Author: Girish Karnad
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195699947
Wedding Album, Girish Karnad’s latest play, deals with an event so common in the life of the urban middle class in India today and yet so fraught with anxiety, that it has provided the staple for innumerable tele-serials and commercial films: the impending ‘arranged’ marriage of a girl to a ‘suitable’, expat boy.
The Indian wedding is expected to bring the clan together in a display of solidarity and mutual concern. Yet it is known to light the fuse of anxieties and resentments long buried within the bosom of the family. Forces raging in the world around also bring their own tensions to the event: the older generation feels defunct in the new technological turmoil; the young are buffeted by aspirations to easy prosperity and notions of sexual freedom; and dreams and phantasms, ardently desired but only vaguely grasped, turn into nightmares as they waft in from the other side of the globe.
In one of the most penetrating intellectual explorations of the situation in modern Indian drama, Karnad weaves these strands together to create a play which is funny, poignant and deeply unsettling.
‘The slow peeling of the narrative in Wedding Album is like digging into someone’s private cupboard, unearthing hidden urges, private afflictions and subterranean desires. Danger lurks in each scene and the characters are all on edge, desperate and living in many emotional and sexual zones. It is funny and unnerving.
Girish Karnad is one of the most influential playwrights of our time, and his plays have become a byword for imagination, innovation and craftsmanship. Only a playwright of his caliber could have invested this humorous play with such a pungent and stinging core, a world very different from the sanitized versions we are exposed to. Wedding Album is irreverent, subversive and radical and reveals the Indian middle-class family as never seen, felt, or breathed before.’
-Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, theatre director, teacher, and founder of ‘The Company’, Chandigarh
Wedding Album (Scenes 1-9)