Dugdh Dhenu: A play on the King who feasted on ‘Kheer’ made out of women’s milk


UDGHOSH University of Jammu

The ongoing Mega-Youth festival has brought so many interesting cultures together and is has the One Act Play event tomorrow which is to see most of the 28 Universities participating.

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U4U Voice brings to you an exclusive sneak peek of a rather interesting play that will be competing tomorrow.

The play we are going to talk about is Dugdh Dhenu which otherwise means cow (Dhenu: Cow; Dugdh: Milk).The team performing thus play is The Himachal University.

Location – Kullu, Himachal Pradesh

Theater form – An amalgam of ‘Hrinatar’ (Local theatre form) and Brechten Theatre

So legend has it that the king of Kullu was a mighty superstitious man and his advisors were greedy people who would get paid for creating the weirdest superstitions. One such superstition was the consumption of Kheer made of a human female’s milk. Kheer made out of a woman’s milk was supposedly the road to prosperity for the king.

Yes, you read that right, A HUMAN FEMALE’S Milk! It does not get weirder than this though.

The scarcity of human milk was a constant issue for the King and so he started abducting pregnant women. If there were not enough pregnant women in the kingdom, he would abduct the others and would order for these women to be impregnated forcibly. The whole kingdom was rattled with such brainless fancies and whims of the half-witted king.

Students of Himachal University Rehearsing DUGDH DHENU where women are appealing to the King to not be cruel.

The women who had been producing milk for the king planned for revenge. They opted for the Hrinatar form of dance where a person wears Deer Masks. They went to the king’s court and danced away, the king got swayed by the dance so much so that he started dancing along with the women. The women had taken sickles (Daraati) with them and killed the king.

The play does not have a happy ending though as the opportunistic advisors took in charge of the kingdom. The women retaliated, “We are the ones who freed the kingdom and we should be the ones who must be allowed to choose the next rightful King.”

No one heard them and the kingdom went to ruins eventually.

This is just a very brief version of the play itself but it reverberates out loud, the ills of our superstitious society. It also shows the patriarchal system that our society has been forever a victim of. Patriarchy is still deeply rooted in our society in happens in all homes, educated or not.

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