“MARRIAGE OF DRAUPADI” is presented by renowned Ventriloquist & Puppeteer Ramdas Padhye, Aparna Ramdas & along with 15 trained puppeteers. In this play Ramdas Padhye & his team brings to life the 150 Years Old Puppets of pioneer Indian dramatist Late Vishnudas Bhave.
In the year 1978 Ramdas Padhye was handed over this treasure of puppets originally handcrafted by pioneer Indian dramatist Late Vishnudas Bhave 150 years ago approximately in the year 1843, by the Late Mr.Bhalchandra Pendharkar, a veteran dramatist. When Mr.Padhye took these puppets from him were all in shambles & nothing more than a neglected heap of wooden parts. Motivated by historic contribution of pioneer Indian dramatist Late Vishnudas Bhave, Ramdas Padhye set upon with singular devotion to restore this treasure to its original glory & splendor. In the quest for resurrection and restoration of these puppets he waded through available 19th century literature, newspapers & biography with the able assistance of his wife Aparna Ramdas. Together they pieced together various references, scripts & leads gathered from the various spare parts of puppets & finally restored some of the puppets to the original splendor. These puppets are basically operated by string & rod techniques which are superbly complemented by mechanical pulleys & specially crafted puppet theatre with inter-changeable wooden tracks. This unique technique presented by Ramdas Padhye may be is first of its kind in international arena which was discovered 150 years ago by Indian puppeteer, Vishnudas Bhave.
Ramdas Padhye & his team brought to life these puppets almost after 150 years by staging this historic event at the Nehru Centre auditorium, Mumbai in the year 2000 at the Sangeet Natak Festival. This play which has integrated sophisticated puppets, unique style of presentation & topical references has all the elements folk theatre, entertainment & breadth-taking beauty of original puppets.
This play was presented at the World Festival of Puppet Art, Prague in Czech Republic where puppet theaters from around 50 countries participated.Ramdas Padhye, his wife Aparna Padhye and two sons Satyajit & Parikshit presented this show.They also won the Special Jury Award “Best Traditional Puppet Play”.
The documentary film “Born Again” showcases the journey of Ramdas Padhye and Aparna Padhye in their quest to restore the 150 Years Old Puppets to their original glory. The film traces the journey of how these puppets were restored and how the show was presented by Ramdas Padhye.The film has been directed by Mr.Arun Khopkar, an eminent film-maker. This film has been produced by Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT). This film was showcased at the Puppets on Film Festival organized by Jim Henson Foundation in the year 2011 at Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York.
These 150 Years old Puppets were showcased on Kaun Banega Crorepati in Season 5. Mr.Amitabh Bachchan appreciated the efforts in keeping with the tradition of puppetry alive. The show was presented by Satyajit Ramdas Padhye and a team of 10 puppeteers.
These 150 Years Old Puppets are unique in style and design as they use a combination of rod, pulley and string technique to make the movements. This technique was discovered by an Indian 150 years ago. Ramdas Padhye wishes to stage these unique puppets at different puppetry festivals internationally.