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    Ashwatthama -The War Machine

    Ashwatthama -The War Machine

    Ashwatthama-The War Machine is a play which stands against war and the warmongers and speaks for disarmament. It is a lifeless, deathless emblem of martyred chivalry.The calamitous battle at Kurukshetra leading to the victory of the Pandavas left back Duryodhana with his illegal ‘Urubhanga’ and his unaccepted defeat. At this situation Duryodhana immortalized Ashwatthama as the new commander of the dead Kouravas. Here Ashwatthama is not merely traced as an epic character, but as the protagonist he is the representative of every soldier created by the system, the rulers, and the higher strata. Even a pawn in the battle of chess, can be realated to these soldiers led by the murderous instinct, misguided by the idealism of ‘Zihad’, or ‘Fanaticism’


    The play begins with a shloka from the Upanishada followed by the depiction of the stepping of the troupe into the final phase of the militant training session where the children of the decadent land of tMahabharataseek to look back at the annals of our past. Then follows elephant Ashwatthama’s death by the Pandavas, the pre-planned announcement to anxious Dronacharya about his son Ashwatthama’s death by Yudhisthira,and the killing of shattered Dronacharya by Dhrishtadyumna. Ashwatthama decides not to take up his sword after hearing about his father’s death; Duryodhana makes Ashwatthama understand and choose the way of violent revenge. 
    Sri Krishna curses Ashwatthama that he will have no escape from the world and would live for thousands of years to come until creation comes to an end. We come to an endless end to finish the play in real time and here we use ‘Madhumati-Suktam’ from the Upanishada to pray for the happiness of all living beings.  

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