These two plays are both based on the 'Mahabharata'. The story of Draupadi is narrated in the first play. She was married to the five royal Pandava brothers and narrates her humiliation at the hands of the Kauravas, the cousins of her husbands and rivals for the throne. The second play is again set within the 'Mahabharata', looking at the destruction of an age of a civilisation. The tragedy of the royal women, Satyavati, Amba, Ambika and Ambalika, the abducted princesses, of Kunti, gandari, Draupadi, Subhadra and the young Uttara, continues to have bearings on our times. Both the plays are one-woman performances in the tradition of 'kathakatha', a rural Bengali genreof dramatised storytelling, and use live music, some of it played by the narrator herself. The apparent naivete of the single woman's voice in the play builds a relationship of collusion with the audience. Subverting traditional theatre of the Western type and by the gendering of the stories, Mitra's plays challenge the audience's views of 'decorum'.
Saoli Mitra is a distinguished actress, director and playwright. Translator Rita Dutta is a teacher and critic. The other translator Moushumi Bhowmik is composer, singer and editor.