Nagpur: ‘Punyashlok Ahilyabai’, a play based on the life of warrior queen Ahilyabai Holkar, took the audience back in time and wove a vibrant retelling of her life, on Wednesday during the ongoing Khasdar Sanskrutik Mahotsav at Ishwar Deshmukh College of Physical Education ground.
The play told the tale of a woman who changed the course of history, and aptly represented Alhiyabai’s vision of herself and the world around her. Driven by passion to protect the nation she had sought to maintain after the death of her husband and son, Ahilyabai rose from the ashes as one of the most valiant and courageous warrior queens in Indian history.
The play took the audience from Ahilyabai’s childhood, and her marriage, to taking charge of the dynasty. The young Ahilyabai won the audience’s hearts with her undaunted, unshakeable confidence and acting skills, both resolute and remarkable in action. The play was an ensemble of 150 artists. The grand stage designs, horses, ethnic costumes, and the human curiosity of listening to stories marked the Day Six of Khasdar Sanskrutik Mahotsav. The play was a treat to history enthusiasts. However, the play did more than just entertain the audience.
This period drama, based on the inspiring life of a woman, around whom history would gather its elf instilled a sense of valour and courage, and inspired the youngsters sitting in the audience to be brave and righteous. Prior to that, Day Six of the mega event began with ‘Jaagar Rashtrabhakticha’, a patriotic song performance orchestrated by Shyam Deshpande. The programme was organised by Amar Kulkarni. Manoj Salpekar hosted the event. Shashank Jain, a young city-based artist, also was seen performing melodious songs at the event. He sang soulful songs like ‘Mai teri chunaria lehrayi’ to cheerful song ‘Ek mai aur ek tu’.
‘Padma Shri’ Dr Vikas Mahatme, former Member of Parliament; Vijayalakshmi Bidari-Prasanna, Divisional Commissioner; Aswathi Dorje, Joint Commissioner of Police; Air Vice Marshal Renuka Kunte; Kunda Vijaykar, former Mayor; Mira Khadakkar, retired Judge, Family Court; Urmila Aggrawal; Mira Kadbe, social worker; Archana Dehankar, former Mayor; Dr Manisha Shembekar; Nita Thackeray, President, BJP Women’s Cell; Nago Ganar, MLC; Dr Deepak Khirwadkar, Director, South Central Zone Cultural Centre, were prominently present at the event. Renuka Deshkar compered the programme.
Famous actress Pooja Raibagi played the lead role of Queen Ahilyabai. Gaurav Khond wrote and produced ‘Punyashlok Ahilyabai’, which was directed by Piyush Dhumkekar. Mukul Kashikar composed music,and Shrikant Dhabadgaonkar choreographed it. Darshan Waghmare, Aniket Kamble, Dhananjay Borikar, Saili Thombre, Mukta Gore provided narration. Samar Bobde and Diksha Dhomane made the props. Rishabh Dhapodkar and Lalji Srivas took care of lights and stage direction, Atul Shebe of costumes.