THE FIRE AND THE RAIN
Published in 1998, like most of his plays, The Fire and The Rain was initially written in Kannada and then translated into English by the author. Karnad is renowned for his fascination with Indian mythology; in particular, the Mahabharata. He weaves the plot around the fire of the seven year yajna by Raibhya’s son Paravasu, and the rain for which the king of the drought-ridden kingdom performs the ceremony. The play has been compared to a minor Greek tragedy that is packed with themes of patricide, brahminicide, adultery, and the granting and misuse of power.
While the play may seem too mythical, the beauty of Karnad’s writing makes it essentially human; professional jealousy between father and son, relations that are formed on the basis of compromise instead of love, domestic abuse, pristine innocence that exposes the hollowness of the power of establishment etc.
In short, The Fire and The Rain is a mirror of social reality, as harsh as it may seem.
Srivaralakshmi Venkatraman Iyer
Design and Direction
Girish Karnad is a contemporary playwright, writer, actor and movie director. He marked the coming of age of modern Indian playwriting in Kannada in the 1960s. His first play was Yayati, and since then nothing has stopped Karnad from producing fine scripts that have highlighted contemporary issues through the use of mythology and history.
He was conferred Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India and has also won four Filmfare Awards.