Give a reasoned answer. Although the play seeks to construct the search for identity within the unfulfilling, incomplete nature of bourgeois existence as a universal non-gendered experience along Existential lines as its primary concern, it eventually deals with many questions on a broader socio-economic context on Realist lines. Even the characters of the play are seen to engage in a constant search of meaning and identity in life. It is in sync with R. In order to fulfil a need…. She was supposed to be attracted to her now son-in-law, Manoj too, as his influential status had charmed her sufficiently.
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The story is related to the modern day ordinary middle class family which is not only half but also incomplete. It is the story of a middle class family in a modern city which is being pushed towards lower middle class existence due to its peculiar circumstances.
It is the story of its desires, aspirations, struggles, along with the peculiar situation that is getting out of control. The family has fallen from middle class prosperity to a lower status. There are many remnants leftovers of their former bourgeois acquisition—a sofa set, dining table, writing table and refrigerator.
Here money was spent freely by the husband and wife in the past. The family paid high rents for the house. They travelled by taxis, the son and daughter had been students of public schools.
The family enjoyed liquor parties. Presently, the head of family, remains at home most of the time, as he is out of job for the last ten years. The wife now works in a private firm and is the sole bread winner of the family. This has made her a bitter person. The son is a college drop out and does not feel inclined to become financially independent.
These days it is a common phenomenon for women leaving their homes in search of employment and bringing an extra salary into the house in a quest for a comfortable life-style.
But here the husband remains unoccupied and the responsibility of feeding the children has fallen upon the wife. Mahendranath, the husband does not feel inclined to work. Meanwhile the main protagonist, Savitri has made friendship with numerous men friends—Singhania, Jagmohan, Manoj and Shivjeet, who frequently pay a visit to this house.
The son and daughters are in the know of this. Barring Mahendranath, all the members of the family are steeped in sexual awareness. Ashok spends his time cutting pictures of half naked American actresses and pursuing his girl friend.
Kinny has a precocious interest in sexual matters. She openly discusses sex with her friends. But is this behavior so unusual in the modern context? No relationship seems to hold her. But savitri does not sem concerned about the effect of her openness. Whenever a friend comes to visit her at home, Mahendranath escapes. This is most unpalatable to us. Middle class values seem to have a certain hold on this unhappy couple. Within a couple of years of her marriage, she started feeling alienated from her husband.
But why does not she opt for legal separation? In this respect the play is the tragedy of a middle class marriage gone sour.
What are the reasons for its failure? In the foremost are the economic ones. It is true that savitri contributes to a great extent in aggravating the situation. She projects herself as a martyr, constantly reminds her about her efforts to improve their conditions. There is constant bickering between husband and wife. In his own life, Mohan Rakesh, the dramatist broke away fram a loveless alliance, not once, but twice.
In a middle class family it was unforgivable.
Halfway House by Mohan Rakesh
Recipient of umpteen awards ,many critics and theatre persons have seen this as most complete play. An incisive analysis of man-woman relationship ,the play has also been seen to possess a scathing critique of the unfulfilling ,incomplete nature of bourgeois existence. However when we position ourselves at the end of the century and look again at the play, the approbation gets considerably muted. However, there is a sense of repentance in her and this leads her whetting upon the idea of performing sati, like a typical Indian woman, at the end of the play.
Indian society has family-bound customs and traditions. Indians see the family as an establishment which proceeds for whatever is left of their lives. Most explicitly, the fracture and feeling of deficiency at the individual, familial and social levels are the topical concerns of the play. Recipient of umpteen awards ,many critics and theatre persons have seen this as most complete play.