30 July, 2021

Hema Ramakrishna

The playwright and litterateur on her play Sanctuary, a reinterpretation of the Ramayana

Hema Ramakrishna
Why do myths need to be reinterpreted?

Myths are far too complex to be labelled under religion once and for all. They’re based on real events far back in time and, they’ll always be subject to many interpretations over time.

But why the Ramayana?

The times we live in calls for an alternative interpretation. There’s a recent Tamil version where Sita leaves Rama, Lava, Kusha and goes back to Ravana for veena lessons.

Your portrayal of Sita is revolutionary.

Sita is subjected to horrific treatment as most cases of abduction in reality are. Remember, she’s not yet a queen. In Sanctuary, she becomes the symbol of our forests.

Sita is also a ‘rape victim’ in Sanctuary?

About time for a ‘reality show’. And nowhere does it say Ravana and Sita are ‘avatars’!

...and Ravana a rapist?

Heard of psychological truth? It’s a more compelling portrayal than a ten-headed monster.

And a pregnant Sita jumps into the funeral pyre of Ravana...?

The greatest insult is when...

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