Mahabharata

This performance with puppets, masks, shadow puppets and materials looks at the Mahabharata as a dynamic narrative which has evolved over a few thousand years through the sung verses of Togalu Gombeyatta’s Sillakeyata Mahabharta and remains relevant in the new search of contemporary puppeteers. The story itself is increasingly relevant in the polarized conflict ridden world of today. The characters then become archetypes for conflicts small and large whether in world politics or the family or community and the narrative is an overarching metaphor for many political, institutional, social situations in the world today. But our central question is what could have averted the Apocalyptic Mahabharata war. What choices could each character have altered? And what choices can each one of us alter? What fixed believes must be question and let go of to prevent such a war in the future. Can we start by acknowledging that none will survive such a war and thus it must be prevented?

This project is made possible by a grant from India Foundation for the Arts (IFA), with part support from Voltas Limited.