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Silence! The Court is in Session

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Translated into and performed in several Indian and foreign languages, Shantata! Court Chalu Ahe is one of the best known works of Vijay Tendulkar. In some ways typical, in others uncharacteristic, this play was written for a Rangayan performance in 1968. Drafted mere days before its staging, it has since been broadcast by the BBC in English and made into a film by Satyade Translated into and performed in several Indian and foreign languages, Shantata! Court Chalu Ahe is one of the best known works of Vijay Tendulkar. In some ways typical, in others uncharacteristic, this play was written for a Rangayan performance in 1968. Drafted mere days before its staging, it has since been broadcast by the BBC in English and made into a film by Satyadev Dubey. This edition of the play, titled Silence! The Court is in Session and translated by Priya Adarkar, also features an introduction by Kumud Mehta.


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Translated into and performed in several Indian and foreign languages, Shantata! Court Chalu Ahe is one of the best known works of Vijay Tendulkar. In some ways typical, in others uncharacteristic, this play was written for a Rangayan performance in 1968. Drafted mere days before its staging, it has since been broadcast by the BBC in English and made into a film by Satyade Translated into and performed in several Indian and foreign languages, Shantata! Court Chalu Ahe is one of the best known works of Vijay Tendulkar. In some ways typical, in others uncharacteristic, this play was written for a Rangayan performance in 1968. Drafted mere days before its staging, it has since been broadcast by the BBC in English and made into a film by Satyadev Dubey. This edition of the play, titled Silence! The Court is in Session and translated by Priya Adarkar, also features an introduction by Kumud Mehta.

30 review for Silence! The Court is in Session

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marcy

    Quite a powerful play on a number of levels: Tendulkar does a wonderful job forcing his audience to reflect on the dangers of a mob mentality, on the type of violence perpetrated by the middle class, and the plight of women. The play moves from quite humorous to serious and dangerous. It's an entertaining read and there is also a terrific version on film in Marathi with English subtitles for those who want to see an excellent performance.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Suhasini Srihari

    Tendulkar has hit upon many themes in a simple play. There is a drama within a drama, the theme of woman's independence and the likewise stigma of being improper, the working of a court, and the manipulative statements and judgements. Leela Benare, the actor within the play comes to be the victim and heroine of the real play. A woman's sentiments is seldom understood by the others, while she is only blamed to have an illegal affair. The other characters too are affected in some way or the other, Tendulkar has hit upon many themes in a simple play. There is a drama within a drama, the theme of woman's independence and the likewise stigma of being improper, the working of a court, and the manipulative statements and judgements. Leela Benare, the actor within the play comes to be the victim and heroine of the real play. A woman's sentiments is seldom understood by the others, while she is only blamed to have an illegal affair. The other characters too are affected in some way or the other, and Tendulkar has cleverly paved way for each of the characters to reveal their problems.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ananya Ghosh

    I want to give it perhaps a 2.8 or 2.9 stars. There is just something I don't like about plays, and that is dialogue. I'm more of a narration person than a dialogue person, and I didn't know this bias existed in me until today because I've read quite a few plays and liked many of them. The story was good, the characters okay-ish, but the language was very crude and put me off very often and very easily. The character of Miss Leela Benare disappointed me a little too much. She was free-spirited a I want to give it perhaps a 2.8 or 2.9 stars. There is just something I don't like about plays, and that is dialogue. I'm more of a narration person than a dialogue person, and I didn't know this bias existed in me until today because I've read quite a few plays and liked many of them. The story was good, the characters okay-ish, but the language was very crude and put me off very often and very easily. The character of Miss Leela Benare disappointed me a little too much. She was free-spirited and independent the whole time except when the charges were put against her. And the dream sequence in which she revolted too didn't seemed satisfactory to me, it digressed into something irritatingly stupid about nature and everything which seemed way too off point to me. After trying too hard to sculpt Benare as a new age woman, I feel, Tendulkar finally fell prey to the gender role of women being submissive, even with the character of Mrs Kashikar but more so with Benare. The men preying on Benare though were perfect characterisations and true to their nature. I was however cringed out by the views of the self proclaimed social worker Mr Kashikar that were so retrogressive but I appreciate the construction of the character. As I mentioned above, the writing isn't the best, but the twists and turns the story takes were quite engaging and I liked it. there isn't much else to be discussed about the drama other than these and I recommend it for a light reading but I still don't understand the blind appreciation of the text for I feel Kamala was a better written play by Tendulkar, but I'm surely gonna read more of his works.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shikha

    miss benare' sololiquy remains the most real and touching part of the play. vijay tendulkar is success in describing a play with play with actually reminding people about the inbuilt play's enactment.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Surabhi

    A play set in a play. The cruel reality is shown with such subtlety that the heart of every reader or viewer would yearn to get up and stand for the right. Evocative!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vivek

    The book is undoubtedly an arrow that hits the heart, mind and the soul all the same time. It broadens our perception of societal conventions and its rigidity as well as fluidity and the extent of both. The play definitely can be called a precursor or a precedent for FEMINISM or if not Feminism, "Gynocentrism" and if neither of these, certainly for an age where gender equality plays a significant role in shaping the society and the world. Tendulkar surely is a farsighted man. He looked across th The book is undoubtedly an arrow that hits the heart, mind and the soul all the same time. It broadens our perception of societal conventions and its rigidity as well as fluidity and the extent of both. The play definitely can be called a precursor or a precedent for FEMINISM or if not Feminism, "Gynocentrism" and if neither of these, certainly for an age where gender equality plays a significant role in shaping the society and the world. Tendulkar surely is a farsighted man. He looked across the horizon and at the point/place he stood simultaneously while crafting this play.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Abhinaya Kannan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read this for my dramatics paper but was genuinely intrigued by the Mouse-trap concept. For most part of the play though, the emotion i felt could only be described as RAGE. I was furious at the way the powerful men and those complicit to them cornered the woman and passed an unwarranted judgement on her character. The play touches upon various aspects such as hierarchy, privileges, if Independence truly was for everyone, the age old mindset and how those who are complicit are also as guilty a I read this for my dramatics paper but was genuinely intrigued by the Mouse-trap concept. For most part of the play though, the emotion i felt could only be described as RAGE. I was furious at the way the powerful men and those complicit to them cornered the woman and passed an unwarranted judgement on her character. The play touches upon various aspects such as hierarchy, privileges, if Independence truly was for everyone, the age old mindset and how those who are complicit are also as guilty as the perpetrators. The sad part though is that many aspects of the play are still very relevant to our current society.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Karnan

