Play Info : A play about love and betrayal, 'Thirty Days' treats the sensitive and generally taboo issue of child sexual abuse. 'Thirty Days' endeavors to lift the veil of silence which surrounds child sexual abuse and addresses the issue unflinchingly.
It builds on the trauma of Mala who lives with the haunting memories of her abused past. Her abuser - her uncle - subconsciously lives with her all the time, as part of her dirty reflections. He damages her natural growth, deters her from pursuing her love interests beyond the ominous 30-day period and scars her soul every now and then. As Mala withers under the psychological pressure extorted on her by the abuser, her mother watches silently, living her own pain - suffering mutely. Exploring the painful problem, Mahesh Dattani raises valid concerns and structures a world of optimism where the wrongs can stand corrected and resurrection of brutalized faith is possible. But none of this happens without another man’s willingness to help the two women bury their traumatic past and find ways of rejuvenating their present. Deepak, Mala’s boyfriend, becomes the agent of change here. He dares to unmask the evil, even at the cost of his love. He hits the women hard until they hit the rock bottom. Finally, there is no way but to come up - face the wrongs and dare to correct them, notwithstanding the challenges the process of correction entails. By marking a daring departure from norm, the play ensures that we, as a society, no longer take comfort in the routine of uttering word “incest” in gutless undertones.
The play also brings us closer to the reality of abused children -pleasure does form a part of their pain, but finally the consequence of dangerous games can only be dangerous. Our only way to fight danger is to recognize it and crush with generous doses of brutality lest we are ready to condemn innocence to lifelong death.
Comment by Mr. Mahesh Dattani at DelhiEvents.com : Many thanks for your article on my play 30 Days in September. I would like to respond to the comment that Mala's healing process would not be possible without the help of another man. This was not the intention at all when I wrote the play. Deepak is all too willing to play the rescuer in her life, a role that traditionally is chosen by men over being the persecutor. Her fatal line in the play is 'you cannot understand. You just cannot understand.' That seals their relationship, in spite of the fact that she does eventually marry him.
Mala's resolution lies in the moment of realization for Mala that she had misplaced all her anger on herself and her mother. When she understands that and rightfully places her anger against her pepetrator, the drama comes to an end.
Directed by : Arvind Gaur
Hindi translation by : Smita Nirula
Written by : Mahesh Dattani
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