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6832
Himmat Mai
Sat Apr 4, 7:30 PM
Nasreen Ishaque
Himmat Mai, is the Hindi adaptation by the poet, journalist and translator Neelabh of the original play ‘Mother Courage and her children’ written by the German playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956). Witnessing the turbulent time of the fascist rule under Hitler in his home country and hounded by the Nazis for his anti-war stand, all his plays are highly political in nature, but is conveyed with sardonic humor and poeticism. Here in this play, we witness the character of Himmat Mai, a canteen wagon woman, who lives off selling goods to army men of both the warring parties. She is an embodiment of contradictions, frequently switching the roles from exploiter to the exploited and vice versa. The long treacherous war spanning over a period of thirty years and her innate need to survive, have sharpened her business strategy and has made her shrewd and manipulative. In spite of her best efforts to save her three children, one by one, she loses all of them to war. However she moves on, returning to her canteen wagon, the only hope she has. It’s her whole world, it’s her very existence. Deriving strength from this sense of belonging, soon she is back to her routine business of selling goods, as usual, to the passing regiment, caring little about in which part of the war zone she is and whom she is selling her goods