Archive for August 9th, 2008

Next important Indian dramatist

August 9, 2008

Ananda Lal has some nice things to say about Gowri Ramnarayan’s Water Lilies:

It is a pleasure to introduce the next important Indian dramatist: Gowri Ramnarayan, from Chennai. JustUs Repertory’s Water Lilies gave enough evidence of a distinctive new voice, which, if cultivated, should offer Indian theatre superior texts in the future. Calcutta has seen only one of her four English plays previously — Dark Horse, on the poet Arun Kolatkar — but this “trilogy” improves upon it so much that we must start clamouring for her two other productions.

Nothing “happens” in this impressionistic triptych, other than the warmth of talking and empathy. Ramnarayan’s achievement lies in liberating this essence of humanity. And she does this delicately, like a poet and the nature-lover she is. The dialogue is spare, not verbose. Almost naturally, poetry forms the nucleus of each exchange: the drifter quotes a poem, Fawn-Lilies, by minor science-fictionist, Clark Ashton Smith, about flowers growing upon a fallen trunk; the Sri Lankan recites Ted Hughes’s vibrant How to Paint a Water Lily to interpret Claude Monet’s serene classics to the artist who prefers Edvard Munch’s agonized The Scream; the Tamil girl invokes mantras from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (echoed by Eliot) to dispel her fears.

Would be interesting to watch!