There are some striking similarities between Swami Vivekananda and Shrimad Rajchandra. Both are regarded as Spiritual Gurus. Both passed away in their 30s. This is not all. There is not much gap between the birth years of both. The former was born in 1867 and the latter in 1863.
But for some reason, Shrimad Rajchandra’s life story isn’t as well-known as Vivekananda’s. Director Rajesh Joshi’s Gujarati play, ‘Yugpurush – Mahatma Na Mahatma’ takes on the task of making his enlightening story known. It succeeds in giving a layman an introduction to the spiritual giant.
‘Yugpurush – Mahatma Na Mahatma’ tells the life story of Shrimad Rajchandra. The play also dwells upon his relationship with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and his teachings helped the latter gain the title of Mahatma.
The play scores the most in creating realistic and visually stunning scenarios on stage throughout its duration. Considering how some incidents are completely different from the other, it is laudable to see such favorable results gained so effortlessly. The scene where Rajchandra carries out too many tasks simultaneously stands out. But the credit should also go to the director for handling such difficult scenes and to the lighting as well.
Coming to the writing, the play has impactful lines after regular intervals, something so important in biographies of great heroes. Sachin-Jigar’s music too adds to the effect.
But the play lags behind when it comes to balancing the script. Shrimad Rajchandra’s life story and message aren’t explained in a way a layman, who has no knowledge about him, would get a proper insight. We are told through songs that he was great, but not exactly explained why and how.
There is also some confusion about the central character. If Gandhi is as much important as Shrimad Rajchandra, why they didn’t include the important incident about the former being thrown out of the train in South Africa? Gandhi’s non-violent struggle is credited to Rajchandra, so the incident that triggered the struggle has to be there.
The performance of the actor playing Shrimad Rajchandra plays a vital role here. Parthsarthi Vaidya smartly balances confidence and humility, which was so important here. His confidence is also seen in the dialogue delivery. As the older Gandhi, Nikhil Modak does what was required. Gandhi was a lot different as a young barrister. Pulkit Solanki makes him believable.
Overall: ‘Yugpurush – Mahatma Na Mahatma’ is worth watching to get an introduction into Shrimad Rajchandra.
Review by: Keyur Seta
Director: Rajesh Joshi
Producers: Shrimad Rajchandra Misison, Dharampur
Writer: Uttam Gada
Cast: Parthsarthi Vaidya, Nikhil Modak, Pulkit Solanki