CreEper

Written and directed by Ram Ganesh Kamatham, a precocious young playwright and rising star of the Indian theatre scene, this play is loosely based on two of the stories in the Vetalapancavimshati – more popularly known as Vikram and Vetal.  It’s toured the Indian metros so far and is now coming back to Bangalore for its 10th show:

Saturday 3rd (7:30pm) and Sunday 4th May (3:30 & 7:30pm)

at Nani Arena, Centre for Film and Drama

5th Floor, Sona Towers, 71, Millers Road, Bangalore

Ram Ganesh Kamatham has written an article for this forum about his play in the context of narratology, literary originality and treatment of Sanskrit texts:

https://venetiaansell.wordpress.com/theatre-and-dance/

See Ram’s blog too:

http://addledbraindump.blogspot.com/2008/04/final-creeping.html

for  more details on this and his other work.

Reviewers have liked it and I’ve seen this once already and would definitely recommend it.

4 Responses to “CreEper”


  1. 1 m r rao May 11, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    (कमथंमहोदयस्य creEperइति स्वरचितनाटकस्य 29-Apr-08दिनाङ्के स्वयं लिखिता टिप्पणी इदानीं न कुत्रापि दृश्यते। तां टिप्पणीं पठित्वा तन्नाटकं दृष्ट्वा च अनुवर्तमाना टिप्पणी मया लिखिता।)
    (आधुनिकभारतस्य बुद्धिजीविनः स्वयं किमपि उत्कृष्टकाव्यं गद्यं वा लोकहिताय लोकरञ्जनाय च रचयितुं असमर्थाः। निर्व्यापारक्षौरिकः मार्जारमस्तकमुण्डनं कृतवान्‌ यथा तथा ते प्राचीनभारतसाहित्यं केवलं वक्रदृष्ट्या संभावन्ति। अतिरमणीयेऽपि काव्ये पिशुनोऽन्वेषयति छिद्राण्येव। अतिसुन्दरेऽपि वपुषि व्रणमेव हि मक्षिकानिकरः॥ अतः एव रावणं वा कर्णं वा कथानायकस्थाने प्रतिष्ठाप्य नवीनसाहित्यं रचयन्ति। वयं तु कालिदासेन मार्गं दर्शिताः भवेम – पुराणमित्येव न साधु सर्वं न चापि काव्यं नवमित्यवद्यं। सन्तः परीक्ष्यान्यतरत् भजन्ते मूढः परप्रत्ययनेयबुद्धिः॥ – mrr)

    https://venetiaansell.wordpress.com/theatre-and-dance/#comment-27
    इति जालस्थानात्‌

    CreEper

    A note on the play, narratology, literary originality and the treatment of Sanskrit texts

    by writer and director Ram Ganesh Kamatham

    29th April 2008

    “I do think it is time we pay closer attention to our Sanskrit texts and assert a strong and measured ownership over them. If we do not, they will be permanently lost or misused. If we continue to allow waves of saffronisation to crash over them, the words would simply melt away and all that would remain is a soggy mess of war-mongering invective, ripe to be flung as political leverage to justify any kind of atrocity, the next religious structure to be built/razed or the next artist to be attacked/exiled.” इति रामगणेशकमथंमहोदयः।

    अनेन स्पष्टं ज्ञायते कमथंमहोदयस्य वास्तवाभिप्रायं। एवं असन्दिग्धेन वचनेन स्वाभिप्रायं प्रकटीकृतवते तस्मै मम धन्यवादाः। संस्कृतसाहित्यस्य माहात्म्यं वा माधुर्यं वा आधुनिकेभ्यः निवेदयितुं न तस्य उद्यमः। न च संस्कृतसाहित्यस्य प्रासङ्गिकत्वं दर्शयितुं। न वा संस्कृतसाहित्यस्य देशकालातीतसार्वहितसन्देशं उद्घोषयितुं। न चैव संस्कृतसाहित्यस्य नवरसभरितजीवनसौन्दर्यं अनेकैः वर्तमानसामाजिकप्रश्नैः पीडितेभ्यः जनेभ्यः प्रदर्श्य “क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ!” इति तस्य प्रेरणया तान्‌ उद्धर्तुं। न हि न हि। संस्कृतसाहित्यस्य सद्गुणानभिज्ञस्य तस्य किं लक्ष्यं? “assert a strong and measured ownership over them” इत्येव केवलं! अर्थात्‌ अहमेव संस्कृतसाहित्यस्य स्वामी उत्तमव्याख्याता च। साम्प्रदायावगुण्ठनेन पिहितनेत्राणि उन्मीलयितुं अहमेव क्षमः। इति तस्य सगर्वदृढवचनं। येन केनापि काष्ठेन शुनकः ताड्यः इत्युक्त्या संस्कृतसाहित्यपोषणव्याजेन सः प्रच्छन्नsecularismवादी BJPगणं अप्रत्यक्षं यथाकामं निन्दति दूषयति च। समाजकल्याणवर्धनं साहित्यधर्म इति सज्जनसंमतं। किंतु राजनीतिपक्षपातेन विपक्षदूषणाय साहित्यवक्रीकरणेन न कोऽपि कलाकोविदः भवेत्‌।

