about dreams and most of all, about love. When we experience something different, something that defies our conventional wisdom, something that challenges our deep-rooted beliefs, we feel shocked. We feel horrified. We go into denial and stop being normal compassionate human beings. We fight tooth and nail to defend the status quo. In the process, we often hurt those whom we love the most.
I would like to thank Pinaki Datta for taking up the challenge to direct the play, and thanks to the cast and crew of the production for giving my words a life on stage. I hope those who come to watch the play would enjoy the performance and be intrigued by the story of Cold Fusion.
Duryodhan’s attempt to humiliate the Pandavas went haywire. He got into a fight with the Gandharavas and was defeated and captured. The Pandava brothers fought the Gandharvas to rescue Duryodhan and his entourage. However, instead of being grateful, Duryodhan felt humiliated and belittled by the Pandavas. Suffering from extreme grief, Duryodhan decides to fast unto death. His friends try to dissuade him from being so harsh on himself, but he is adamant. But Duryodhan recovers from his depression and returns to Hastinapur. Karna renews his vow to destroy Pandavas.
Listen to this exciting episode by clicking the player below, or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
Duryodhan plans to visit the Pandavas during their exile and humiliate them. But he gets embroiled in a battle with the Gandharvas and is captured by the Gandharva King Chitrasena. At the request of their brother Yudhistir, Arjuna and Bheem fights the Gandharvas and rescues Duryodhan and his family. Humiliated by this magnanimous gesture of the Pandavas, Duryodhan returns to Hastinapur.
Listen to this episode which marks a turning point in the story of Mahabharata.
When asked to talk about the virtues of a woman, Rishi Markandeya tells Yudhistira how a housewife advised Rishi Kaushik about the ways of life and led Kaushik to meet the butcher of Mithila to learn about Dharma. We also hear Draupadi advise Krishna’s wife Satyavama about how a woman should treat her husband and gain his loyalty.
Listen to the episode from the player below. You may also subscribe to the podcast, The Stories of Mahabharata.
Rishi Markandeya visits the Pandavas and tells them several stories from his vast experience. He narrates the story of the Matsya, Manu and the great deluge. He tells them about the celestial cycles of creation and destruction, and how the demons Madhu and Kaitava was slain by Lord Vishnu. Listen to these tales of Mahabharata in this exciting episode.
Arjuna returns from Indra’s palace in the heavens back to his brothers and his wife Draupadi in the Gandhamadan mountains. He tells them the stories of his conquests against the Nibata Kabacha demons and the demonesses Paulam and Kalaka’s army. Next we hear the fascinating story of how the mighty prince Bheema was about to be devoured by King Nahusha in the form of a giant snake. Nahusha asks Yudhistira, who is a true Brahmin? Only the right answer from Yudhistira would save Bheema’s life.
Listen to the enchanting episode with flying airships, incredible weapons and deep philosophical thoughts by clicking the player below.
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Draupadi asks Bheema to fetch her the divine lotus. Bheema, eager to please his wife, embarks on a journey to find the precious gift. On his way, he meets an old and frail little monkey. Little did he know, it was his brother the mighty lord Hanuman.
Listen to this delightful story which connects the two great epics of India, Ramayana, and Mahabharata.