Women and Shakespeare

S5: E1: Poonam Trivedi on Shakespeare & India

April 18, 2024 Varsha Panjwani/Poonam Trivedi Season 5 Episode 1
S5: E1: Poonam Trivedi on Shakespeare & India
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Women and Shakespeare
S5: E1: Poonam Trivedi on Shakespeare & India
Apr 18, 2024 Season 5 Episode 1
Varsha Panjwani/Poonam Trivedi

Dr Poonam Trivedi discusses Shakespeare in India and talks about her germinal co-edited collections, such as India's Shakespeare: Translation, Interpretation and Performance, Shakespeare and Indian Cinemas: Local Habitations, Re-playing Shakespeare in Asia.

For a complete episode transcript, click http://www.womenandshakespeare.com

Interviewer: Varsha Panjwani
Guest: Poonam Trivedi
Researchers:   Amira Motair & Aidan Hughes
Producers:  Kendall Beitler & Casey Bachner
Transcript: Benjamin Poore
Artwork: Wenqi Wan

Suggested Citation:  Trivedi, Poonam in conversation with Panjwani, Varsha (2024). Poonam Trivedi on Shakespeare & India [Podcast], Series 5, Ep.1. http://womenandshakespeare.com/

Twitter: @earlymoderndoc
Insta: earlymoderndoc
Email: earlymoderndoc@gmail.com

Show Notes Transcript

Dr Poonam Trivedi discusses Shakespeare in India and talks about her germinal co-edited collections, such as India's Shakespeare: Translation, Interpretation and Performance, Shakespeare and Indian Cinemas: Local Habitations, Re-playing Shakespeare in Asia.

For a complete episode transcript, click http://www.womenandshakespeare.com

Interviewer: Varsha Panjwani
Guest: Poonam Trivedi
Researchers:   Amira Motair & Aidan Hughes
Producers:  Kendall Beitler & Casey Bachner
Transcript: Benjamin Poore
Artwork: Wenqi Wan

Suggested Citation:  Trivedi, Poonam in conversation with Panjwani, Varsha (2024). Poonam Trivedi on Shakespeare & India [Podcast], Series 5, Ep.1. http://womenandshakespeare.com/

Twitter: @earlymoderndoc
Insta: earlymoderndoc
Email: earlymoderndoc@gmail.com

Varsha: Hello there. Thank you for tuning in and welcome to another season of Women & Shakespeare. I'm your host, Dr. Varsha Panjwani, and I am thrilled that we are celebrating not only Shakespeare's birthday, but also the birthday of this podcast! So, this is a very special episode. 

 I always ask people when they first encountered Shakespeare and I absorbed Shakespeare before I even knew it Shakespeare because I saw Bollywood films based on Shakespeare’s plays when I was little. Shakespeare has been in the Indian film industry for a century. So, in 2016, one of my dreams came true when four of us (Koel Chatterjee, Preti Taneja, Thea Buckley, and I) led a film festival, a conference, and an exhibition on ‘Indian Shakespeares on Screen’ to mark the contributions of Indian Shakespeare on Shakespeare Studies and performance. However, we were often met with comments and questions such as, ‘wow, is Shakespeare really connected to India’? ‘Are there many Bollywood versions of his plays?’, ‘But, is that really Shakespeare?’ Although I was quite good-natured about it at that time, when someone asks me this question now, it is triggering on the same level as the dubious compliment ‘Your English is so good!’. Even if this compliment is well-intentioned, it sounds as if we (by which I mean Indians and the Indian diaspora) are not supposed to be able to speak good English even though English-medium education was forced upon us by British colonialism. Similarly, incredulity at our Shakespeare history sounds as if we are not supposed to have insights on Shakespeare, as if colonialism never introduced Shakespeare to India, as if we then didn’t make his works our own, as if we don’t have a long and enriching history of engagement with English literature and Shakespeare. 

