(A comedy play in Tamil)
(Adaptation of Mahendravikrama Varma Pallava's Sanskrit Play "Bhagavathajjukiya"
Adapted and Directed by: K.S. Karuna Prasad
on 9th and 10th, October 2010
Kalakshethra Foundation's "Rukmini Arangam"
Sathyaleela – An adaptation of mahendra Vikrama Varma Pallava’s play
Ascet Sathyananda and his disciple Adharmananda enter into a garden while the Yogi explains the philosophies of human life, birth, re-birth and yoga. As their discussion moves ahead the royal danseuse Leelavathi and her friends enter the garden to meet her man of dreams.
Leelavathi sings a “song of romance’. Both the Yogi and his disciple are enthralled by her beauth and the sweetness of her voice.
Then enters the “Yamathoodhan”. He announces the intent to take away her life, does so and leaves to “yamalogam”. Whe the disciple stumbles upon the dead Leelavathi, he requests his Yogi to raise her from the dead. But the Yogi, with all his composure tells Adharmananda that she would reincarnate again to her next life. This angers the disciple.
At this juncture, the Yogi decides to teach a lesson to his disciple ans so inserts his spirit into the danseuse’s body. Leelavathi comes back to life. Yamathoodan, who committed a mistake by taking this young Leelavathis’s life instead of an old Leelavathi’s, enters the garden at Lord Yama’s order.
There awaits the surprise for him. He is stunned by the happenings. That’s when he sees the dead lifeless body of the Yogi. He decides to play and hence lets Leelavathi’s spirit into the Yogi’s body.
The exchange of Leelavathi’s and Sathyananda’s spirits between their bodies causes a lot of confusion. The Yogi, consumed by lust , searches for Leelavathi’s man. The disciple approaches Leelavathi, who is in the Yogi’s body. She chases him away. To solve the issue, Yamathoodan appears before them. He pleads with the Yogi, who had ordered his spirit into Leelavathi’s body. The Yogi refuses to leave her body. He claims to enjoy the pleasures of Leelavathi’s body.
On the other hand, Leelavathi, speaks words of love to all those who are nearby. This action of lust scares them away. The Yogi rushes behind them.
Bhagavadajjuka is a satirical play written by Mahendra Vikrama Varma, the Pallava King of Kanchi, highlighting religious mindsets, conversions and insincere attitude of hermits towards ascetic life prevalent during his times. It is considered as one of India's oldest farcical comedies.
This play was adapted as a tamil play called “Mutrugai” by Na. Muthuswamy of Koothu-p-pattarai in 1987. K S Karuna Prasad, has based his play “Sathyaleela” on this tamil adaptation.
The Yogi refusing to leave Leelavathi’s body after enjoying the pleasures given by it has lot of contextual reference to the present life and times. The director has chosen this play because feels that the values and sentiments of the play hold true even in today’s scenario. He has kept the story line and language simple in order to generate interest in the new generation audiences and reviving interest in existing audiences who are looking for something new.