Man Woman Relationship in Halfway House

Topics: Middle class, American middle class, Mohan Rakesh Pages: 13 (3865 words) Published: March 9, 2013


Talluri Mathew Bhaskar, Department of English, Andhra Pradesh Residential College, Vijaypuri South, AP

Most of my stories are about people living through the torture of relationships in their loneliness, where I have tried to depict through the individual, and his environment. This loneliness is not the loneliness of the socially isolated individual but the loneliness that comes from living within society and it leads not to any kind of cynicism but to the need to live through it. The attempt is not to see the individual and society as mutually opposed and mutually exclusive, distinct from and separated from each other but rather to see them as related in such a fashion that the individual reflects the dilemmas of society and society reflects the torture of the individual. - (from the flap of Sampurna Kahaniyan)

Abstract: Mohan Rakesh was initially named as Madan Mohan Guglani; later he was called Madan Mohan and finally he came to be known as Mohan Rakesh. He was a versatile writer, who experimented with many genres, which included short stories, novels and plays. In addition to these, he also published collections of essays, biographies and travelogues. He was hailed as a potent new voice in Indian drama. Rakesh’s rise to fame as a dramatist of vital significance was owing to the situation as it obtained in the world of theatre in the country in general and in Hindi in particular rather than to a critical recognition on the part of the Hindi scholars, critics and readers. Suffice it to say that he has been universally praised as a potent new voice in theatre who broke new grounds and whose great contribution was to make possible what was thought to be a near impossibility. His play Halfway House deals with the bitter truth faced by a middle class man torn by changing values, economic insecurity and the breaking of a family system. The play (1968) was written during the decade when the Delhi middle class intellectuals had just acquired a taste for the European philosophies of ‘Absurdism’, ‘Existentialism’ and even ‘Nihilism’. The play is set in the urban middle class family. The ambiguities and the double-standards of the middle class are evident. The Hindi version of the play carries the title Adhe Adhure; however the translation carries the title Halfway House------ the two expressions are not in consonance------- the Hindi title refers directly to the persons or human beings while the English version refers to the house, not even ‘home’. Adhe Adhure is a befitting title and it directly refers to the members of the family------- incomplete, fragmented and isolated having no rapport among them. The play is equally suggestive not of a building in brick and stone, it refers metaphorically to the constitution of a family the members of which compose the house, but not home. Rakesh’s play lent a new dignity to the Hindi theatre and established him as an unrivalled dramatist in the post-independent India. Drama is a growing art, and, as such, Indian paving a new way for a ‘national theatre’ into which all dramatists have been making constant experimentation streams of theatrical art seem to converge. The major with themes and techniques. There is an imperative language theatres that are active and all through the need for perceptive and mature evaluations on this turbulent years of rejuvenation and consolidation are growing discipline. Modern Indian drama reveals two those of Hindi, Bengali, Marathi and Kannada. main tendencies, both natural to a historical Contemporary Indian drama in English translations has development. One is, Indian playwrights have gone made bold innovations and fruitful experiments in terms back to tradition for their themes and techniques and the of both thematic concerns and technical virtuosities. other is making use of what are considered modern Greatly influenced by Marxism, Mohan Rakesh waged...

References: Rajinder Nath, “Introduction.” Halfway House, trans. Bindu Batra(Delhi: Worldview, 1999), p.xi.
Uma Shankar Jha and Premlata Pujari, Indian Women Today: Tradition, Modernity and Challenge, Vol. 3 (New
Delhi: Kanishka, 1996).
Siddh Nath Kumar, Halfway House: Samvednaa Aur Shilp (Ranchi: Saroj Prakashan, 1987).
Cappola, Carlo. “Mohan Rakesh: A Self Portrait” in Anthology: Mohan Rakesh (Delhi: Radha Prakashan, 1974),
Kumar, Sanjay. “Halfway House: A Critical Commentary,” in Dilip K.Basu (Delhi: Worldview, 1998), pp. 132-44.
Narayana, Birendra. Hindi Drama and Stage (Delhi: Bansal, 1981).
Walker, Alexander. Woman: Physiologically Considered as to Mind, Morals, Marriage, Matrimonial Slavery,
Infidelity and Divorce (Delhi: Mittal, 1987).
Mohan Rakesh, Halfway House, trans. Bindu Batra, ed. Dilip K. Basu (Delhi: Worldview, 1999).
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