RUDAALI : THE MOURNER

rudaali

Based on a play scripted by a renowned Hindi novelist, Mahashweta Devi, the plot revolves around Shanichari, who is an energetic and a vibrant soul in a Bihari outback. Stooped low by the meticulous labor, in order to be a sole bread winner for her family; she drenches herself in sweat daily to earn two square meals a day. The kins label the woman as a witty witch who enslaves her own house members. In the shackles of solidarity, Shanichari finds solace in her long forgotten mate Bhikhni, who is another hapless domestic widow left on her own by her very own son whom she caressed dearly in dreadful circumstances. The plight of the two women, helps in resurrecting a bond sacred to financial emancipation as hired mourners (Rudali) to add melodrama to the entire scene of reducing the dead into ashes on a funeral pyre of the feudal rich by wailing out. These women coronate themselves as their own masters, after analysing through the novel vocation that they can stand on their own feet in the gleaming absence of the darker sex. The play takes a steep turn when Bikhni calls it quit from the world after suffering from dysentery in the absence of medical care.
This episode was the unveiling of genuine water droplets from Shanichari’s moist eyes, she feels wounded at heart and despair imprisons her like no beast would ever. Adamant as she was to her own commitments, she couldn’t afford to turn her back and bid goodbye to the broken reels instead of mending them. This time she rises, like the sun never has to enter into the shady realms of this materialistic society: a brothel. Appointing her own self as the recruiting head for a band of Rudalis from the herd of prostitutes, her eyes caught hold of her run away daughter- in law, Parvatia. Empowering herself now and then, to offer a new lease of life to each and every victim of human trafficking over there, she trains them hard for false mourning. “When you start, weep as if you’ve lost someone close to you, someone dear to your heart. Beat your breast and cry out with such feeling that their blood runs cold!” She teaches them.

The denouement of the play contained women pretentiously weeping as if their souls were ripped off at the death of every man who pushed them into the pyre of prostitution. The women earned cash, food grains and goodies without selling themselves, on the contrary reincarnating their bereaved souls which were touched by men who were heartless bitches. Shanichari despondently smiles at her destiny, with foodgrains in her hands as the story ends.

This heart wrenching plot left an indelible imprint on my soul. It focuses on the hilarity of the delirium that the common people face with pique faces as if the world has broken down into narrow fragments when in relativity to these characters’ woes, only a little has fallen apart. Here’s FEMINISM for everyone. The most genuine one from forever

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AN ODE TO THE YOUNG LASS

Teetering life on the violent edge of the world,
Menaces with folklores that cast a chill on the most avid nerds.

A young lass, amassing the cocoon strands,
Falls prey to thou lores; and embellishes the silky floral band.
She’ll adorn it on the day she gets hitched,
Hoping with the knot, her broken pieces too get fixed.

Draped from head to toe,
In a burgundy gown and unsoiled stiletto.
She creeped for her post marital dinner date,
Into the dreadfulness; wincing in silence how destiny switches fate!

Cognizing now on the edge of the bed,
How much during the night she bled.
Cries foul over why she was only undressed,
And why there’s no ritual of helping each other redress!

More broken than ever; she feels,
What a fool she was who looked for salvation in those brittle reels.
After sobbing for long; in excruciating pain,
She summons herself to wash those stains.

Years later, “Oh! What a bait marriage is”; she exclaims,
Straying one away from the thrust is all it does, she claims.
It enunciates like a dream with profound glory,
But quips in the name of regret as an unsaid story.

Teetering life on the violent edge of the world,
Menaces with folklores that cast a chill on the most avid nerds.

-D. Sharma