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In praise of Ganesha

Lord Ganesha's role as the remover of obstacles was the central theme of this musical.

Not many plays are written on Lord Ganesha and his benevolence. Therefore the play Ganesha Mahatmyam, a mythological Telugu drama, written by V.A. Acharya, was looked forward to for its concept and presentation. This was staged at Ravindra Bharathi, under the auspices of Abhinaya. The play, being a musical, was rightly loaded with a number of verses. The thespians who took part in the production had good voices and musical knowledge. The theme concentrated on the aspect of Lord Vinayaka as the remover of obstacles.

The playwright chose the Mahabharata as the backdrop for his story. After the Mahabharata war, victorious Dharmaraja understood at what loss of human life the war was won. To atone for this sin, he was advised by scholars to undertake an Aswamedha Yaagam. Arjuna is sent as the custodian of the horse, leading the entourage. If somebody checks the horse, one has to fight against Arjuna and win over him. Bheeshanasura, a demon and the son of Bakasura, throws a challenge to Arjuna. He nurtures a grudge against Arjuna, as he is the brother of Bheema who killed his father. Before getting ready to fight him, the demon prays to Lord Vighneswara and gets his blessing to remain invincible. The demon captures the sacrificial horse. Arjuna fails to arrest his attack. That is when Lord Krishna and sage Narada tell Arjuna that he too should have prayed to Lord Vinyaka. Then Arjuna prays to Ganesha and peace is made between Arjuna and the repentant Bheeshanasura.

K. Venkateswara Rao played the role of Krishna and rendered his many verses well. P.V. Subbarao as Arjuna and Satyanarayana in the role of Bheeshanasura filled the primary roles of the play and displayed good histrionic sense. Chandramouli playing Narada too had a good share of verses. Narayana as Ganesha acquitted himself well. T. Suryanarayana Sastry provided the harmonium support. Stage lighting and dιcor were of average standard.

G.S.

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