This week, I was invited to watch the play Yugpurush (in Hindi) at Nehru Centre. Until now (forgive my ignorance) I was not aware that our great leader Mahatama Gandhi also had mentor who played a pivotical role in shaping up his strong character of peace through non-violence.
This is the best play I have watched in a long time. I was very impressed by the dialogue delivery, the expressions (that were so realistic) and the way the play was handled. It transported me to another century where Mahatma tells the story of his mentor, Shripad Rajchandra, a poet, philosopher, spiritual guru and one of the Mahatama’s closest friend, and how he was responsible for shaping up his personality and his belief in non-violence and his peaceful solution to grave problems.
The props kept changing with great efficiency, relating the story during different times and I sat mesmerised as I watched the scene and the situation move from one location to another. At one point, you are in his humble home, where he is sitting by his loom weaving cloth, at another moment he is in Bombay, as a young Lawyer looking for a job, where he meets his mentor, At another instant he is at the ship yard with tourist on route to his trip to Africa and at another instant, he is in Jail with his freedom fighters behind the bars. The play scores the most in creating realistic and visually stunning scenarios throughout its duration.The story moves from present to past to present again and the inert positions of the actors transports you to that era.
At one scene, Mahatma is caught up between two religions, Muslim and Christianity and he is in dilema as to which religion should he follow, Muslim or Christian or should he continue to uphold his own values as a Hindu. He is advised to look within him to find answers.
After Gandhi moved to South Africa, the duo corresponded through thousand of letters. It is through this correspondence that Mahatma understands the value of non-violence, the fearlessness and his tranforming character and consciousness.
Directed by Rajesh Joshi and written by Uttam Gada, the play features Parthsarthi Vaidya, Pulkit Solanki and Babul Bhavsar in important roles. The credit goes to the director for handling difficult scenes and to the lighting and the props used as well.
It is worth a watch. There is no moment of boredom. I would love to watch it again and again.