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“Urmila” is a thought-provoking play that delves into the complex ethical and gender-related issues that have been woven into the fabric of society throughout history. Set in the ancient land of Ayodhya, the play centres on the character of Urmila from the Ramayana, a woman whose life is dramatically altered by a seemingly innocuous command from her husband, Lakshmana: “Sleep, my sleep.” This deceptively simple directive raises profound questions about autonomy, consent,and the price individuals, especially women, have paid for their obedience throughout time.Throughout history, the human body has been employed as a powerful symbol and metaphor for social protests. When traditional avenues for negotiation fail, individuals have resorted to their own bodies as a last resort to resist oppressive societal norms. Urmila finds herself in a situation where she is left with no agency to challenge the status quo, and she grapples with the notion of using her body as a form of protest to reclaim her sanity, her mind, and her very existence. Can Urmila envision a means to express her resistance without succumbing to the demand to “Sleep, my sleep”? Can her body become a message, a defiant statement of self-determination? Will she ever muster the courage to declare, “I won’t sleep,” when confronted with Lakshmana’s repeated command to slumber?.

The play explores the power dynamics inherent in the relationship between Urmila and Lakshmana,raising questions about consent, agency, and approval. Urmila’s journey represents a broader commentary on the struggles faced by individuals in different time periods and perhaps even in the future. “Urmila” It offers a compelling exploration of these themes in the context of ancient stories, making them relevant and thought-provoking for contemporary audiences.

Cast and Credits

Written and Directed by Nimmy Raphel

Performers: Vinay Kumar, Meedhu Miriyam, Sooraj S

Music composed by Vinay Kumar
and Performed by aPH

Lights designed by Vinay Kumar
and Performed by Subodha Subrahmanya
Light Assistant  & Production Manager  aPH

Costumes Designed by Nimmy Raphel 
Tailored by Manju and Manian Tailors, Pondicherry