Monday, January 15, 2007


Mahesh Dattani's
Hindi translation by Smita Nirula
Directed By Arvind Gaur
21st January,2007,7pm
Sri Ram Centre, Safdar Hashmi Marg
Mandi House, New Delhi

27th January,2007,7pm
Mahesh Dattani's
Music by Sangeeta Gaur
Translation by Shahid Anwar
Directed By Arvind Gaur
Sri Ram Centre, Safdar Hashmi Marg
Mandi House, New Delhi

A play about love and betrayal, 'Thirty Days' treats the sensitive and generally taboo issue of child sexual abuse. 'Thirty Days' endeavors to lift the veil of silence which surrounds child sexual abuse and addresses the issue unflinchingly. it builds on the trauma of Mala who lives with the haunting memories of her abused past. Her abuser - her uncle - subconsciously lives with her all the time, as part of her dirty reflections. He damages her natural growth, deters her from pursuing her love interests beyond the ominous 30-day period and scars her soul every now and then. As Mala withers under the psychological pressure exterted on her by the abuser, her mother watches silently, living her own pain - suffering mutely.
Exploring the painful problem, Mahesh dattani Dattani raises valid concerns and structures a world of optimism where the wrongs can stand corrected and resurrection of brutalised faith is possible. But none of this happens without another man’s willingness to help the two women bury their traumatic past and find ways of rejuvenating their present. Deepak , Mala’s boyfriend, becomes the agent of change here. He dares to unmask the evil, even at the cost of his love. He hits the women hard until they hit the rock bottom. Finally, there is no way but to come up - face the wrongs and dare to correct them, notwithstanding the challenges the process of correction entails. By marking a daring departure from norm, the play ensures that we, as a society, no longer take comfort in the routine of uttering word “incest” in gutless undertones.
The play also brings us closer to the reality of abused children -pleasure does form a part of their pain, but finally the consequence of dangerous games can only be dangerous. Our only way to fight danger is to recognise it and crush with generous doses of brutality lest we are ready to condemn innocence to lifelong death.

About Mahesh Dattani
Mahesh Dattani, born in Bangalore on 7 August 1958, studied in Baldwin’s High School and St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, Bangalore.
He has worked as a copywriter in an advertising firm and subsequently with his father in the family business. His theatre group Playpen was formed in 1984, and he has directed several plays for them, ranging from classical Greek to contemporary works. In 1986, he wrote his first full-length play, Where There’s a Will, and from 1995, he has been working full-time in theatre. His major plays are Dance Like a Man, 30 Days in September, Bravely Fought the Queen,Final Solutions,Tara, On a Muggy Night in Mumbai.
Dattani is also a film-maker and his films have been screened in India and abroad to critical and public acclaim. His film Dance Like a Man has won the award for the Best Picture in English awarded by the National Panorama.

In 1998, Dattani won the Sahitya Akademi award for his book of plays Final Solutions and Other Plays, published by East–West Books Chennai, thus becoming the first English language playwright to win the award.
Dattani teaches theatre courses at the summer sessions programme of Portland State University, Oregon, USA, and conducts workshops regularly at his studio and elsewhere. He also writes plays for BBC Radio 4.

‘[Dattani’s work] probes tangled attitudes in contemporary India towards communal differences, consumerism and gender… a brilliant contribution to Indian drama in English.’
—Sahitya Akademi award citation