Mangshat (Vendetta)

An earthquake occurred in the village and the heads hanging from the branches of the Mangutung tree fell on the ground leaving the villagers horrified. Even the rocks of the Sikas - Tso or the stone platform over the clan grave shook. The villagers then decided to ask Ipu Thebo ( the religious head ) the cause of such terrifying earthquake. Ipu Thebo explained that the spirits of Zuba, the Khublakpi has failed to offer Yupan (offering consisting of food, wine, clothes etc.) at the grave of her husband; Khulakpi came to offer Yupan at her husband’s grave as instructed by Ipu Theba at night. But Adaho, the Khulakpi’s son was not satisfied with just offering the Yupan and requested Ipu to find out what his father’s spirit really wanted.

On being possessed, Ipu cried out “Head of Akito Moru” who is Khulakpa’s killer. Hearing this Adaho promises to take revenge on Akito fo killing his father. One day while Adaho was at Mephio’s house, Akito arrives which results in a fight between the two. Adaho tries to kill Akito had also promised to kill the whole family of Khulakpa as he wad exile from the village by the Khulakpa himself for a petty reason. Now only the Khulakpi remains of the whole family. With this promise, one day when the Khulakpi wad performing some ritual in her son’s grave, Akita comes with the intention of killing her. But he could not complete his task on hearing the Khulakpi crying for her son. Akito had never had the lobe of a mothe which touched him so much. When the Khulakpi enquired his identity, he imposed himself as Adaho’s friend Gushito. Both of them got acquainted with each other and an affection developed between the two thereby as a mother and son. Finally Akita confesses to the Khulakpi his real identity of killing both her husband and son. But now she refuses to punish him due to the affection developed and instructs him to go to Ipu Thebo before the spirits kill him, whom she would face. The spirits in turn kill the Khulakpi as a punishment for saving Akito. Akito laments the death of his mother-like, the Khulakpi.

Director’s Note:

Enacting an emotional condition that arises through a series of existential moments, the play seeks to explore man’s relation with reality and myth. The convention of mixing human and non-human worlds permits a simultaneous presentation of the two alternative views of the antinomy. Setting various mores and beliefs of the ethnos of the North-east region as the cultural backdrop, the play speaks about the monstrous shadow’s of the various forces that shape human history with the stories of blood and vengeance – as a symbolic representation of the deep pessimism of modern man which defies or, negates to test truths, this creating a chain of nightmarish experiences. The creative energy of the presentation is in spirited both by the simplistic and lyrical contents of folk drama and stylistic techniques and devices of the alternative theatre to give a balance between philosophical and artistic premises. In fact, the play is an antidote for the corrupt and anti humanist ideas that prevails in our society through it’s realist outlook on life in it’s entirety.

Produced by : NT Theatre, Manipur
Directed by : Ningthouja Deepak
Language : Manipuri
Duration : 1hr 10mins