(Last Updated on : 22/07/2009)
Chintaman Tryambak Khanolkar was born in 1930. He was a Marathi author, who published poetry under the pseudonym Arati Prabhu, and fiction and plays under his own name. He had an unsettled career in Bombay and lived in poverty. Although not a prolific dramatist, he broke the realistic or melodramatic mode that dominated Marathi theatre with each of the six plays he wrote from 1966 to 1976. All performed off the mainstream stage. They gave rise to serious debate. The sexually explicit Avadhya i.e. 'Unvanquished' in 1971 even led to violently angry protests.
Chintaman Tryambak Khanolkar's Ek shunya Bajirao i.e. 'Bajirao, a Cipher' in 1966 is considered a modern Marathi classic, unique in form and content. Constructed as a play within a play, with the audience of the inner drama sitting on stage, it explores the relationships within theatre, between theatre and its audience, and between theatre and life. Bajirao, an actor from another group, chances to arrive at the venue of the outer drama and gets drawn into playing the chorus-conductor-clown. The constantly shifting ground on which the script rests allows layers of meaning to emerge. Vijaya Mehta directed it, as also Khanolkar's adaptation of Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle i.e. Ajab nyaya vartulacha or 'Strange Justice of the Circle' in 1973 was very successful. This famous personality died in 1976.
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