Chennai-based Theatre Director Prasanna Ramaswamy’s New Play, ‘this Is My Name’, Is An Adaptation Of Paul Zacharia’s Malayalam Novella ‘ithanente Peru’ That Interprets Nathuram Godse As A Character

In May 1949, the Punjab High Court, then in session at Shimla, was knee-deep in its most necessary, high-profile case. Nathuram Godse, who would quickly be sentenced to loss of life for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi, made his closing assertion, sparking debate.

To at the present time, many interpretations of this speech stay energetic. In 2003, it resulted in Paul Zacharia’s critically acclaimed Malayalam novella, Ithanente Peru, which examines Godse’s defence of the assassination.

Many years on, Chennai-based theatre director Prasanna Ramaswamy manifests a bodily kind to this literarary work via her play, This Is My Name, produced by Chennai Art Theatre, which is able to attain audiences in Chennai, this weekend.

The novella shines gentle on Godse desirous about his actions and defending himself, by drawing parallels from historical past and different fundamentalist actions. Zacharia recollects, “I have read a lot on Godse. His defence speech especially, shows him as a peculiar character. You cannot but be struck by his argument. I think that left a mark in my mind… I am not a Godse lover, but here’s a strange character in human history! So I thought I’ll try to interpret him in my own way.” Ithanenta Peru thus got here to fruition.

The highly effective writing is what lured Prasanna to the work, seven years in the past. Adapting this literary work into theatre was a problem in itself, and this interpretation was notably tough to drag via.

“In my previous work too, I have been speaking about perpetration, whether it be in the context of war, caste or any kind of oppression or marginalisation, by bringing out the poetry of the victims. But, since almost 17-18 years, I have been thinking about how I can put the perpetrator on stage. And to do that, this [the book] is fantastic work,” says Prasanna.

This Is My Name, although derived largely from Zacharia’s work, is an interaction of a number of narratives written by Prasanna. The director has woven two intertexts into the play, pitching one towards the opposite, about how any artwork kind irrespective of whether or not it’s half of a singular religion or not, has its personal cultural richness and identification.

“Can’t we stay with it or work with it, without being fundamentalist? This is a personal question that I wanted to explore,” says the director. The different query seems to be at how pliable artwork is. The first parallel narrative options Bharatanatyam artiste Anita Ratnam.

Set within the current, the scene depicts an interplay between Ratnam and a journalist who questions the contemporaneity of her work. “I am arguing that I won’t throw away the artform’s cultural richness just to prove a point. I can also make contemporary statements using past literature,” says Ratnam.

The scene resonates with Ratnam as an artiste, as a result of it’s an expertise that she isn’t alien to, as a dancer who always employs conventional motifs in her work.

A Physical Form

Like Prasanna’s different performs, This Is My Name, with a powerful forged of Nikhila Keshavan, Anita Ratnam, Sarvesh Sridhar, Nikhil Kedia, Dharma Raman and Darshan Ramkumar, too will depend on motion and music. Prasanna believes theatre mustn’t restrict itself to a spoken lingo. Visual artwork too performs a job on this manufacturing — artist Gurunathan Govindan has created three work which play a significant half in one of many sequences. Original music consists by Anandhkumar and executed by singers Saranya Krishnan and Subhashri Vidya, and percussionist Guru.

For Prasanna, Ratnam and most of the forged and crew, This Is My Name can also be their first outing on stage since March 2020.

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