THEATRE REVIEW OF SITAYAN
Directed by – Malay Ray
We always glorify ram in our epic Ramayana. We always console us asking that What is the definition of a great person: A great person is a human whom other humans would look up to. A human who sets examples for others to follow
Ram was a king. As a king it was his duty to follow Raj Dharma. Raj Dharma states that for a king the first duty is his people, then God, then his family and then himself. It is very important for a king to be beyond any doubts, for people to follow him and believe in him, for people to love him and respect him. His personal life is nothing. He has to set example for the future generation of kings to come. Understand how important his responsibility was.
It must have been a very tough decision for him to give up his wife. He fought an entire war to get her back. You can’t ever question his love for Sita. He never remarried. He sacrificed his personal life, his love for the becoming a king that was desired by the public. In a way he was slave of the needs of his people. He sacrificed his life same way 14 years ago when he went to forest to fulfil the promise.
That’s why we can love him, hate him, adore him, spite him, but we always respect him, for he was above personal bonds.
But never do we glorify Sita is this context. We always tend to criticize her because we tend to think about all the negative factors surrounding the image of Sita.
Sitayan is a completely “OUT OF THE BOX” drama which portrays the epicentre of Sita’s character along with its effect in this modern era.
REVIEW OF THE PLAY-
The theme of “women empowerment’ was very beautifully used as one of the major theme of the play. Young girls today are very mistaken to be thinking that their sense of self-worth and their acknowledgment of their beauty depends on whether a man will give that to them or not. Such naïveté! And so what will happen when the man changes his mind about her? Tells her she’s not beautiful enough? That she’s not good enough? Cheats on her? Leaves her? Then what happens? She will lose all her self-worth, she will think she is not good enough, she is not beautiful enough, because all of those feelings depended on the man in the first place! And along with the loss of the man, it will all be lost as well! Mothers, teach your daughters better. It pains me to see such naive innocence right under my nose! Such naïveté does no good for any girl. It is better for a girl to be worldly-wise and have street-smarts! That’s what a girl needs to have in life! Not wide-eyed delusional innocence! The sense of self-worth and acknowledgment of being beautiful must not come from a man, it must come from inside the woman herself, men will come and men will go and their coming and going must not take an effect on the woman’s sense of worth and beauty.
It’s true that the way we glorify ram in the epic, we don’t say even a penny about Sita. We always claim Ramayana is the eternal story of trials and tribulations faced by a man, who chose the path of “Dharma” , a matchless son, a loving husband, an endearing brother and above all a ruler, for whom Public opinion was Sacrosanct . A role model for all rulers, since time immemorial and for ages to come. But what about his wife?
In Hindu Dharma, there exists certain code of conduct for married women. A wife who possesses all those qualities is called as a “Pativrata.” Pati means husband, and vrata means vow. She is a woman for whom her husband is the world. She should live and die for her husband. Here is the definition of Pativrata, as stated by Brahaspati, a law-giver who lived between 300 and 500 A.D — “She is someone whose state of mind reflects that of her husband. She shares his distress, his delight, grows sickly and dresses unattractively in his absence, and dies when he does.” Sita is an perfect example of the above instant and tell me how many times do we state this fact?
The same thongs repeats now too. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.
Sitayan portrays all the above instances keeping the epic in the backdrop. It changes the main protagonist from Ram to Sita and proves the fact that we are all equal. Equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who’s confronted with it. We need equality.
The screenplay was beautiful and I have nothing to comment about Royeka Ray’s acting and stage performance.
YOU SHOULD WATCH THIS BECAUSE–
1. THE BEAUTIFUL AMALGAMATION OF HISTORY WITH MODERN.
2. THE SUPERB SCREENPLAY AND DIRECTION
3. THE ACTING OF THE PROTAGONIST
And lastly remember that quote “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”