Kala Subbarao's Dharma Nidhi Samstha has organized the Chintamani play on 5th
of this month. The role of Subbisetti played by S Rosi Reddy received the Kala
Subbarao memorial trust's best character role award.
This was a play written 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
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.
Gudivada brothers, V T Achary and Srinivas have composed the music for this
play, and the artists Ranga Reddy as Bilvamangaludu, Ankaiah as Bhavani shankar,
Gopal Rao as Srihari, P Venkateshwar Rao as Sri Krishnudu, Rojaramani as Radha,
Anju as Chitra, and Subhashini as Chintamani have performed their roles well
and received a grand applause from the audience.
Like we said, the program ends with the message that prostitution is one of
the major ways that spreads AIDS.