Bhubaneswar, Nov 17: Mahiravana was one of the most powerful sons of demon King Ravana. The Ramayana informs us that Mahiravana use to rule the 'Patala' or the lower world.
When Ravana apprehended imminent defeat in the hands of Lord Rama and his associates, he summoned his dear son Mahiravana to come to his rescue.
The obedient son did not dishearten his father and with his magical powers tricked the alert Ram Sena and kidnapped both Rama and Lakshmana.
However, Hanuman entered into Mahiravana's kingdom in lower world. Before the demon could succeed in his plan to sacrifice Rama and Lakshmana in front of Goddess Kali, Hanuman killed Mahiravana and rescued both brothers.
Hanuman killing (read sacrificing) Mahiravana with Goddess Kali's blessings and guidance is no secret. It was a key part of The Ramayana. However, that we were told ages ago. What's new?
But if one tells us that Mahiravana was killed again in Bhubaneswar in front of hundreds of people, then that may confuse many. Sounds interesting and bit crazy as well.
But Dr Samita Mohanty, a respected lady teaching faculty of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya (USM) made it possible recently, with help of some students of Dance Department of USM.
Now, that ends the suspense and certainly gives enough clarity about all the afore mentioned build-up and long description from Ramayana era to the present time.
Well, during Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya's recent 'Natyayana' festival, 'Mahiravana Badha', a dance-drama directed by Dr Samita Mohanty mesmerised the audience at Rabindra Mandap, here recently.
Dr Mohanty was highly applauded by the audience for her concept and superb direction. She also had some interesting modifications in the original play written by Jagannath Pani, years back.
Playwright Professor Upendra Nayak, who gave the play a dance-drama form, also did a splendid job. The dialogues were powerful and the music was fantastic too. Nimakanta Routray's music and Ajaya Choudhury's lyrics won high acclaims among the audience.
Not only one, but all performers portrayed their characters very lively. If similar efforts are undertaken regularly, then the dance-drama forms of several mythological plays, which are hardly staged these days can get a fresh lifeline.
'Mahiravan Badha' was an exceptional joint effort during the 'Natyayan' progamme held under the aegis of Odia Language, Literature and Culture Department (under Government of Odisha).
While leaving the auditorium after the play, many audience not only appreciated the exceptional efforts of all those associated with the play, but also wished to see more such initiatives in future.
Well, considering the positive audience feedback that evening, it is clear if stage-loving souls like Dr Samita Mohanty take some extra pain then 'Mahiravana' would be killed at more locations in future. Why only 'Mahiravana Badha', other Puranic and mythological plays can be staged too. Let's hope for the best.