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Swadeshi Aiyar
Sunday , September 1, 2013

Synopsis of the Play –Swdeshi Aiyar
Written by – Chitralaya Sriram
Dramatised and Directed by - Y.Gee. Mahendra
Swadeshi Aiyar
Swadeshi Aiyar from UAA troupe
V Muthukumaran | Mon, 25 Feb, 2008,03:25 PM




The Times Of T Nagar
Sunday , December 14, 2008
Tamil play has to wait for 56 years to see this epitome of perfection - Swadeshi Aiyar. No, this is not about personality. Nothing to do with current issues or political intrigues. But the core focus of the two-hour play is the ancient and time tested values of Bharatvarsha, that is present day India.

Presented by United Amateur Artistes (UAA) led by Y Gee Mahendra, the play is the 59th production of the group which is one of the oldest stage troupe in Tamilnadu formed by the doyen Y G Parthasarathy.

An amalgam of science fiction and history woven around Brahmin family, Swadeshi Aiyar adopts the concept of Time Machine (a popular novel by H G Wells) to effectively transport the audience to Mylapore of 1945 era.

Sankar Aiyar (Y Gee) is rooted in disciplinarian life very much attached to orthodox values and customs, thus earning the hostility of his wife Visalam, two sons and daughter.

When they hatch a plot to pack him off to old-age home, Aiyar luckily meets his chum turned NASA scientist Thothatri. An eccentric persona, Thothatri on a secret mission to India prods Aiyar to take his family on a sojourn back in time with the help of Time Machine he has invented.

Jolted by rude shock and disbelief, the family members berate Aiyar for pitch-forking them back in time to 1945 era and making them do with negligible comforts in cottage house of then Mylapore.

Shorn of modern comforts like cell phone, TV and luxury gadgets, the wife and the children are like aliens from Mars trying to figure out what the people are up to as they are gripped by the spirit of Freedom struggle.

Neat script laced with humour and pungent dialogues make the spoof worth watching every moment of its time. And the credit for the innovative plot and racy dialogues should go to Chitralaya Sriram who has scripted the play with professional acumen.Bowled over by the simplicity of people from bygone era and their honest living, the Aiyar family undergoes radical change of mind. Once petulant and status conscious, his wife pleads with Aiyar for remaining with 1945 society and not willing to go forward to the present era.

His two sons and daughter too are changed now after being exposed to life with traditional values. ‘But even science cannot go against nature. This time we go back to 2008 with values of 1945,’ remarks Aiyar to his brother in-law in one of the scenes.

Mahatma Gandhi interacts with the Aiyar family and questions him on the progress of India in 2008. The answers and response he gets spark of hilarious scenes with audience roaring with laughter. Though Sriram has penned the dialogues with innovative thought, Y Gee has created his magnum opus of his life in Swadeshi Aiyar. Besides directing the play, he has taken up dual roles (Sankar Aiyar and his grand father) to mouth witty dialogues suffused with loads of humour and satire.

Later opening his heart out in the green room, Y Gee says, ‘modernisation should not be at the cost of traditional values. The basic idea and dialogues are from Chitralaya Sriram. But I had to make lot of improvisations to make it appealing to the audience.’ Further dwelling on the subject, the playwright says the degeneration of human values is because of too much attachment to modern comforts at the cost of mental peace.

While Sriram took nearly three months to ready the script, UAA did rehearsals for two months to stage the two-hour play. Much effort and planning have gone to execute the sci-fi play filled with humour. Medimix company is the sponsor of this latest creation from the UAA troupe.

Deccan Chronicle -29/2/08   Indian Express 3/3/08   Dinamalar-14/3/08
S wadeshi Aiyar, Y.Gee. Mahendra's new play, attempts to spoof the modern ills in contemporary society. The play begins in 1945 when an 80-year-old man extracts a promise from his grandson that he will stick to traditional values and customs. Even after the old man's death, the boy keeps his word and by the time it's 2008, he has earned the name Swadeshi Aiyar. While he is traditional, his wife, two sons and daughter are not. The clash between the traditional and the modern forms the crux of the play.
Mahendra weaves a bit of science fiction into the plot. A scientist friend helps Swadeshi Iyer travel in time from 2008 back to 1945 where his family goes through an eye-opening experience and learns "our" traditions and customs first hand.

Mahendra is clever with words. He is even better at slapstick. He is a master at using the space on stage. His plot, though untouched by the wildness of postmodern literature, is still solid.

The absentminded scien tist, the ladies' club-going wife, the cricketer son, the cell phone addict and the daughter who does "combined studies" with a Muslim are all clever but stereotypical characters. Much laughter is derived from the interactions between them and Swadeshi Iyer, who finds their activities bizarre. So do we.

