Nireeksha’s ‘Aanungal Illatha Pennungal’ is an adaption of Shahrnush Parsipur’s novella titled ‘Women without Men.
‘Aanungal Illatha Pennungal‘ (Women without Men). The title is reminiscent of Hemingway’s work, ‘Men without Women’ and enough to intrigue the audience. Nireeksha, the women’s theatre group who staged this dramatised version of Iranian writer-in-exile Shahrnush Parsipur’s novel of the same name, definitely does not disappoint. The script by E. Rajarajeswari and direction by C.V. Sudhi have conscientiously retained the polyphonic quality of the novel which depicts the destinies of five Iranian women escaping the narrow confines of family and society during the politically charged times of 1953.
Using the structure of a fairy tale, and drawing on elements from Islamic mysticism and recent Iranian history, the novella ‘Women without Men’ is the story of five Iranian women and their complex relationships with reality, sexuality, and each other. They abandon their urban-Iranian society in favour of a female utopia, the Karaj, outside of Tehran, which becomes a refuge and an aspiration for the women fleeing the constraints of patriarchal Tehran.