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International Journal of Research (IJR) Vol-1, Issue-7, August 2014 ISSN 2348-6848
Mahesh Dattanis Thirty Days in September in the light of Rasa Theory|
Manu Sharma

Mahesh Dattanis Thirty Days in September in the
light of Rasa Theory
Manu Sharma
Research cholar, !e"art#ent of $nglish, %ni&ersit' of Ja##u, J(), In*ia+
Abstract
Theatre is a platform where live
actors perform in real time before live
audience which makes it a unique art form
because it exists in the present. The live
actor-audience interaction is one of the
special thrills of the theatre for both the
performers and the audience. Dramatic
performance has a direct appeal to the
sensory organs enabling the audience to
relish the asa! a "anskrit concept which has
different meanings but it is understood
comprehensively in a "anskrit phrase #aram
$svadniya Tattava! which is basically an
essence of drama. asa theory has been
propounded by %haratmuni in asadhaya of
&atyashastra.
The aim of this paper is to trace the
elements of asa and %hava in 'ahesh
Dattanis Thirty Days in "eptember! a drama!
presenting the agony of a girl who has been
molested in her early childhood by her own
uncle. 'ahesh Dattani! an (ndian )nglish
Dramatist has tried to highlight this
atrocious issue of incest through his
theatrical skills on (ndian stage. 'y paper
will also be focusing on the contribution of
Dattani in the (ndian theatrical tradition in
context to Thirty Days in "eptember.
Keywords:
Mahesh Dattani, Thirty Days in September,
Rasa Theory, speia! thri!!s, Dramati
per"ormane

In*ia is a countr' ,here all the things
ha&e -een *escen*e* fro# .o* an* theatre
is noe/ce"tion to it+ It is -elie&e* that *uring
the .ol*en Age, "ains an* sorro,s ,ere
foreign to #an -ut ,hen the uni&erse ,as
#o&e* -' contra*ictor' "assions, there
arouse a nee* for s"ectacle an* sensuous
entertain#ent+ 0hough, the sacre* four
*edas are consi*ere* as the re"ositor' of all
,is*o# an* 1no,le*ge, -ut these ,ere onl'
accessi-le to the fe, elites an* not to the
co##on #en+ !issatisfie* ,ith this
situation, the go*s le* -' (ndra ,ent to the
2reator, %rahmaan* -egge* hi# to "ro*uce
so#ething ,hich all #a' en3o' an* this is
ho, the fifth veda or &atyaveda ca#e into
e/istence+ It *eri&es its ele#ents fro# all the
four vedas+
0he #ain "ur"ose of &atyaveda is to
instruct the au*ience through the *ra#atic
re"resentation of goo* an* e&il+ 0he surging
u" of e#otions of the au*ience "la's an
i#"ortant for their self-learning+ asa an*



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International Journal of Research (IJR) Vol-1, Issue-7, August 2014 ISSN 2348-6848
Mahesh Dattanis Thirty Days in September in the light of Rasa Theory|
Manu Sharma

%haava theor' of 4harata#uni has
effecti&el' *escri-e* the relation of
au*ience an* the li&e "erfor#ance+ 0his
theor' is the central "rinci"le of In*ian
*ra#atics an* "oetics+ Rasa is regar*e* as
the 5paramasvadniyatattava in a *ra#atic
"erfor#ance ,hich enlightens the au*ience
-' sho,ering its essence on their #in*s an*
"ro#"ting the# to relish it+ 0his theor' is
full' ca"a-le of anal'sing the literar' te/ts
,ith all their intricacies as it has the great
rele&ance in conte#"orar' ti#es also+
6ahesh !attani, the first In*ian
"la',right to -e felicitate* ,ith the
estee#e* ahit'a A1a*e#' A,ar*, has *ealt
,ith the issue of hu#anis# in general an*
in3ustice *one to the #arginali7e* sections
of the societ' in "articular+ 8e hi#self has
ac1no,le*ge* the ancient In*ian *ra#atic
theor' ,hen he sai*, 9e&er'thing is geare*
to,ar*s Rasa:(;t*+ in Par#ar 22)+ 8is *ee"-
roote* concern for rasa #a1es hi# a *istinct
"la',right on the conte#"orar' scene+
!attani<s 0hirt' !a's in e"te#-er is
a ;uintessence, ,here he has ,o&en the
intricacies of trust an* *istrust+0his
"la'narrates a tragic, *ar1 an* gri""ing tale
of chil* se/ual a-use, ,hich is consi*ere* as
a ta-oo issue in #ost of the co##unities+
0his "la' is actuall' co##issione* -' RA8I
(Reco&ering an* 8ealing =ro# Incest), a
!elhi -ase* >.? that "ro&i*es su""ort to
fe#ale &icti#s of incest+ ince its first
"ro*uction at the Prith&i 0heatre, 6u#-ai
on @1
st
6a', 2001, this "la' is s"rea*ing
a,areness of the "re&alence of incest
a#ong "eo"le in In*ian househol*s+
Thirty Days in "eptemberhas
touche* hearts an*
consciences e&er',here+
ensiti&e an* "o,erful
,ithout e&er offen*ing
sensi-ilities, it #anages to
-ring ho#e the horror an*
the "ain ,ithin the
fra#e,or1 of a &er'
i*entifia-le #other-*aughter
relationshi"+ (!attani 4)
Thirty Days in "eptember can -e
anal'7e* in the light of rasatheor' ,ith all its
con&olutions ta1en into account, in or*er to
stu*' the *e&elo"#ent of the in*i&i*ual
rasas. It has -een "re*o#inantl'
scrutini7e*in the light of %hibatsa asa an*
audra asa+ 4harat#uni in his
>at'ashastra *escri-e* bibhatsa rasa as
9the ?*ious (bibhatsa) enti#ent has its
-asis the !o#inant tate of *isgust+ It is
create* -' !eter#inants li1e hearing of
un"leasant, offensi&e, i#"ure an* har#ful
things or seeing the# or *iscussing the#:
(.hosh 11A)+
ince bibhatsarasahas +ugupsa
(*isgust) as its sthayi bhaava, this -rief
intro*uction is enough to highlight the
co#"le/it' of the issue+ It focuses on the
trau#a of #other an* *aughter an* at the
sa#e ti#e -rings into light the *irt an* filth
of incest ,hich is o*ious an* not acce"te* at
all+ 0o "ortra' such a *isgusting relationshi"



