Tendulkar spells v-e-r-s-a-t-i-l-e

On November 6, Prithvi Theatre will honour literary genius Vijay Tendulkar with a display of some of his lesser known works like…

vijay tendulkar

11 AM

This one-hour prologue to Sakharam Binder is Tendulkar’s first English play. “ Sakharam Binder is one the most intriguing characters I have come across,” says Jaimini Pathak, who’s directing a staged reading of the piece. “This prologue examines social concerns and exposes existing hypocrisy. Like so much of Tendulkar’s work it is a commentary on society.” The play finds Sakharam, the famously rebellious Brahman, conducting the last rites of his ‘fifth woman’. “The script stands by itself,” affirms Pathak, “I’m aiming at a well-staged reading by a group of enthusiastic youngsters, hoping to get the text across.”


“I don’t see Sakharam as having being created by Tendulkar saab. I see him as someone who made Tendulkar write,” mulls Makrand Deshpande, the writer and director of this play. Sakharam Binder ended with
Sakharam committing a murder. Enter ‘hawaldar Deshpande’, a character who investigates Sakharam’s motives for the murder and the course he takes thereafter. “Sakharam undergoes a trial in my play to finally emerge a hero,” informs Deshpande about his approach to the character.

3 PM

Tendulkar’s first story, written when he was 20, discovers the experience of falling in love. An unusual piece from a writer famous for his hard-hitting social dramas, the play will be staged by director Pravin Kalokhe from Nasik. This play premiered at Pune’s Tendulkar festival, organised by Amol Palekar.


Tendulkar’s daily column in Loksatta began three days before the Babri Masjid demolition. Sandesh Kulkarni converts these newspaper accounts to theatre. “I hope to display the much larger canvas of national turmoil which was reflected in these writings,” explains Kulkarni, “I have used many people in my staging to bring about that sense of hysteria.”

6 PM

This essay by Tendulkar explores his relationship with his father and his own son, both having passed away when he wrote it. “Tedulkar’s father was a man of high ideals,” director Girish Patke reveals. “In this piece he compares himself with his father, and in turn, with his son. This appeals to me because it is something which applies not just to Tendulkar, but to every common man.”


Another essay by Tendulkar, this one’s a character sketch of his sister. Chetan Datar directs this piece which analyses the whole spectrum of family relationships.

9 PM

This light-hearted satire gives a taste of how varied this playwright’s range is. A group of actors perform a play that never ends. Directed by Vijay Kenkre, the play is one of Tendulkar’s shortest – 25 minutes.


Priyadarshan Jadhav in Vairyanchi Raatra

“This play, a satire, has not been done often,” points out director Panesh Mokashi. It begins with the dress rehearsal before the opening night of a play and goes through the opening night to how the audience reacts to the performance. “The comedy in the play arises from the characters Tendulkar has created,” mentions Mokashi. “The script provided our actors with plenty of clues with regards to characterisation.”


This article first appeared in Mumbai Mirror, Times Of India: http://alturl.com/5but


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