A long the way, Mahendra mocks at the way people use cell phones, computers and the Internet, wear modern, skin-showing clothes and adopt superficial fads. At times, the play reinforces the age-old idea of patriarchy, but so do many Tamil movies.

It seems Mahendra yearns for the purity and innocence of the preIndependence era and wants us to turn time backwards. At times, the play veers dangerously close to being regressive and lacks gags.

Swadeshi Aiyar, presented by the United Amateur Artistes under the aegis of Bharat Kalachar, is being staged in Chennai

The Hindu 13th Oct.2006   Ananda Vikatan-30/4/08   Dinamalar-25/5/08
Times of India 6/6/08        

Bakthi Bharati Poojayashri Prof. Prema Panduranga Appreciation

Om Namo Narayanaya.

It was a pleasure watching Swadeshi Iyer – the play and the character. You were the role you played. As it was said of one of Arthur Miller’s hero-actors – after a while the audience felt that the shadow he cast was not his own! Your role as Swadeshi Iyer combined in it all rasas like humour, pathos, anger, frustration, wonder etc. The whole team built up such a lovely concept – the audience learnt as it laughed. The ethical tone was felt but never imposed.

Wishing you and India many more such productions to keep values, invaluable values alive. Our paths are different but our goal is the same. You reach the pinnacle of values through drama and I seek it through discourses.

A joint programme for our joint venture. May Lord Venkateswara bless you with all the best of life.

With prayers and blessings to you and your precious team.

Yours in the Lord’s service

VIP's At The Play
Rajini wowed by Swadeshi Aiyar
  Rajini is all praise for Mahendra ( Deccan Chronicle )
        Dr. Vyjayanthimala Bali & Directo R.C. Sakthi
kavigar subbu Aarumugam   kavigar subbu Aarumugam   kavigar subbu Aarumugam
kavigar subbu Aarumugam   kavigar subbu Aarumugam   50 th Show of 'Swadeshi Aiyar'

"PSBB Millennium Principal"  

Dear Mr. Swadeshi Iyer,

It was a pleasure meeting you yesterday (14th September) at the B K Auditorium.  The 2 and ½ hours spent in your company have turned out to be the best Sunday evening spent in a long, long time.
You had us holding our sides with laughter over so many anecdotes that it is still ringing in our ears! The élan with which you deliver your punch lines is remarkable. Without a doubt, it is your forte!
But the evening had more in store for us than mere laughter.  It made us sit up and realize that we haven’t really reached a stage to be proud of our country or ourselves today! Indeed, deep down, there was guilt in all of us present for letting the present generation be so influenced by everything western and anti Indian culture and tradition.  Truly we have forgotten the glory of our past in our attempt to keep up with the modern times.
Our eyes turned moist and tears ran down on their own accord when confronted with our so-called advancements in comparison to those good old days, values and system that were in place. It is sad that children do not consider it necessary to pay respect to the elders anymore, that they experience no patriotism towards their country as they take it for granted, as they do so many other things. They are too far removed from reality despite all the reality shows that they are so addicted to. The more you hit upon the various faults of the present day, the greater the whiplash on us!
We were also fortunate to have met Gandhiji.  But our deep embarrassment about the current state of affairs did not give us the courage to meet him in the eye. We can imagine the extreme pain and disappointment he must have over the present day country and the people he fought for and got freedom for.  How we wish we could have really made him happy! Are we really honouring him by having his image on our currency notes? So many questions that you have posed for us to find answers for!
The evening was entertaining and an eye opener.  More importantly it turned out to be an evening where everyone present walked out with a smile on his or her face despite the eyes being moist, with a look of determination, to make a difference, however small.
As teachers, having a direct influence on the minds of the children, it has made us even more aware of our role and responsibility in moulding the minds of the young children.
Thank you Mr. Swadeshi Iyer for bringing us back to 2008 with a jolt! We wish there are more of your ilk!
Vande Mataram!
Thank you.
With warm regards,
Mrs. Sita Umamaheswaran
The PSBB Millennium School
9, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount,
Chennai-600 016
Phone: 044-65348441/442/99400-89729

50 th Show of 'Swadeshi Aiyar' 27-07 2008  The Hindu

50 th Show of 'Swadeshi Aiyar' 22-07-2008  Dinathanthi
UAA's"Swadeshi Aiyar"-60 th Show 14-09-08

United Amateur Artists theatre group headed by stalwart Y G Mahendran brought three Tamil plays to the city Y G M Play in Times of India Friday 24 th April 2009
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