Pregnant Father: An idea well-conceived

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Vibha Rani’s stinging satire gained the Nemichandra Jain Playwriting Award this 12 months

Girls usually want longingly that males would get pregnant at the very least as soon as of their lifetime to grasp simply what ladies undergo in these 9 months. In Vibha Rani’s play, Pregnant Father, the want comes true, and we get to as soon as once more focus on gender roles in a patriarchal society.

Winner of this 12 months’s Nemichandra Jain Playwriting Award, the stinging satire tells the story of a mama’s boy named Shikhandi who will get pregnant. It spirals not solely into home and emotional upheaval however a social disaster as properly, with the position of docs and the media uncovered.

“It is rather regular for folks to not perceive what being pregnant entails for a girl. The bodily side is dealt with by the physician however what in regards to the emotional and psychological points. The upbringing of boys is such that even as we speak solely about 1% of them are maybe delicate to the emotional wants of their spouses,” says Vibha, who has greater than a dozen performs to her credit score.

In accordance with Vibha, each man earlier than start is a feminine as a result of he spends 9 months inside a feminine physique. “If he carries that nine-month sensitivity with him, he might deal with the emotional wants of his associate.”

The premise is futuristic, and Vibha factors to the patriarchal mindset that runs scientific analysis. “Scientists are engaged on attaining immortality, however there is no such thing as a try on sharing ladies’s workload in giving start to humanity.”

The play refers back to the little-known legendary story from the Mahabharata, the place king Yuvnashva will get by accident pregnant. It additionally varieties the idea of Devdutt Patanaik’s e-book The Pregnant King. “Our mythology offers with many advanced points, and male being pregnant isn’t any exception. I spoke to Mr. Patanaik earlier than together with his voice within the play,” says Vibha. In 2015, Patanaik’s e-book was tailored into an English play, Flesh, by Kaushik Bose, inspecting points surrounding gender and sexuality.

Vibha Rani receiving the award

Shikhandi’s widowed mom is an fascinating character. On the one hand, she is pleased with the information of her son’s being pregnant, as she all the time needed her husband to grasp her ache. Alternatively, she perpetuates patriarchy by wishing for a male youngster and anticipating her daughter-in-law Priya to handle each residence and work.

“Patriarchy’s social conditioning is such that it refuses to go. Other than different abuses, monetary abuse is the largest,” says Vibha. When Priya will develop into a mother-in-law, says the playwright, she shall be completely different. “Due to her monetary independence, she is able to say, if my associate doesnt give me equal area, I’ve the choice to go away him, and she’s going to move on this thought to her daughters.”

The identify Shikhandi, in response to Vibha, is only a metaphor for the “indecisive nature” that defines many males once they have to barter between mom and spouse. “He isn’t precisely a mama’s boy however like many males he hasn’t tried to work upon himself to develop into a partner delicate to his associate’s emotions. Your dad and mom can’t train you all the pieces. Some issues are self-taught.”

Pregnant Father: An idea well-conceived

She says males declare to be robust, however in actuality they’re insecure, and this displays in social ills. The incomes the bread argument doesn’t imply that males get lowered to a child on the subject of family chores. “The bread you win is secured and managed for the longer term by a girl,” says Vibha

Will the monetary enabling of ladies render males the weaker intercourse? Vibha replies, “ Girls are wrongly known as the weaker intercourse as we speak, and I don’t need that males must be known as the identical tomorrow. The 2 must be allowed to co-exist with their nuances and virtues in order that they help one another.”

Feminine voices in theatre are few and much between, and Vibha says there’s a gender bias on this subject as properly. Males can take part in beginner theatre, however however ladies can’t afford to return residence at 10 within the evening. They’re anticipated to consider the family. This has restricted the position of ladies in theatre.”

In her standard play, Doosra Admi, Doosri Aurat, first staged by Rajendra Gupta and Seema Biswas in Bharat Ran Mahotsav, Vibha talks of a brand new relationship being cast, a bond of friendship past the gender divide. “On the floor, it looks like a play on extra-marital affair and for years I used to be requested to vary the ending. However as we speak’s technology appreciates it . In spite of everything, we come from a tradition the place Krishna and Draupadi had been associates.” As she says, a feminine voice tries to unite folks, nurture relationships; it doesn’t make them disintegrate.


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