Tagore’s Women: Purnjanam / Born Again

by Sharmila Chauhan

January 2012

The Vault, Southwark Playhouse

The three stories of Purnjanam explore love, death and power.

Kali writers explored the work of Rabindranath Tagore, the celebrated Bengali poet, playwright. In a city of transition and tradition, three liars, two lovers and a reluctant leader all desperately search for truth. As Mumbai burns, Purnjanam questions destiny, love and power, asking what must be destroyed for something new to be created.

Writer Sharmila Chauhan

Screenwriter, playwright and prose writer, Sharmila’s work is often a transgressive meditation on love, sex and the diasporic experience. Her plays including The Husbands, Born Again/Purnajanam and 10 Women all place women centre stage and explore power and femininity. Sharmila has had two short films (Girl Like You, Oysters) produced and written two features. Her […]

About the writer
About the Play


The three stories of Purnajanam explore love, death and power. The Lovers examines the consequences of the deification of women and finds young Muni frustrated as her relationship with a childhood sweetheart is yet to be consummated. The Liars finds three Mumbaites faced with death. I wanted to explore not just the disparity between classes but also social responsibility and the concept of dharma. The Leaders follows the path of reluctant leader Sumitra as she is asked to take responsibility for her activism; what are the responsibilities of power and action? The burning Mumbai is used as a microcosm to examine global politics; the referral to child labour is an analogy for the plight of disempowered people across the world, whose destinies are trampled by corporate globalisation. The play’s otherworldly, abstract nature has been used to distil these themes with tale illustrating how both spiritual and physical destruction is not only a part of living but essential for change…
Sharmilla Chauhan

Tagore’s Women …captivated its audience by its portrayal of the many facets of contemporary personal lives amidst global political struggles.

Women's Views On News
Date and Venue

17-21 January 7.30pm

The Vault, Southwark Playhouse



Cast and Crew

Cast and Crew

Rebecca Grant, Manjeet Mann, Robert Mountford, Goldy Notay, Dharmesh Patel, Gary Pillai
Janet Steel
Molly Einchcomb
Richard Howell
Arun Ghosh
Production Manager
Simon Sinfield
Stage Manager
Jessica Thanki
Kart Lepik
Robert Workman
Costume Assistant
Rosa Fernandez Day
Scenic Painter
Matthew Hellyer
Fight Director
Robert Mountford

Intrepid plays
by fearless women
since 1991


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