Well, we do, and this history has always been there, some of us have been working in this field for a long time. No one more than our podcast guest today – Dr Poonam Trivedi – who has been paving the way, clearing the ground, and working hard to put Indian Shakespeare – in Indian Cinema and in the theatre – on the global map though her influential essays such as ‘filmi Shakespeare’ and through her numerous co-edited essay collections such as India's Shakespeare: Translation, Interpretation and Performance, Shakespeare and Indian Cinemas: Local Habitations, Re-playing Shakespeare in Asia. I have learned so much from her. 

So, my podcast episode with her today is an introductory crash course in Indian Shakespeares. 

Varsha: Poonam as someone who has fancied herself as one of your chelis, as we would say in India – or a ‘disciple’, to translate – I am so honoured to have you on the Women & Shakespeare podcast.

Poonam: Well, thank you so much, Varsha. And yes, I do remember you when I first met you and you were presenting perhaps one of your earliest papers on Shakespeare adaptation in film. So yes, this is a special privilege and a very special pleasure to be here talking with you. 

Varsha: I will begin as I always begin by asking, when did you first encounter Shakespeare and what was the nature of that encounter? 

Poonam: Well, I first encountered Shakespeare in school. My first very clear memory is of reading Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare. And this was a particularly interesting edition of Lamb's Tales because it had illustrations also on the side, and also it had extracts from the plays. So it wasn't just simply the prose tales. I think I was in class seven or class eight or something and we got so interested in them somehow it caught our imagination.

Poonam: It wasn't just me. There was a whole bunch of us kids and we got so inspired by bits of Shakespeare, that we would spend some of our precious lunch break, to sit and read Shakespeare and enact scenes like the mechanicals from A Midsummer Night's Dream. And I remember all of us squabbling as to who would play Bottom.

Varsha: That’s fantastic. 

Poonam: So that's remained with me. And then in 1964, when we were a little older, we did enact several scenes from Shakespeare. So that was the starting point. 

Varsha: I love the story of everyone squabbling to play Bottom. Bottom wants to play every part and then everyone wants to play Bottom. I think our listeners would be so interested in knowing that, in India as well, Shakespeare is so widely taught in schools.

Poonam: Yes. But I'd like to add a note here that my time was, it's like a generation and more ago, when I was in school. I mean, things have changed now. There's in fact very little Shakespeare in school anymore, unless you specially choose an option of English Literature in your school final exam, so, like, my children growing up really didn't have any Shakespeare to read in class, in the classroom, which I think is a pity. But they had some sort of modern English texts. 

Varsha: So I can see that changes in curriculum are maybe changes in national mood. So first and foremost, might you please tell our listeners when and how Shakespeare arrived in India?

Poonam: He arrived in India as an entertainer. The English expatriates, the members of the East India Company, wherever they set up house, as it were, they always, tried to build a playhouse. Amongst the plays that were performed, there was always some Shakespeare.

Poonam: So we have evidence that the Calcutta Theatre, which was established in 1775, within the first decade, there were a number of Shakespeare plays being performed. Of course, they were in English, mostly for the English traders. But later on, many elite Indians also went to watch this play, because performance in Western style was something very unusual for Indians to watch. The Indian traditional theatres have a very different performative trajectory.

Poonam: And from then on, we have first in Calcutta and then in Bombay, there was Bombay Amateur Theatre. And as we know, performances and putting on plays is always an expensive proposition, and these early playhouses ran into financial difficulties, and we find that elite Indians then stepped in to bail them out. The Chowringhee Theatre, which was established in Calcutta in 1813, was bailed out by Dwarkanath Tagore. In Bombay too, many elite Indians contributed to setting up, and bailing out, the Bombay Amateur Theatre. Very well-known citizens of Bombay, Jagannath Shankar Seth, and, Jejeebhoy, they made grants of land and money to set up what was the first really important theatre in Bombay called the Grant Road Theatre.

