Kattaikkuttu Sangam
Transforming Culture
Transforming Lives



"...The tremendously talented kids (including girls, normally excluded from Terukkuttu), their high-pitched singing, kirukki pirouettes and ornate bujakirti costumes make it a treat. The conflict between religion and State remains as relevant, Rajagopal (Raghupati) and R. Devan (Govindamanikya) adding a local Tamil angle too." Ananda Lal in The Telegraph, Kolkata, 18 Aug 2007

Tukil (Disrobing of Draupadi) (2010)

Inspired by the entrance of talented girl-performers into Kattaikkuttu and their need for challenging roles, Artistic Leader P. Rajagopal and Facilitator Hanne M. de Bruin researched and adapted the all-night play Disrobing of Draupadi for the Kattaikkuttu Young Professionals Company.

After the oldest of her five husbands has lost Draupadi in a game of dice, her new masters order her to present herself to the assembly of kings. Draupadi refuses to come until her seemingly simple, yet intriguing question - "Did he lose me before or after he staked himself?" - has been answered.

This question raises the issue of a woman's self-determination: Is she a possession of her husband so that she can be staked in a game of dice, or is she her own master? It probes her husband, Dharmaraja (King of justice)'s, right to stake her, in particular if he has lost himself already. And it probes justice and the morality of the royal assembly to allow such an event to happen.

The play ends with Draupadi regaining her freedom and that of her five husbands through a final game of dice. In this game Draupadi directly opposes her challenger Duryodhana. She stakes her chastity and wins. While the story of Draupadi's final game is known in the oral narrative tradition, until now it has never been performed on stage. The play premiered in Bangalore during the Ranga Shankara Festival on the 23rd of October 2010.

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