Kaumudi – A curtain raiser

Kaumudi (Moonlight) – a play in Hindi – is about a rite of passage. Set in the world of company theater in 1960’s Allahabad, Kaumudi explores the dynamics of an estranged father-son duo over three days – the last three performances of a great actor about to lose his sight.

Satyasheel, the father, has been a celebrated actor in Neelima Theater for years, and his portrayal of Ekalavya has reached a certain level of perfection – a level coveted for by most young upstarts. Now, at the twilight of his career, he finds himself treading the difficult path of stepping out from a world of light and sound into a world of darkness waiting for him. Will he Rage against the dying of the light?

Paritosh, the son, a young actor who grew up with the void of not having a father by his side, has come back to Neelima Theater to challenge not only Satyasheel’s Eklavya but his entire school of acting; and, in so doing, carve an identity for himself and free himself of his “absent” father’s overbearing shadow. Will he find himself a father by the end of this play?

In this conflict between the father and the son what follows is an extremely kaleidoscopic sequence of events, where characters meet the actors playing them, questioning their credibility; ghosts slip out of epics into the reality of an empty theater hall, questioning the illusory and make-believe nature of theater itself. Thus Kaumudi, through its characters and plot progression, asks very poignant yet incisive questions about the “purity” of an art-form and the nature of truth, thereby holding as a nested mirror in front of us                  – a play within a play, – a rare one, that shows us the darkest reflections of the art world. What makes this all the more interesting is the role played by the manager of the theater whose job it is to ensure that the show goes on at all costs. In this world of art, the man hose job it is to manage the commercial aspect of it comes across as a savior of sorts, working relentlessly and with integrity to ensure its survival.

Will the father-son duo ever reconcile? Will Paritosh be able to break Satyasheel’s Ekalavya? And what does truth really mean in a medium whose very nature is manipulative?

Using the moonlit, timeless night on which Lord Krishna passed on divine knowledge to Arjuna as its central trope, Kaumudi brings
to light the ghosts of our caste-based injustices, the passing over of knowledge from a father to a son, a thespian and an upstart, and how a more efficient mode of production ultimately replaces a less efficient one.

Indian Ensemble productions have always tried to tell human stories which question the very human condition. “Kaumudi” promises to be no different if not better. The play was inspired by two texts: Anand`s Malayalam Novel Vyasam Vigneswaram and Jorge Luis Borges` essay Blindness.


The play opens on April 8th in Rangashankara, Bangalore, and runs till April 13th. – the only shows in the city for this year.

Watch out for the online tickets @ http://in.bookmyshow.com/plays/kaumudi-moonlight/ET00021030#ixzz2wmab83Hp || http://www.indianstage.in/EventDetails.do?eventId=6511#.Uy6_6PmSySo

3 Responses to “Kaumudi – A curtain raiser”
  1. PS says:


    I saw the play last evening and enjoyed it a lot. Many times in the past I have tried, all in vain, to try to find the script of a play. I have never really found it though.

    I am not sure as to how does the business of plays works out and whether the script is part of some Intellectual property. But if it is not, is there some place where I can read it.

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  1. […] this play during Ranga Shankara’s annual theatre festival. You can read here how the creators describe the play. I will tell you how I received […]

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