The Peacock Prince-V Balakrishnan

The Peacock Prince-V Balakrishnan

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The story of Amba, reborn as Shikhandi is one of hurt, humiliation, rage and resentment. Amba desires the death of Bhishma, but the men she approaches are not able to accomplish it. Undone by Bhishma, she burns herself in a funeral pyre, and is reborn in the house of Drupada as a girl, but is brought up as a boy, Shikhandi. She undergoes a transformation to get the genitals of a man to save her city. Later, chance takes Shikhandi to the field of Kurukshetra where he sets out to achieve what he promised himself in a previous birth, as Amba.

The future is as blank as the present or the past. A curse is cursed. Even silence is silenced. This is how Bala deconstructs or reconstructs, if you prefer, the known classics in his own inimitable style. Time and again he has revisited the classics only to reset them in his/our time. Bala knows his strengths-minimalism, in his writing as well as in his productions, simple yet powerful, silent yet screaming. I have always cherished reading ‘poetry’ in his plays, watching ‘dance’ in his stage versions. Of course, he is one of the most important playwrights and directors of contemporary Indian theatre.

- Surendranath Suri, Director and playwright

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