    स्वस्ति। सन्तः परीक्ष्यान्यन्यतरत्‌ भजन्ते इति कालिदासवचनं मनसि कृत्वा ३००रूप्यकैः प्रवेशपत्रद्वयं क्रीत्वा पत्न्या सह creEperइति रामगणेशरचितं नाटकं 03-Apr-08दिनाङ्के अपश्यं। पुराणमित्येव इति श्लोकेन “वर्तमानकविः” कालिदासः मालविकाग्निमित्रं इति स्वनाटकस्य अवज्ञां करिष्यमाणानां वाग्बन्धनं अकरोत्‌। साहित्यजगति बुद्धिशक्तिः एव प्रभवति न केवलं नूतनत्वं। jumbleइति काञ्चित्‌ अक्षरक्रीडां स्मरामि यस्यां कस्यापि शब्दस्य अक्षराणि अस्तव्यस्तं कृत्वा दर्शयन्ते। तानि अस्तव्यस्ताक्षराणि यथाक्रमं विन्यस्य मूलशब्दः ज्ञातव्यः। अस्मिन्‌ नाटके एवमेव अभिप्रायाः कूटभाषया अस्तव्यस्तेन व्याह्रियन्ते। व्यामिश्रेण वाक्येन बुद्धिं मोहयसीव मे (गीता ३, २) इत्युक्त्या आधुनिकसाहित्यकाराः बुद्धिपूर्वकं जटिलवाक्यानि उपयुञ्जते। किमर्थं? सरलवाक्यप्रयोगेण तेषां अभिप्रायाणां नीरसत्वं प्राकृतत्वं च स्पष्टं दृश्यते खलु। Alexander Pope लिखति :
    Words are like leaves and where they most abound
    Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.
    दैनिकजीवने उपपद्यमानासु विविधविचित्रावस्थासु कथं व्यवहरणीयं इति शासनाधिकारिणः विनोदेन शिक्षयितुं विक्रमवेतालकथाः रचिताः यथा IASअधिकारिणः आधुनिके हिमाचलप्रदेशे मुस्सूरीनगरे शिक्षयन्ते। पञ्चतन्त्रमपि तदर्थमेव रचितं। विक्रमवेतालयोः कस्मिंश्चित्‌ महानगरे व्याकुलीजातयोः कयोश्चित्‌ स्त्रीपुरुषयोश्च कः संबन्धः इति स नाटकरचयिता एव जानाति। सामाजिकप्रश्नाः प्रष्टव्याः किंतु उत्तरं न दातव्यं इति आधुनिकसाहित्यस्य लक्षणं। उत्तरं किं न दीयते? यतः प्रष्टा स्वयं मोहितः प्रत्ययहीनश्च।
    दर्शकाः चतुर्विधाः। एके अवगम्य स्वीकुर्वन्ति। अपरे अवगम्य निराकुर्वन्ति। अन्ये अवगम्य उदासीनाः भवन्ति। अवशिष्टाः न अवगच्छन्त्येव। चतुर्थविधाः सुखिनः यतः Ignorance is blissइत्युक्त्या ते अज्ञानानन्दमग्नाः भवन्ति!
    मध्वपति रामचन्द्रः

  2. 2 venetiaansell May 15, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Here’s an English translation of Mr Rao’s comments on the play in the order tehy appear above:

    FIRST COMMENT:
    (The comments, dated 29-Apr-08, written Shri Kamatam himself on his drama creEper are not found in this site now. Having read those comments and seen the drama these comments have been written by me.)

