Communicating in the Third Space: A Psycho-Cultural Reading of Mahesh Dattani’s Radio Play Do The Needful
Homosexuality, gay/lesbian relationships and same-sex marriage are a few bizarre issues that still raise a lot of eyebrows in our society; these people remain marginalized and uprooted in our socio-cultural setup. Mahesh Dattani’s first radio play Do the Needful focuses explicitly on some shared spaces among men, women and the third gender people in Indian society which pre-dominantly promotes the patriarchal family setup and discourages any change that challenges the established and existing structure of it. Dattani, very cleverly through the ‘thought’ technique, brings out his characters’ subconscious thoughts and their conflict with the socially constructed hegemony. They are not what society thinks of them; they are not what they want to be; they are not what they actually are; they are the inhabitants of a different world – a third space. Not only the two lead characters, Alpesh and Lata, but all characters search for ease in a third space. The ‘otherness’ that they feel in the psycho-cultural frame brings them to a common platform – Teri bhi chup, meri bhi chup.
The present paper aims at testing Bhabha’s postcolonial concept of ‘the third space’ and ‘in-betweenness’ in the psycho-cultural sphere, by highlighting and analyzing the space created by various characters for themselves under the weight of repressed (homo)sexual desires, social structures and cultural constraints.
KeywordsMahesh Dattani, third space, inbetweenness, marginal, hegemony, psycho-cultural
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