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The heroic status of Bhima of the Mahabharata depends largely on his physical prowess. Impressions of Bhima is a deconstruction of this hero, where in the end the warrior’s battle is transferred to a field where alone victory is possible. His inner spaces. This reading of Bhima is contextualized within a subaltern landscape and is formally expressed through the cartoon and caricature. It is also inspired by the evolutionary logic of the Veda.
The personification of Bhima in the Mahabharata is based on the Vedic archetype Vayu; who incidentally figures as Bhima’s father in the epic. All Vedic images and figures are symbols of psychological states. And these states are never perceived as static. On the contrary they are in a constant state of evolution. Thus Vayu, the lord of Life was considered to be the force, which pervaded all material existence and was the condition for its activities. In time this mechanical force evolves into volitional behavior. Force gives way to the Will. Thus Vayu, the nervous-physical energy, gives way to Agni who is the master of Tapas/ the inner energy. In Impressions of Bhima, Agni replaces Vayu as the archetype behind Bhima’s personification, at the end.
But, if we follow an evolutionary logic, is there ever an end?
Stills from the production:
Cast and Credits:
Performer: Vinay Kumar
Musicians: Suresh Kaliyath, Anoop Davis, Arvind Rane
Light Designer: Vinay Kumar
Light Operation: Nimmy Raphel
Music Arrangement, Choreographer, Scriptwriter & Director: Veenapani Chawla