    (The intellectuals of modern India are incapable of composing any original literary work of intrinsic merit either in prose or in verse.
    Just as an unemployed barber shaves a cat’s head, these people look at the literature of ancient India with jaundiced eyes. “Howsoever beautiful a poem be, the carping critic looks for defects only, just as flies gather only around a wound on a beautiful body”. And so they find a hero in rAvaNaH or karNaH and try to create original
    literature. But let us be guided by kAlidAsaH: Not everything is meritorious just because it is hoary, nor is anything free from defects just because it is new. A wise man examines carefully and then chooses one or the other. Only a fool is led by others’ opinions.” – mrr)

    SECOND COMMENT
    CreEper

    A note on the play, narratology, literary originality and the treatment of Sanskrit texts

    by writer and director Ram Ganesh Kamatham

    29th April 2008

    “I do think it is time we pay closer attention to our Sanskrit texts and assert a strong and measured ownership over them. If we do not, they will be permanently lost or misused. If we continue to allow waves of saffronisation to crash over them, the words would simply melt away and all that would remain is a soggy mess of war-mongering
    invective, ripe to be flung as political leverage to justify any kind of atrocity, the next religious structure to be built/razed or the next artist to be attacked/exiled.” So writes Shri Kamatam.

    From this the real intention Shri Kamatham is clear. I must thank him for expressing himself in such unambiguous terms. He does not labour to bring to a modern audience the splendour and fragrance of sanskrit literature. Nor to show the relevance of sanskrit literature. Nor to spread the message of sanskrit literature – a message that transcends
    time and space. Nor by revealing the nine essences of the beauty of life found in sanskrit literature to those who are troubled by the stress and strain of modern existence and galvanize and inspire them (with the words from gItA) “Cast off this weakness of spirit and arise!”No, No. What is the intent of one who seems to be a stranger
    to the goodness of sanskrit literature? Only his: “assert a strong and measured ownership over them.” That is to say: “I am the Master of sanskrit literature and the only exponent. Only I am capable of opening the eyes of those blind-folded by tradition!” Such seems to be his supercilious assertion. As it is said “Any stick to beat a dog”, under the guise of promoting sanskrit literature he, as a secularist in disguise, finds occasion to malign and vilify BJP.

    All thinking people agree that the function of literature is to promote the welfare of society. But no one can become a literary genius by simply maligning a group out of political prejudice.

    “A wise man examines carefully and then chooses one or the other”.
    Keeping this councel of kAlidAsaH in mind, I bought two tickets for Rs. 300 and saw the drama “creEper” with my wife on 03-Apr-08.

    With the verse “purANamityeva” the “upstart” kAlidAsaH silenced the critics of his drama mAlaviKagnimitraM. In the world of letters only genius will prevail, not mere novelty. I am reminded of a word game called “jumble” in which the letters of a word are presented higgedly-piggedly and one has to re-arrange them to get the original
    word. In this drama, too, ideas are presented in a disorderly fashion and in an obscure language. “You are confusing me with your convoluted discourse” (gItA 3, 2). Even so do modern authors deliberately use complicated language. Why is this so? Because, by using plain
    language, the insipidity and triviality of their ideas will be clearly visible.

    Alexander Pope writes:

    Words are like leaves and where they most abound
    Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.

    The Vikram-Vetal stories were written, I believe, to groom officers of state, in an engaging way, to handle perplexing situations in life, just as modern IAS officers are groomed in Mussoorie, HP.
    pa~ncatantraM was also composed for a similar purpose. Only the playwright knows the connection between Vikaram-Vetal and a confused couple living in a modern city of India.

    Questions about society must be asked, but no answer should be given.
    Such seems to be the motto of modern literature. Why is no answer given? Because the questioner is himself confused and lacks all conviction.

    There are four types of viewers. Those who understand and accept. Those who understand and reject. Those who understand and are indifferent. And, lastly, those who don’t understand at all. Probably the fourth group is lucky because Ignorance is bliss.

    ******

    m r rao

  3. 3 m r rao May 18, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    The Moving Finger writes and having writ
    Moves on; nor all thy piety nor wit
    Can lure it back half a line
    Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.

    इति Omar Khayyamकविश्लोकानुसारेण या टिप्पणी यद्यपि अप्रिया blogजालस्थाने लिख्यते सा न मार्जितव्या इति मम मतं। किंतु अस्मिन्‌ जालस्थाने काश्चित्‌ टिप्पण्यः मार्जिताः जाताः। एवं मा भवतु इति प्रार्थये।

  4. 4 m r rao May 18, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    (उद्धृतश्लोके कञ्चित्‌ स्खलनं आसीत्‌। अतः क्षमायाच्ञापूर्वकं पुनः लिख्यते।)
    The Moving Finger writes and having writ
    Moves on; nor all thy piety nor wit
    Can lure it back to cancel half a line
    Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.

    इति Omar Khayyamकविश्लोकानुसारेण या टिप्पणी यद्यपि अप्रिया blogजालस्थाने लिख्यते सा न मार्जितव्या इति मम मतं। किंतु अस्मिन्‌ जालस्थाने काश्चित्‌ टिप्पण्यः मार्जिताः जाताः। एवं मा भवतु इति प्रार्थये।


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