LOS ANGELES, CA - Blessings from the gods are amazing until they do not turn out as expected. An example of this was demonstrated in the life of Gandhari, a woman who was blessed by Lord Shiva to give birth to a hundred sons. This blessing turned into a curse and transformed the lives of her and family. A US premiere at the...
Hollywood Fringe Festival hosted the play three times on June 19, 25 and 26 at the Asylum’s (Inter)national House here. An hour- long show in Hindi, it had sub-titles in English. Nidhi portrayed Gandhari and the other characters remarkably. Utilizing various colored dupattas (scarves) to demonstrate a change of character. Nidhi as Gandhari, adorned a multicolored red, orange, and white dotted dupatta. She added other dupattas when she was about to change into a different character.
Gandhari is described as one of the most beautiful yet tragic characters of Mahabharata. Forced to marry a blind man, Dhritharashtra, King of Hastinapur, because of her blessing from Lord Shiva to bear a hundred sons since his land suffered from the lack of heirs. Had Gandhari, a princess, not married him willingly then Pandu, Dhritharashtra’s younger brother, was going to attack her family’s kingdom.
Left with no option, Gandhari married Dhritharashtra. Not before she covered her eyes with a blindfold, not out of love and devotion to her husband, but because she was left with no choice but to marry a man she did not want to and as a protest to the illogical male power and politics of the dynasty.This is the message that Gandhari expressed during her performance.
The hundred and five sons that came out of the two marriages (Dhritharashtra/Gandhari and Pandu/Kunti) were known as Kauravas (Dhritharashtra’s sons) and Pandavas (Pandu’s sons). Inequality amongst the sons created a tense and bitter relationship between the cousin brothers and the want for the throne resulted in the Kurukshetra War, an integral part to the Mahabharata.
To a small, intimate audience, Nidhi performed every character with an intense knowledge of the material. She expressed all of the appropriate emotions required to effectively deliver all of the characters. Ending on a standing ovation, Nidhi thanked everyone for coming to watch her portray Gandhari.