Poonam: And we have to recall that theatre was seen by Indians, not just as a means of entertainment, but also as a means of edification so it was to be encouraged. Of course, the bulk of the plays performed were comedies and melodramas, but there's always some Shakespeare in there too. Maybe I should mention just one more thing, that then in Bombay, Vishnu Das Bhave, who is known as the father of Marathi theatre, he saw these plays being performed at the Grant Road Theatre, English plays, and he was so impressed.

Poonam: These were, of course, proscenium stages, and he was so impressed with this whole organization, the proscenium, the chairs being put in the auditorium. The ticketing, the order, and kind of the realism that, was coming through in the performance. That in 1853, he performed one of his own plays called Raja Gopichand, at the Grant Road Theatre.

Poonam: And you have this very interesting review saying that the Indian gods and goddesses seemed very much at home in a very English-looking stage and parlour. So, from then on, you see, we moved on, into performing Western style theatre, along with Shakespeare. 

Varsha: Fantastic. I love the bit about the gods and goddesses being at home in proscenium style theatre. So, just for clarification, proscenium arch theatres have three walls and a sort of structure where you feel as if you're looking in, and this was new for Indians, right? Because Indians were not used to this style of theatre.

Poonam: Yes, and so much traditional theatre was and still continues to be out in the open, largely stylised with song and dance. On the other hand, the proscenium theatres built by the English were black box theatres, see where the stage is lit and the audience is in darkness. So you're looking on to a kind of slice of life that is being presented on stage. So that was the great dramatic difference. And Indians took to it, I think, very well. 

Varsha: Great. In 2005, you co-edited a foundational essay collection, India’s Shakespeare: Translation, Interpretation and Performance. And in the introduction to that collection, you write that the reception of Shakespeare in India sort of forked out into two streams. One was an academic literary Shakespeare, led by anglicised Indians. And then the other was a popular Shakespeare on stage, transformed and transmuted in translation. So could you talk a bit more about these two different streams?

Poonam: English had begun being taught in some parts of India in the early 19th century, I think first began by some missionaries at the CMS college in Kerala. Some of those old colleges are still extant, some portions of their buildings are still extant. So that's very interesting. And then, Hindu College in Calcutta, established 1817, began teaching in English to some elite Indians who felt that if they acquired some English, they would be eligible for jobs with the East India Company and English administration.

Poonam: And, from then on, Shakespeare was part of the curriculum and, very interestingly, in Hindu College also, you read about elocution contests and declamation contests. So it wasn't only just reading Shakespeare from the bridge, but learning to recite and elocute him too.

Poonam: So the performative dimension was always there, I think, in the beginning and in the teaching of Shakespeare. However, all this constituted the beginnings of the academic stream, which developed very much, very like the academic streams in UK. And, and as we know, the academic study of Shakespeare has developed very closely linked with the text and all the criticism that has evolved is also close reading and textual analysis, et cetera.

Poonam: But then, as I said, in response to your earlier question, the English staging practice so impacted Indians that, they absorbed not only the practice, but then, there's need for new plays to be created for that stage and Shakespeare in translation started appearing. The very first translations in Bengali appear in 1852. We also have evidence of the performance of The Taming of the Shrew in Gujarati, in Surat, and Surat is the place where the first trading establishment started in India. So, you can see the influences. And such performances became very popular. And then you have the development of the Parsi Theatre in Bombay, which is a new kind of modern Indian theatre, which performed on the proscenium stages, and which incorporated many of the features of Victorian staging practice, you know, melodrama, music, spectacular effects, lights, and so forth.

Poonam: And we know that about 25 Shakespeare plays, were adapted broadly in Urdu and in Gujarati, then later on in Hindi also. And they became immensely popular, and Parsi theatre would tour around all over the country and even went to Sri Lanka and to Burma and perhaps to Indonesia, and it was immensely influential and popular. So that was the popular stream. 

Poonam: And they coexisted side by side. And what is fascinating is that this popular stream from about 1860 onwards, you know, it peaked around 1900s, the period when there was very aggressive promulgation of English, English studies, by the colonial establishment. So in a way, the popular Shakespeare was upstaging the political intent of the empire. 

