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THE BIRTH OF PUPPETS
(
A puppet play by Dr. Utpal K. Banerjee)


The Birth of Puppets


Puppet Characters:                            Props: 

Shiva                                                    Carpenter’s box
Parvati                                                  2 stands for Shiva and Parvati
Carpenter                                             Turban, Indian dress
Dolls (2)                                              

Music:

Rhythmic folk music (specially Indian) for puppet dance

[This is a solo performance. Sutradhar and carpenter is same person. For Carpenter’s role s/he would use a turban.]

Sutradhar (enters): Today I am going to perform a puppet show on Indian legend called ‘The Birth of Puppets’. You know Shiva and Parvati, the great god and goddess of India. It is believed that Shiva and Parvati live in a holy mountain called Mount Kailash, in the Himalayan mountain range. Shiva and Parvati once came to earth to visit the human beings. I am going to tell you how they blessed the birth of puppets on earth.

 

SCENE I

[Shiva and Parvati (on their stand) in Mount Kailash, are going for a walk]

Parvati: Let’s go to the earth to see the human beings.

Shiva:               I grant your wish

(They walk down to earth)

 

SCENE II

[Earth. Carpenter’s house. Two dolls are lying. The carpenter is working at the dolls. After he finishes his work, he puts off the turban and takes a nap. Shiva and Parvati enter.]

Parvati: Look, what lovely dolls he has. Lord, please make them alive. I want to see them dance.

Shiva:                I grant your wish.

(Shiva lifts the right hand and touches the dolls. With music, the dolls dance for one minute, without the strings. Afterwards, the puppets are put down as dolls.)

Parvati:             We may go back to Mount Kailash.

Shiva:               I grant your wish.

(They pass at right and are put back. Carpenter wakes up, put his turban)

Carpenter:        I must have been dreaming. Do you know who came hear? I have seen Shiva and Parvati. And my dolls, they were dancing! But how? I don’t know! I should try to make them dance.

(He takes the dolls. He attempts several times to make them dance, but he cannot)

Carpenter:        I must go to Mount Kailash at Shiva’s place and find out how I can make these dolls dance. If I know how to make them dance, I can show them to everybody on earth! It will be great fun then! Oh! But how can I reach there? (Thinks) Oh, I know, I’ll pray. (Praying)

  

SCENE III

[Mount Kailash. Shiva and Parvati are in front sitting on two stands. Carpenter enters with two dolls in his hands and puts the dolls in front)

Carpenter:        Pronam Lord, Pronam Devi. Please tell me how to bring these dolls alive.

(Carpenter puts off the turban, manipulates Shiva and Parvati)

Parvati:             (to Shiva) He is a man, and all men are very intelligent. He should find out himself how to make these dolls come alive. Please tell him.

Shiva:               I grant your wish. (To carpenter) Go back to earth and try yourself.

Carpenter:        O.K. Lord. I am going back and I will try my best. Pronam Lord, Pronam Devi.

(Shiva and Parvati are put in the back)

 

SCENE IV

[Carpenter’s house. The carpenter is trying hard to make the dolls come alive and he is getting desperate.]

Carpenter:        Children can you tell me how to make this dolls dance? (His face suddenly lit up) I should try with some strings!! (He looks for string in his box and takes it out. He unhooks string from the back of the dolls and tries manipulating them. It works.)  I have made it! I have made it! I should go to Mount Kailash and show these to Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati.

(Carpenter puts his box back)

 

SCENE V

[Mount Kailash. Shiva and Parvati are put in front on the stands]

Carpenter:        Pronam Lord, Pronam Devi. I have made it! If you permit, I can show you.

Parvati:             (to Shiva) Please, let him show.

Shiva:               I grant your wish. You show us.

[Carpenter takes two puppets and makes them dance by manipulating strings. After the dance, carpenter puts the puppets back.]

Parvati:             Please bless him. He had done a good job.

Shiva:               I grant your wish. (To carpenter) Now go back to earth and show everybody your skill. These two dolls have now become Puppets.

Carpenter:        Pronam Lord, Pronam Devi. I am going to earth and shall perform the puppet show from now onwards. (The carpenter exits)

Sutradhar:     In this way, puppets came to earth and became very, very popular. They dance everywhere   and everybody had fun. Did you have fun?

(Sutradhar exits)

 

[First performed at Montreal, Canada in October 1995 by a French TV artist Nancy McCready.

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