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Following a visit to Punjabi University, Patiala, India, in February 2018, to give a talk to students on the MA English course, a group of about a dozen students have been helping me to write a play about gender inequality in modern India.
Using information and personal reflections provided by the mainly female students, I began drafting a script. Successive drafts sent via WhatsApp for criticism and comment over a period of four or five months resulted in a finished script with a prologue and epilogue written by individual students.
Unborn – or Sand in her Mouth will be performed at the university in February 2019 in a production which I will direct with a self-selected all-female cast.
“In the land where women are worshipped as gods, in that same land women are not allowed to break their chains. A woman is not allowed to dream. A woman is not allowed to have her personal space. A woman is not allowed to have her own identity. A woman is made to be afraid of darkness. A woman is not safe. A woman is inferior. So, dear worshippers, either stop worshipping her or set her free, totally free. Give her back her wings and let her fly. If she can give birth to a child, she can do anything. She is the strongest.”
Prologue, Sehjot Ahuja, student, Punjabi University, Patiala