The V word
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Can you imagine Sushma Swaraj or Sheila Dixit performing the play before Lalu Prasad Yadav and other MP's in Parliament! I don't think we will ever reach that level of sophistication. Here we have to take the consent of the police whenever we take the play out of the city
— Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal
With absolute poise and composure, Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal coaxes everyone to utter the taboo word, softly at first and as the audience warms up to her verve, echo in a liberating cresendo VAGINA! Voice pulsating with passion, she and her team comprising of Dolly Thakore, Jayati Bhatia, Sonali Sachdev take the theatre full of people packed to capacity on a trip one ventures only in fantasy. Throwing inhibitions to the air, the quartet of free-willed women regale with their witty humour and at the same time provide enough fodder to ponder upon. The indomitable spirit of the lady shines through as we chat about Vagina Monologues, a play by Eve Ensler, adapted to suit Indian sensibilities.
Faced with many challenges when the play, The Vagina Monologues, was first staged in 2003 at Prithvi theatre, Kotwal had the daunting task of carrying on with the show after the producer walked out of it at the last minute. Apparently he found the subject too hot to handle. Marshalling all her resources, she formed her own production company Poor Box Productions and performed to a full house, the tickets of which were sold out even before the box-office opened! The play which has been going strong for the past nine and a half years have received many accolades. "The concept is new and people want to know what the play is all about and the word vagina only arouses their curiosity," reveals Kotwal who sometimes has to stage three shows in a day in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Pune.