“Once in India” is an historical play based on an historical event that took place about 22 centuries ago, which constitutes the core of the play. But the play is not mere narration of history. It is a creative exploration of those times, in dramatic idiom, to give contemporary audiences a meaningful theatrical experience.
The only incident of army coup in the entire Indian history was that of Army Chief, Pushyamitra Shung overthrowing and killing the last Mauryan king, Brihadrath, when he hesitated to defend the country against foreign invasion. This incident is presented in dramatic idiom in the play, Rakt-Abhishek, while debating the moral dilemma of violence vs. non-violence in regards to national security.
It is an 18-scene play with 16 total characters, of which six are major roles and approximately 10 are minor roles.
Vani Prakashan, 21-A, Darayaganj, New Delhi 110002, vaniprakashan.com
D.P. Sinha, Somesh Ranjan, Pravin Bharti