Anjana Chandak’s monologue, Mai Kaikeyi looks at the queen mother in new light
The monologue based on the life of the mythological queen mother Kaikeyi offers a first-person point of narrative of a character that mythology has painted as over-zealous and power hungry
For Bengaluru-based artist Anjana Chandak, the texture of paint on canvas did not satiate her need for expression, and so the 46-year-old looked to new avenues of art to give voice to her creativity. From exploring the written word to watching multiple stage shows, nothing seemed to offer her the outlet she needed until she decided to write and perform her own play. Debuting her first ever theatre piece Mai Kaikeyi in the city, following performances in Bengaluru, the monologue based on the life of the mythological queen mother Kaikeyi offers a first-person point of narrative of a character that mythology has painted as over-zealous and power hungry. Excerpts from the interview:
What prompted you to explore the story and origins of Kaikeyi?
Given the current environment, I think understanding a different perspective can help change the way things are viewed. We vilify people being unaware of their circumstances. Circumstances are the villains, not people. For me, Kaikeyi is one such character that has been on the receiving end of much criticism through the ages. She did what any mother would do.
How did you decide on the format of delivery? Was the script always meant to be a monologue?
Monologues best express the inner conflict and turmoil of the character. In stage plays, these inner thoughts or soliloquies are only asides in a larger plot. I was also inspired by the Dastangoi, a 13th Century Urdu oral storytelling tradition, where an entire story is narrated by a single person.
What about the stage decor and design?
Mai Kaikeyi has been designed in a way that it can be performed in any space. The only prop that I will be using is a throne since her whole character arc has been based on the pursuit of power. In terms of costume, the character will be draped in an off-white sari with a golden zari—giving the audience a view of her plight, but will be adorned in heavy jewellery depicting her as queen mother.
At On the Go. Rs 750. On November 15. 6.30 pm onwards.