- The spectacle based on Warrior of the Sun (see here).
It is the story of a great war planned by the Gods and ultimately by the one supreme God Vishnu, to end an age of human arrogance and herald the beginning of a new epoch of the Universe. The age of the warrior caste, the Kshatriyas, who were getting above themselves and losing the idea of dharma, their duty and position in the scheme of the Universe, was to be brought to an end by a great war between the cousins of the greatest warrior Royal family on earth, the Kauravs dynasty.
The dynasty, at the time of the main event of the story, the war, is divided into two clans, one of the five sons of Pandu and the other of the hundred and one sons of Dhrithrashtra his brother. The cousins are brought into this fatal earth-destroying antagonism through the nuances of their own characters and ambitions and through the machinations and intentions of the Gods. They fight the final war. The Mahabharat tells the stories of several generations of creation and of this dynasty. Literally hundreds of characters, earthly and divine, are woven into the story.
One of these is Karna, born through the impregnation of a young princess Kunti by the Sun God Surya whom she invited to her bed. The princess cannot acknowledge the child and sets him as the mother of Moses did, afloat in the bulrushes on the river and he is found and adopted by the family of a charioteer, a keeper of horses. Kunti, her secret well kept goes on to marry Pandu the prince of Hastinapura and gives birth to the five Pandavs. Karna grows, through many tribulations and against his supposed caste, to be the leading warrior of his age.
When the war comes he finds himself on the opposite side to that of his brothers whom he knows not as brothers and his blood, but only as enemies. The tragedy of Karna works its way through the hatreds loves and confessions before and during the battle.
The story of Karna, the Warrior of the Sun, is as an isolated story one of the most compelling in the epic and its retelling involves seeing the whole of the epic in microcosm. It is a story which contains elements of drama that dramatists in other cultures and at other times have used. In the story of Karna is the story of Moses, the tragedy of Rostam and Sohrab, the fatal choice of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus and elements of the tale of William Tell.
Farrukh Dhondy is a writer, columnist and former Commissioning Editor of Channel 4 TV. As a commissioning editor he has been acknowledged as the originator of a trend of international cinema from India, having commissioned Salaam Bombay, Mississippi Masala, Bandit Queen and for initiating and sponsoring the careers of Mira Nair, Shekhar Kapoor, Mira Syal and others. He has written fifteen books published in the UK, the USA and India, written widely for British TV, in the comedy and drama genres.
The most recent film of Farrukh Dhondy, The Rising, starring Amir Khan, was released in its Bollywood version last year and is soon to be released in its “international” English version. It will be the first film to be given two distinct treatments for very different audiences. His other recent films included Red Mercury which has been released in several festivals to great critical acclaim and will be shortly released theatrically. He is working with Ketan Mehta on the next film from the Indian Mutiny Trilogy and has five other screenplays in pre-production and under production.
Warrior of the Sun