Varsha: Love that story. 

Poonam: And then there was the freedom struggle, during the freedom struggle, say from 1920 to 1940s, the number of translations, and even productions, of Shakespeare in Indian languages declined. So there has always been this kind of political angle. 

Poonam: Then, of course, post-independence and in post-colonial times people have been much freer to experiment with Shakespeare and not just translate, but adapt his plays and what we call mash them up, and have fun with them.

Poonam: And now, even the, perhaps the post-colonial impetus to, in a way, write back to Shakespeare, has shifted to this kind of globalised Shakespeare freedoms. People are experimenting with Shakespeare. And also the discipline of English studies and Shakespeare studies has also seen a shift more towards performance studies in Shakespeare and then film and Shakespeare. 

Varsha: Talking of popular film Shakespeare, one of my early encounters with Shakespeare has been through Bollywood film. So, I want to now turn to one of your very influential articles, ‘“Filmi” Shakespeare’, which opens by talking about a moment in an Indian film which quotes Shakespeare, even though the film was not a Shakespeare adaptation per se. So do such instances then indicate that Shakespeare has now been fully absorbed into Indian popular culture? 

Poonam: Oh yes, there's this fascinating story of Sambasivam, who was a Malayali artist and who translated Shakespeare's plays, particularly Othello and Romeo and Juliet, and he performed them in what is called Kathaprasangam.

Poonam: That is a storytelling act with some basic music. And these became immensely popular all over Kerala, and then, there is a Malayali diaspora in the Middle East, he would take his act there. So there is that popular culture.

Poonam: There is a film called When Hamlet Went to Mizoram, which gives you this fascinating incident of the director coming across, audio cassettes in the marketplace, playing out Hamlet speeches in translation, and people are just listening to these.

Poonam: He has a clip in the film of young teenagers, listening to this audio recording, and then repeating and reciting Hamlet, in Mizo language. Wish my students would recite Hamlet just like that.

Poonam: And of course, I mean, you have Shakespeare coming up all the time. In fact, just about, 10 days ago when England lost very badly one match in this World Cup series that is currently going on, the Indian Express editorial headline was ‘Out, Out, Brief Candle’. 

Varsha: This is fantastic. I hope that people who are listening in England enjoy that as much as we have enjoyed the headline. 

Varsha: We have been talking so much about Shakespeare in India, so India definitely talks about Shakespeare, but Shakespeare mentions India in A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which there is an Indian boy. Might you tell us about India's approach to this play?

Poonam: Yes. There have been a number of outstanding productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The most provocative production of A Midsummer Night's Dream by Chetan Datar. Unfortunately, he was a young, director, very promising, who passed away far too early and Chetan Datar produced a production called Jangal Mein Mangal, and this is in Marathi and which was very post-colonial and it, in fact, the Indian boy, he called it, you know, Bushbaal.

Poonam: He is a boy from America and he was dressed like an American and he behaved like a sort of a great spoilt brat and the whole use of the Indian boy, in there it's seen as, the plum American prize that Oberon and Titania are fighting over. He's called Bushbaal and there were some other satirical inputs into that, the flower in idleness is called ‘deflower’ and it grows in in Princess Diana's garden and things like that. And also female actors performed all the male roles and male actors performed the female role.

Poonam: So then it gave very interesting resonances and reformations of sexual identities. Another very well-known production was Habib Tanvir, he called it Kamdev ka Apna, Basant Ritu ka Sapna. That really interpreted the play as an interaction between urban people and forest dwellers.

Poonam: And since Habib Tanvir had a repertory company of these performers from Chhattisgarh, who are not really middle class, actors, it worked very well. Of course, he edited the play and it was largely focused on the mechanicals and the fairies and Titania and Oberon’s story, but not the lovers so much.

