Anju Prakash on Playing Dolon
Dolon. What a pretty, unusual name! The first few times I said it aloud, I didn’t pronounce it right. I had to write it down in Devanagari to get the right “dh” sound. “It’s a Bengali name, right?”, I thought. It must be similar to “dolte jao” in Hindi which means “keep swaying”? I soon discovered how Dolon’s name is so much about how she is herself. You will too.
In Sonata, Mahesh Elkunchwar has captured with great sensitivity and nuance, three women in Mumbai. Single and self-reliant. Friends since college. A product of their times. Perhaps a little ahead of it. During our rehearsals, the all-women cast of Sonata realized that there is an Aruna, a Dolon, and a Subhadra in each of our characters, just in different proportions.
Dolon is like the glue that keeps the three women together. Yet, she is a free spirit that flits from one thought to another, one state of mind to another. She is sometimes childlike and sometimes a serious banker. She can stand her ground but can also be accommodating. Lovable and unpredictable. Needy and generous. A bundle of contradictions.
Coco Chanel claims that a girl should be both classy and fabulous. Sonata’s women are that and more, as painted intricately by Maheshji. Their stories, secrets, sensibility, strength, and subtlety all come to the surface in their living room on that one indulgent, insane, indelible night!
- Anju Prakash