The story of King Yayati (an ancestor of the Pandavas and Kauravas) and his two wives, Devayani and Sharmishtha, is a cautionary tale about the existential dangers of chasing superfluous pleasures.
Yayati, a character in the Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana, was cursed to lose his youth. However, the curse could be reversed if a willing son would agree to become old. His youngest son Puru agrees and Yayati is then able to pursue the hedonistic pleasures of youth. Later, the king realises that pleasure is utterly futile and finds his salvation by exchanging ages once more with Puru, renouncing his kingdom and spending the remainder of his life as an ascetic.
Eminent Marathi poet, writer, playwright and novelist Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar. known by his nom de plume Kusumagraj, wrote the play Yayati Ani Devyani in 1966. It is said that he was inspired by the work of fellow Marathi writer, VS Khandekar who penned the award-winning novel Yayati in 1959. Written in the form of the natya sangeet (musical play), Yayati Ani Devyani was scored by Hindustani classical vocalist and composer Jitendra Abhisheki, who was credited for the revival of Marathi musical theatre in the 1960s.
Watch Chinmay Joglekar and Niranjan Kulkarni in a revival of this play directed by Deepti Bhogale and produced by the Pune-based theatre group Marathi Rangabhumi.
When: Saturday, September 28 at 5pm
Where: Ravindra Kalakshetra, Bengaluru