The months of October, November and December brought along a slew of newfound engagements for the Raavan Aaya team— a string of shows in multiple cities in association with Junoon Theatre for their Arts’ Encounter programme. What did this mean for us? Not only do we get to revisit a play which never fails to challenge us as performers, but also we get to share our boggling inquiries with a group of schoolchildren. 300 students in each show to be more precise!
Each show was preceded by a brief introduction to the play where we discussed the possibility of multiple versions of the Ramayana, and the possibility of the canonical characters living different lives in each version. Food for thought— “If Harry Potter’s story was written from the perspective of Voldemort, would it be the same story?”. Probably and possibly not. After four shows in Ludhiana, two shows in Agra, and two more in Rajnagar, we were met with an enthralling post-show discussion which challenged the characters as well as the audience. “Why did the King kill one of his own soldiers?”, “Why were the vanars not being given water?”, “The play is titled ‘Raavan Aaya’, but where was Raavan?” and finally, “Why did Raavan never come? Who is ‘Raavan’, then?”. The journey with this play continues as we continue to reimagine and refashion it, hoping to take it to more schools across the country to be me with a fresh package of curious musings.