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International Journal of Research (IJR) Vol-1, Issue-7, August 2014 ISSN 2348-6848
Mahesh Dattanis Thirty Days in September in the light of Rasa Theory|
Manu Sharma

on stage is a &er' -ol* atte#"t #a*e -'
!attani+
4harata#uni<s e/"lanation of raudra
rasa in >at'ashastra is 9the =urious
enti#ent has its -asis the !o#inant tate
of anger+ 0his is create* -' !eter#inants
such as anger, ra"e, a-use, insult, untrue
allegation, e/orci7ing, threatening,
re&engefulness, 3ealous' an* the
li1e:(.hosh 112-11@)+ audra rasa is
#anifeste* through the anubhavas of the
"rotagonist+ he co##unicates her feelings
of krodha (anger) an* vega (agitation) to
in&o1e the rasa+
0he o"ening scene of the "la' reflects the
bhaavas of veer rasa ,hen the "rotagonist
sa's that the e#-arrass#ent she has face*
throughout her life isno, to -e face* -' the
"erson ,ho has co##itte* this heinous
cri#e+
After all, it is he ,ho #ust
hi*e+ 8e shoul* change his
na#e, not #e+ It is he ,ho
#ust a&oi* -eing recogni7e*+
In "eo"le<s ho#es, at "arties,
ho"efull' e&en on the streets+
8e shoul* loo1 other ,a'
,hen so#eone s"ots hi#
an',here on this "lanet+
(!attani B)
0he transitor' e#otion that lea*s
to,ar*s the consu##ation of veer rasa is
dhrti (content#ent)+ In >at'ashastra,
4harat#uni e/"lains dhrti asC
2ontent#ent ,dhrti- is cause*
-' D!eter#inants such asE
herois#, s"iritual 1no,le*ge,
learning F It is to -e
re"resente* on the stage -'
2onse;uents such as
en3o'#ent of o-3ects gaine*,
an* not gru#-ling o&er
o-3ects unattaine*, "ast,
"artiall' en3o'e*, lost an* the
li1e+ (.hosh 1@1)
4ut at another #o#ent, she feels
-a* -ecause she 1no,s that, the "erson is
not ali&e no, e&en to regret or to feel
hu#iliate*+ 90he &er' first s"eech of the
"la' e/ten*s the i#"ression of self
reali7ation DFE to *rag au*ience to share the
anguish of fracture* "s'che of 6ala:
(Agra,al 120)+ 0he e#otions here in the
scene *e"icte* are not stagnant -ut
transitor' or #o&ing ,hich so#eti#es #a1e
the au*ience feel #ore than t,o e#otions
si#ultaneousl'+ It is a &er' co#"le/
"heno#enon+ =or instance, at the &er'
outset, 6ala<s ,or*s *e"ict her &alor an*
her &ictor' o&er the guilt re"ressing her -ut
at another #o#entG she is "resenting her
confuse* state of #in*, ,here she *oes not
e&en ,ant her na#e to -e re&eale* -efore
au*ience+
6ala<s anubhavas (sighs an* *ee"
-reaths) #a1e the au*ience feel the
e#otions of soka (grief) for her+ 0his grief is
not an outco#e of *istress or 3ealous' -ut it
is -orn out of 3o'+ 6ala -luntl' re&eals her
real na#e, 96ala )hatri: an* confi*entl'



