- A Play By Sri Ganesh
Chintamani is a play written by Kalakuri Narayana Rao about the social evil
of prostitution in 1920, and guess what? It's being used today to spread the
message about AIDS! Chintamani was a kind of a path-breaking play. In that age,
most padyanatakas were on mythology - Chintamani was the first on a social theme.
It was about the way that prostitution was wrecking marraiges, and about how
women were entering it just because it was their kulavriththi, their family
trade, even if they did not need to or want to.
Chintamani was an example of the latter - an ardent devotee of the Lord Krishna,
she is forced into prostitution by her mother Srihari. She once sees Bilvamangala,
the handsome and noble son of a rich zamindar, at a temple, and, like you may
have guessed, falls for him. Bhavanishankar, a friend of Bilvamangala and a
customer of Chintamani, lures Bilvamangala into meeting her praising her scholarliness.
Bilvamangala is indeed impressed by her knowledge, and when she answers all
of his questions examining her pandityam, he tells her that she can have whatever
she wants of him. Sure enough, she asks him to train her in the kamasastra.
He agrees, and falls firmly for her charms, neglecting his wife Radha and his
How both Chintamani and Bilvamangala change through the interference of the
Lord Himself forms the rest of the play. Bhavanishankar and Subbi Setty, another
of Chintamani's customers, must repent for frequenting prostitutes by propogating
the evils of the world's oldest profession, to get back their lost property.
The Sri Ganesh Kala Niketan has staged this play over a 1000 times now, in the
state as well as in New Delhi, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. Rosi Reddy plays Subbi
Setty, Ranga Reddy plays Bilvamangaludu and Subhashini plays Chintamani. Like
we said, the program ends with the message that prostitution is one of the major
ways that spreads AIDS.
Please contact Rosi Reddy, Ganesh Kalaniketan, at 409-0911 for further details.