    as

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rahul Khanna

    Not much interesting.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Prem Ghimeray

    Dark, truth and...... (read it yourself).

  11. 5 out of 5

    balaji

    Actually, it was college syllabus, I played Mr.Kashikar's character.It was awful I mean playing his character.I would have given 4 stars if the dialogues were better.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bharathi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rabgye Yuthok

    Nice

  14. 5 out of 5

    Palak

    I am not that big of plays as well ( I am starting to feel I am really selective in my reading). Because reading them and watching them creates a very different experience. I would prefer watching them than reading. Same goes for this play as well. It was an interesting subject, but overall it did not create an interest in me to go and watch it. Book Summary The play starts with some cast members meeting at a specified location to practice for a play in a local community. The play is supposed to b I am not that big of plays as well ( I am starting to feel I am really selective in my reading). Because reading them and watching them creates a very different experience. I would prefer watching them than reading. Same goes for this play as well. It was an interesting subject, but overall it did not create an interest in me to go and watch it. Book Summary The play starts with some cast members meeting at a specified location to practice for a play in a local community. The play is supposed to be a courtroom drama and the members are thinking how exactly they will go about it. So they come up with an idea to practice with a mock trial before going in front of the audience. They select Leela as their protagonist who has been accused of infanticide. The topic is very personal to Leela as she is currently unmarried and pregnant. Her fellow cast members take this opportunity to insult her and break her down and then end it all by saying it was only a joke. But Leela is left shattered and exposed. It does bring forward the stigma of being pregnant before marriage, but it does not help in any way to change this view.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jaykumar B

    this is a work that spends its entire plot on secondary characters' and by extension the larger society's voyeurism in the legal discourse... This is a profound work that needs to read, taught, and most importantly performed so as to reveal the several facets of the morality-thumping middle class society... the veil of morality and good values is lifted in a strategic manner in Tendulkar's play. "Silence! The Court is in Session" needs be read for demands answers to several crucial questions per this is a work that spends its entire plot on secondary characters' and by extension the larger society's voyeurism in the legal discourse... This is a profound work that needs to read, taught, and most importantly performed so as to reveal the several facets of the morality-thumping middle class society... the veil of morality and good values is lifted in a strategic manner in Tendulkar's play. "Silence! The Court is in Session" needs be read for demands answers to several crucial questions pertaining the fabric of the society... SPOILERS: yet on the other hand, this play is troublesome mainly because of its realism. Although the events of the court, the play-within-the-play is merely a game, it doesn't feel like a game, it feels like a group of men and a woman ready of gang up on a colleague, Ms. Benare, who is surrounded by the moral expectations/standards of the society. While this technique is appreciated, the play's central issue of infanticide and unwed pregnancy are dealt with in a callous manner especially by the supporting characters, namely Mr. and Mrs.Kashikar... Moreover, Ms. Leela Benare is a complex character that requires attention that is missed in this game that hits too close for comfort.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Neer Varshney

    I read this play about two years ago, as a part of my law school literature syllabus; although the memory of it is fainting, one name that has remained in mind is that of Ms. Benare- an economically independent woman full of confidence who is carrying a child out of wedlock. Her character shines through the play, portraying how a woman is victimized by the society in several ways through societal pressure and character assassination. Mr. Tendulkar is a brilliant playwright who brings the charact I read this play about two years ago, as a part of my law school literature syllabus; although the memory of it is fainting, one name that has remained in mind is that of Ms. Benare- an economically independent woman full of confidence who is carrying a child out of wedlock. Her character shines through the play, portraying how a woman is victimized by the society in several ways through societal pressure and character assassination. Mr. Tendulkar is a brilliant playwright who brings the characters to life in an eccentric manner. I would not forget Ms. Benare easily, even if I do not remember much else from this play.

  17. 5 out of 5

    P

    A masterpiece.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sheetal Maurya - Godse (Halo of Books)

    Truth of society through the eyes of drama read the full review here http://haloofbooks.blogspot.in/2016/0... Truth of society through the eyes of drama read the full review here http://haloofbooks.blogspot.in/2016/0...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nomad nimrod

    I am glad that i stumbled onto this play. It was wonderful to read. Will look forward to reading some more by the author.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bhavana

    I don't think I still fully comprehend it, which makes it a unique read out of the books I've read

  21. 5 out of 5

    Parth

    Just ok, typical play. There might have been some symbolism that I didn't quite catch.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Avantika Tripathi

    ''its very interesting stage piece.... full of humour n pathos........''

  23. 4 out of 5

    Radhika

    A fantastic play which highlights the flaws and double standards of our society!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Prabhat Gangurde

    Great observation of social behavior about rights of womens in Indian society

  25. 4 out of 5

    Arathy Puthillam

  26. 5 out of 5

    Swapnil Waghmare

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sanath Valladares

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rani Mule

  29. 5 out of 5

    narmada

  30. 4 out of 5

    Manasi Jhunjhunwala

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