Mahabharata Episode 41: The Pandavas Go Incognito

Pandavas in Virat Kingdom

Pandavas in Virat Kingdom

The Pandavas complete their twelve years in exile. Now, as per the agreement, they have to go into hiding for the thirteenth year. It is quite a challenge since the entire Bharata knows the five gallant brothers and their beautiful wife Draupadi.  So they decide to disguise and take refuge in Matsya, the Kingdom of Virat. But how would they keep their identity a secret? Listen to this fascinating episode by clicking the player below.

Mahabharata Episode 40: Yudhistir and the Crane

Yudhistira and Yaksha

Yudhistira and Yaksha

The  four Pandava brothers, Bheem, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev die while trying to fetch water from a lake. When Yudhistir finds the lake, he meets a mysterious crane who claims to have killed his brothers. The crane challenges Yudhistir to answer his questions. If Yudhistir can give him satisfactory answers, his brothers live. Else they all die. Was Yudhistir able to revive his brothers? Listen to this exciting new episode of the Stories of Mahabharata.

Mahabharata 39: Karna’s Gift

Karna gives Indra his gift.

Karna gives Indra his gift.

Karna was born with an armor that made him invincible to any weapons. Indra, to help his son Arjuna, wanted to strip Karna of his natural defense. Indra exploited Karna’s magnanimity and asked for the armor as a gift. Karna agreed, but not without a trade. Listen to this exciting episode by clicking the player below. Your comments and feedbacks are always welcome.

Mahabharata 38: The Story of Savitri and Satyavan

Savitri, Satyavan and Yama

Savitri, Satyavan and Yama

The story of Savitri and Satyavan is one of the most popular tales of the Mahabharata. Savitri, a princess, marries Satyavan knowing that her husband had a short lifespan. As per Narada’s prediction, Satyavan dies one year after their marriage. But Savitri brings back Satyavan to life using her charm and erudition. Since then Savitri has become the epitome of an ideal and loving wife.

Listen to this fascinating story by clicking the player below.

Mahabharata 37: The Abduction of Draupadi

Draupadi Jayadratha

Draupadi Jayadratha

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.

A New Collection of Plays

Rajar Chithi O Anyanyo

Rajar Chithi O Anyanyo

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

Mahabharata 36: The Story of Mudgal and Durvasa

Lord Krishna saves the Pandavas from Durvasa

Lord Krishna saves the Pandavas from Durvasa

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.

Cold Fusion – The Play

Cold Fusion

Cold Fusion

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.

Mahabharata 35: Duryodhan’s Malaise and Recovery

Duryodhan

Duryodhan

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.

Mahabharata Episode 34 : The Rescue of Duryodhan

Arjuna battles with Chitra Sena to rescue Duryodhana

Arjuna battles with Chitra Sena to rescue Duryodhana

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.