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International Journal of Research (IJR) Vol-1, Issue-7, August 2014 ISSN 2348-6848
Mahesh Dattanis Thirty Days in September in the light of Rasa Theory|
Manu Sharma

asserts that the "erson, ,ho has #oleste*
her, shoul* hi*e hi#self fro# -eing
recogni7e* -ecause she has not -een a
"artici"ant -ut a &icti# of his -eastl'
"assion+
0he "lot of the "la' further
"rogresses an* hanta, 6ala<s #other is
seen "ra'ing an* singing ('ere to .iridhar
.opal! Doosrona koi)+ he a""ears to -e &er'
cal#, silent an* *e&oting la*' as if she is
ignorant a-out the "s'chological con*ition
of her *aughter+ 8er attitu*e e&o1es the
e#otions of sanka (a""rehension) in the
au*ience ,hich lea&es the# in *ou-t an*
5*ou-t< is the -asic feature of sanka
accor*ing to %haratamuni+
0he transitor' e#otions associate*
,ith hanta are +adata ,stupor- an* cinta
,anxiety- ,hich ulti#atel' cro" u" the
e#otions of a""rehension in au*ience+
hanta<s 9not uttering an' ,or*, s"ea1ing
in*istinctl', re#aining a-solutel' silent,
loo1ing ,ith stea*fast ga7e: (.hosh1@4) are
the anubhavas ,hich e/"ress her stu"or+
!ee"a1, as a character e#erges out
to -e a sa&ior ,ho "ro#ises hanta to hel"
6ala in getting out of the conflict ,hich is
ruining her life+ 8e assures her for ta1ing out
6ala fro# her "s'chological trau#a onl'
,hen she agrees to hel" hi# -' telling each
an* e&er'thing associate* ,ith 6ala<s life+
8e also e/"resses his intentions to hanta
that he is ,illing to #arr' her *aughter in
s"ite of 6ala<s in*ifferent attitu*e+ !ee"a1<s
assertions console hanta an* she fin*s an
outlet of her guilt in the #arriage of !ee"a1
an* 6ala+ ?n hearing such encouraging
,or*s fro# !ee"a1, she gets relie&e* an* a
ra' of ho"e surges u" in her #in*+ !ee"a1<s
assurance "ro&i*es relief to the *istur-e*
#in* of hanta an* she starts *rea#ing of
her *aughter<s goo* future -ut this mati
(resol&e) is not "ossi-le ,ithout the
re&elation of truth ,hich is -eing &eile* -'
-oth hanta an* 6ala+
0he "s'chological con*ition of
!ee"a1 is *e"icte* ,ho is ,illing to hel"
6ala -ut 6ala<s hostile attitu*e to,ar*s hi#
"er"le/es his #in*+!ee"a1<s 'earning for
6ala e&o1es such e#otions ,hich lea*
to,ar*s consu##ation of 5sringararasa<
,hich has its -ase in the sthayibhaava of rati
(lo&e)+ As sringararasa has t,o adhisthanas
(-ases)-"ambhoga (loveinunion) an*
vipralambha (loveinseparation), the
transitor' e#otions or sancharins li1e sanka
(a""rehension), cinta (an/iet' an* ,orr'),
nirveda (*e3ecte* an* in*ifference) an* the
anubhavas of !ee"a1 e/"ress that, here, the
sringarrasa has not -een "ro&o1e* -' their
lo&e in union -ut their lo&e in se"aration
(vipralambha)+ 6ala, ,ho is torn -et,een
her "ast an* future 'ells to !ee"a1, 9Hou
*on<t un*erstan*I H?% J%0 !?><0
%>!$R0A>!I I I cannot lo&e 'ou+:
6ala<s #in* is he##e* in ,ith the thoughts
of the "erson ,ho has #oleste* her -eing a
chil* in her su##er &acations+ he is so
o-sesse* ,ith his #e#ories that she cannot
1ee" her relationshi" ,ith one #an for #ore
than one #onth+ he cannot resist her



