Vibha Rani’s stinging satire gained the Nemichandra Jain Playwriting Award this 12 months
Women typically want longingly that males would get pregnant at the least as soon as of their lifetime to grasp simply what ladies undergo in these 9 months. In Vibha Rani’s play, Pregnant Father, the want comes true, and we get to as soon as once more focus on gender roles in a patriarchal society.
Winner of this 12 months’s Nemichandra Jain Playwriting Award, the stinging satire tells the story of a mama’s boy named Shikhandi who will get pregnant. It spirals not solely into home and emotional upheaval however a social disaster as nicely, with the position of docs and the media uncovered.
“It is very normal for people not to understand what pregnancy entails for a woman. The physical aspect is handled by the doctor but what about the emotional and psychological issues. The upbringing of boys is such that even today only about 1% of them are perhaps sensitive to the emotional needs of their spouses,” says Vibha, who has greater than a dozen performs to her credit score.
According to Vibha, each man earlier than start is a feminine as a result of he spends 9 months inside a feminine physique. “If he carries that nine-month sensitivity with him, he could handle the emotional needs of his partner.”
The premise is futuristic, and Vibha factors to the patriarchal mindset that runs scientific analysis. “Scientists are working on achieving immortality, but there is no attempt on sharing women’s workload in giving birth to humanity.”
The play refers back to the little-known legendary story from the Mahabharata, the place king Yuvnashva will get by accident pregnant. It additionally kinds the premise of Devdutt Patanaik’s e-book The Pregnant King. “Our mythology deals with many complex issues, and male pregnancy is no exception. I spoke to Mr. Patanaik before including his voice in the play,” says Vibha. In 2015, Patanaik’s e-book was tailored into an English play, Flesh, by Kaushik Bose, inspecting points surrounding gender and sexuality.
Vibha Rani Receiving The Award
Shikhandi’s widowed mom is an attention-grabbing character. On the one hand, she is proud of the information of her son’s being pregnant, as she all the time needed her husband to grasp her ache. On the opposite hand, she perpetuates patriarchy by wishing for a male little one and anticipating her daughter-in-law Priya to handle each dwelling and work.
“Patriarchy’s social conditioning is such that it refuses to go. Apart from other abuses, financial abuse is the biggest,” says Vibha. When Priya will change into a mother-in-law, says the playwright, she will likely be completely different. “Because of her financial independence, she is in a position to say, if my partner doesnt give me equal space, I have the option to leave him, and she will pass on this thought to her daughters.”
The identify Shikhandi, based on Vibha, is only a metaphor for the “indecisive nature” that defines many males after they have to barter between mom and spouse. “He is not exactly a mama’s boy but like many men he hasn’t tried to work upon himself to become a spouse sensitive to his partner’s feelings. Your parents can’t teach you everything. Some things are self-taught.”
She says males declare to be sturdy, however in actuality they’re insecure, and this displays in social ills. The incomes the bread argument doesn’t imply that males get decreased to a child with regards to family chores. “The bread you win is secured and managed for the future by a woman,” says Vibha
Will the monetary enabling of ladies render males the weaker intercourse? Vibha replies, “ Women are wrongly referred to as the weaker sex today, and I don’t want that men should be called the same tomorrow. The two should be allowed to co-exist with their nuances and virtues so that they support each other.”
Female voices in theatre are few and much between, and Vibha says there’s a gender bias on this subject as nicely. Men can take part in novice theatre, however however ladies can’t afford to return dwelling at 10 within the evening. They are anticipated to think about the family. This has restricted the position of ladies in theatre.”
In her fashionable play, Doosra Admi, Doosri Aurat, first staged by Rajendra Gupta and Seema Biswas in Bharat Ran Mahotsav, Vibha talks of a brand new relationship being solid, a bond of friendship past the gender divide. “On the surface, it seems like a play on extra-marital affair and for years I was asked to change the ending. But today’s generation appreciates it . After all, we come from a culture where Krishna and Draupadi were friends.” As she says, a feminine voice tries to unite individuals, nurture relationships; it doesn’t make them crumble.