Theatre, a popular theatre troupe, staged their play, Drapaudi Parampara, recently at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The play presented the world of Mahabharta, intertwined with modern times.
The first part of the play was set in Mahabharata, where Draupadi emerged from a sacrificial fire. The lights and sounds of thunderbolt in the beginning symbolised the striking messages that Draupadi conveyed in the play.
Later on, Arjuna won her hand in a swayamvar (an ancient ritual of choosing a husband), but he had to share Draupadi with his four brothers. This part of the story was enacted with great brilliance on the stage. Draupadi’s monologues, where she spoke about the hurdles of being a woman, were heart-touching.
The most riveting point in the play was when Draupadi reincarnated, as she was placed in the present-day. Director Prabir Datta’s way of placing Draupadi in a new world to make her question the misogynist rituals of Mahabharata as well as issues of the modern times was quite unique. He brilliantly fictionalised the tale of Draupadi to raise thought-provoking questions.
In the modern world, Drapaudi questioned the religious pundits and gurus as to why she was thrown out of heaven. She also questioned why women always had to prove their worth and chastity. Her questions made the audience reflect on the struggles of women through the ages. Drapaudi Parampara also attempted to balance the heart-touching moments with comedy, but in some parts of the play, the humour felt forced.
Tahmina Akter, Akifa Alam and Yusha Antara, who played Draupadi in different ages, were effortless with their emotions and dialogue deliveries. The play also starred Prabir Datta, Shahriar Alam, Shangkar Sarkar, Lelin Firozi and Jahangir Kabir.