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International Journal of Research (IJR) Vol-1, Issue-7, August 2014 ISSN 2348-6848
Mahesh Dattanis Thirty Days in September in the light of Rasa Theory|
Manu Sharma

a*&ances to,ar*s #en ,hich loo1s
a,1,ar* an* e&o1es e#otions of *isgust
a#ong au*ience+ 90he root of 6ala<s
anguish lies in the silence of her #other
to,ar*s ,ho# she loo1s for
consolation:(Agra,al 121)+6ala hates her
#other for -eing silent *uring #ost of her
critical #o#ents+ he *isli1es her negligence
an* attitu*e of esca"ing to ta1e su""ort
fro# Jor* )rishna+ Khene&er she
en*ea&ours to tell her #other her sufferings
an* "ain, she stuffs her ,ith her fa&ourite
alu-"arathas+ 6ala<s *eli-erations are
ca"a-le of -ringing asru in the e'es of
au*ience+
Khere ,ere 'ou ,hen he
loc1e* the *oor to 'our
-e*roo# ,hile I ,as na""ing
in thereL Khere ,ere 'ou
*uring those fifteen #inutes
,hen he ,as *estro'ing #'
soulL =ifteen #inutes e&er'
*a' of #' su##er holi*a's,
a** the# u"+ =ifteen #inutes
#ulti"lie* -' thirt' or thirt'-
one or ,hate&er+ 0hat<s ho,
long or ho, little it too1 for
'ou to sen* #e to hell for the
rest of #' lifeI urel' 'ou
#ust ha&e 1no,n, 6a+
(!attaniA@)
hanta has the foun* the ,a' to hel"
her *aughter -' ,orshi"ing Jor* )rishna+
0his is her self-assurance (mati) -ut e&en this
resol&e has not ,or1e* an* 6ala<s life
-eca#e ,orst than earlier+ 0he #other<s
chaos is in fact *ou-le insi*e+ he has -urie*
#an' tur-ulent e#otions *ee" insi*e her
heart an* rarel' allo,e* the# to co#e out+
It is no, hanta<s turn to s"ea1 of her
re#e#-ering an* forgetting+ he recalls
#an' "ainful realities of her *aughter 6ala
an* her se/ual a*&ances to,ar*s her
-rother, Vina'+ 94ut 6ala DFE Hou en3o'e* it+
DFE HesI 8o, can I forgetL DFE An* "lease
*on<t tal1 a-out tr'ing to forget the "ain F
0r' to forget the "leasure: (!attani2B)+ he
accuses her *aughter for her ,illing sharing
of sensual "leasures+ 8er re&elation in&o1es
bibhatsa rasa. 8er smriti of the e&ents
*iscloses the reason for -eing +ada through
her life+
0he #other *es"ite 1no,ing
e&er'thing ,ante* her *aughter to start
afresh+ he a*&ises her to forget e&er'thing
as she herself has forgotten e&er'thing+ he
reiterates, 9I forget+ I forget e&er'thing+ 4e
li1e #e: (!attani2M)+ 0hese &er' ,or*s are
enough to gi&e a clue of her silent "ast
suffering ,ith a ;uestion #ar1 in the #in* of
the au*ience+ 0he #'ster' of the "ast
re&eale* ,hen hanta -rea1s her 'ears long
silence an* s"ea1s the truth -ehin* her
-eing +ada+
I ,as si/, 6ala+ I ,as si/+ An*
he ,asthirteen F an* it
,asn<t onl' su##er holi*a's+
=orten 'earsI =or ten 'earsII
,#ointing to the picture of
.od-+ I loo1e* to 8i#+ I *i*n<t
feel an'thing+ I *i*n<t feel
"ain, I *i*n<t feel "leasure+ I



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International Journal of Research (IJR) Vol-1, Issue-7, August 2014 ISSN 2348-6848
Mahesh Dattanis Thirty Days in September in the light of Rasa Theory|
Manu Sharma

lost #'self in 8i#+
(!attaniA4)+
0he re&elation of the fact, that
hanta has also suffere* the #olestation for
ten 'ears -' the sa#e "erson ,hen she ,as
si/, #a1es 6ala *u#-struc1 an* stunne*+
he regretsC 9Khile I accuse* 'ou of not
recogni7ing #' "ain, 'ou ne&er felt an'
anger at #e for not recogni7ing 'ours+ Ke
,ere -oth struggling to sur&i&e -utNI ne&er
ac1no,le*ge* 'our struggle: (!attaniAB)+
0he #eaning of silenceis no,
co#"rehensi-le+
>o, the relationshi"
-et,een the #other an*
*aughter isentirel'
#eta#or"hose*+ o #an'
uns"o1en ,or*s starte*
ha&ing#eaning for her+
(>agori 20@)
6ala has no gru*ges against her
#other+ he tells her that it is &er' *ifficult
to forget that "erson co#"letel' -ut she is
tr'ing to co#e out of it+ 0he "la' is a
#ar&elous e/"ression of soka! krodha!
bhaya! bibhatsa! harsa an* other senti#ents
-ut it en*s on a ha""' note lea&ing a 1in* of
satisfaction #a1ing the au*ience to taste the
relish of "hanta asa+


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