Friday, May 23, 2008

Vijay Tendulkar : The Other Side

Vijay Tendulkar took his last breath and all the Marathi newspapers were flooded with reactions by celebrities in different fields. No doubt, he was genius and deserved ‘Jnyanapeeth’ award for his overall performance. However, in the eye of a common spectator of Marathi drama like me, most of these reactions were too extreme and too overstated. Besides, there were a number of reactions from such celebrities who either were obliged to Tendulkar or were his friends or disciples or purely professionals and their reactions were not at all concerned with stage, Marathi drama or screenplays.

The relevant reactions were like
‘Tendulkar gave a new turn to the Marathi drama’
‘He was a revolutionary’
‘He brought pragmatism on the stage’
‘He presented cruel beast hidden in the human being’
‘He was ahead of time’
‘He shook hand with the truth’
‘He broke the frame’
so on and so forth. These reactions create some basic questions in my mind.

As many critics say, Varerkar gave a new turn to the Marathi drama. Then Vartak also gave, then Rangnekar, then off course Tendulkar and also Khanolkar. Meanwhile some turns were also given by Mayekar and both the Dalavis according to a few critics. Still I hear, Elkunchwar and Phansalkar are also doing something of the sort.
I really don’t understand what are these turns ? How do these turns differ from each other ? What’s the qualitative aspect of each turn ? And after so many such turns what’s the condition of the Marathi stage today ?

‘Tendulkar was a revolutionary and he brought pragmatism or realism on the Marathi stage.’
What kind of realism Tendulkar has brought ? Let us see the subjects of his dramas.
-Strained sexual relationship in ‘Madi’, ‘Bali’ ‘Gidhade’etc.
-Virgin Mother in ‘Shrimant’
-A ‘Keep’ in ‘Ajgar ani Gandharva’
-Two keeps in Sakharam Bainder
-A Sadistic Dalit who wants to take revenge of his upper-cast wife in 'Kanyadan'
-Pre-marriage affair, abortion etc. in ‘Shantata Court Chalu Ahe’
-Mass seduction, selling of daughter for obtaining a public post etc. in ‘Ghashiram’
-Homosexuality in 'Mitrachi Goshta'

In this way, all his famous dramas contain such weird subjects and weird scenes.
For Exp. In ‘Sakharam Binder’ all the main characters have no business other than drinking heavily, abusing, kicking, beating with belt and footwear. When Champa beats her ex-husband with her footwear, he keeps on coming to her and begging to hit him with footwear again and again.

What does it mean all ?
Its nothing but a kind of ‘Sadism-Masochism’ thing. According to psychiatrists every human has some suppressed sexual fetishes and fantasies like ‘foot fetish’, ‘role play’, ‘spanking or get spanked with shoes’, ‘cross dressing’ etc.
Hence, for a writer there is always a danger of expressing his personal fetishes knowingly or unknowingly into his works. In view of this, Tendulkar could not control himself, that is for sure.

‘Tendulkar presented beast in the human being.’
True, but he never presented Human being himself. He was always negative.
He believed in cunning, cruelty, devastation and tragedy but never believed in love, sacrifice, determination, courage, bravery, achievement and comedy. He posed human being as Destructive rather than Constructive. Needless to mention that this was against the real history of human being.

Considering the above, I conclude that Tendulkar was a genius with great word powers, presentation skill and a treasure of disputable subjects. However, he was neither a pioneer (like Kirloskar) nor a revolutionary (like Deval, Varerkar & Vartak.)
He was just a successful playwrite. Thats all.

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