I have always told myself that it is easy to confront anyone in this world but your own reflection you see in mirror everyday.
What do you do when that image of yours questions you on things you have no answers for? You feel guilty...and there is so much anger in your eyes that the mirror breaks and you see yourself shattered like those broken pieces.
Now, picture such a situation written by playwright Girish Karnad. In 'Bikhre Bimb', Karnad sharply deals with conflict between one self and one's alter ego. It also talks about inexplicable relationship among other things. Since the play is one-act, its impact depends a lot on its actors. I gather that the original play (in Kannada, directed by Kanad himself)was staged by Arundhati Nag alone. I saw Sushma Seth and Rashmi Vaidyalingam performing under the direction of Rajinder Nath at IHC last week.
I haven't seen either of them on stage before. While Seth is a favourite (I guess from Hum Log days), I was more than impressed by Vaidyalingam's performance. She was flawless with her expressions and her voice was just like I hear myself when I do something wrong!
The story is essentially about an English professor, Manjula Nayak, who writes short-stories in Kannada. However, she finds sudden international fame when she writes a novel in English. The critics back home, however, are not pleased as they feel she has deserted Kannada.
A TV channel airs a telefilm based on her novel and invites her for a brief address. Manjula takes this as an opportunity to answer the critics and reveal that she took an inspiration from the life of her paralyzed younger sister, Manini, who passes away a couple of weeks before the novel is published.
After the emotional and powerful speech, just when a 'content' Manjula is about to leave studio, her inner soul affronts her. And then we witness a parley between Majula and her image which brings out true character of the protagonist as well as others involved.
I love the way Manjula, in her dialogue talks about the 'emotional affair' her husband had with Manini, who lived with them. It becomes very interesting when Manjula (and along with her the audience) realizes who had the last laugh after all.
Do watch it whenever it is in your city next.