Poonam: But it had a lot of music and dance and he built it around, you know, the denizens of the forest and how they affect others. He began the play, very interestingly, a snake charmer coming in and playing the snake charmer's flute in the beginning. And that really created a such a wonderful mood and ambience that everybody got sucked into the world of the forest, and its sort of creatures.

Poonam: And another very well known production was by Maharishi for the National School of Drama, which was based on a translation by Raghuvir Sahay called Bagro Basant Hai – the Madness of Spring – and that focused on the capriciousness of love, as it were. It did not really have any kind of very obvious political resonances, except for the fact that Hippolyta was dressed as a tribal woman with, you know, these big, bangles and, you know, her face, her costume, and Theseus was a Rajput king, and of course we know that traditionally for centuries there was a conflict between the Rajputs and the tribals in Rajasthan.

Poonam: And of course, then there has been this one film, based on A Midsummer Night's Dream, 10ml Love, for which you wrote a very good essay. And as you pointed out very clearly, it very pointedly explored all the class differentials in the play, which many other productions don't really pick up. And so money, as it were, conditions love, which is there in the late comedies of Shakespeare, but not this much. So these have been the sort of major Midsummer Night's Dream productions.

Varsha: Yeah, I'm obsessed with this play, so this is so interesting to me. I also really enjoy the Bushbaal substitution. I think it works really well. If you put the play in India, you really want to have a child, which is a foreigner, being contested between the two, so I really enjoyed that. In 2019, you co-edited another groundling collection, Shakespeare and Indian Cinemas. And that has been a game changer in the field. So what were your main goals while you were putting the book together? And then what did you learn from editing that collection?

Poonam: Yes, that was quite a challenge. It took a number of years to put together. Because the main goal was to explore the field and see how far we could get. And also, move the study of Shakespeare film from Bollywood to the rest of India. 

Poonam: And, you know, there are about 14, 15, Indian language cinemas all over the country who have produced Shakespeare films. So this was very important and we were very pleased to find contributors from all these different languages who were able to research their own constituencies and bring to fore many films that so many of us had not even heard of.

Poonam: And write on them very creatively. We were pleased that we were able to establish a kind of archive of the Indian Shakespeare film. The book is a result of lots of people's research. You also have a great essay in that, I think it's one of the first essays on the Indian indie film and Shakespeare. And then, we were able to locate and put down a filmography and, about 140 films at that time which are either direct adaptations or have scenes from Shakespeare. We stopped recording them in 2018, and after that there have been many more.

Poonam:  So I think this is just the beginning. Because the film industry is huge and very prolific. We produce something like 2, 000 films a year. It's almost impossible to track all of those. So there's plenty to do for Shakespeare scholars. 

Varsha: Indeed. And what that does for scholars who are following is not only get their hands in this archive and explore, but also establish India as a main player in Shakespeare and film that people might not have known of. They might know a handful of films from before and from Bollywood, but it really establishes that there is a long tradition and a long expertise of Shakespeare and Indian films.

Poonam: I think one very important thing that we discovered, yes, I forgot, I should have mentioned that right in the beginning, that we were able to recover evidence of the very first film, which is from 1923. A silent film, you know, which is a version of Cymbeline, Champraj Hado. So, you know, it's a hundred years of the Shakespeare film from India.

Varsha: That's what I want to be celebrating in otherwise ‘First Folio’ year. I want to talk about your essay in that collection, titled ‘Woman as Avenger’, in which you discuss women characters in Vishal Bhardwaj's Bollywood Shakespeare trilogy of Maqbool, which is Macbeth; Omkara, which is Othello; and Haider, which is Hamlet. So could you say a bit more about women characters?

Poonam: Bhardwaj's films remain true to the essence, but the changes that he makes, and fills in the gaps, as it were, do not shift them out of the Shakespearean ambience. And all his female characters are linked with violence. He shows them playing around with guns, et cetera. All three of them have greater agency. And then, they are the ones who, bring about the resolutions of the tragedies. But of course, then he changes the tragic endings subtly. 

Poonam: In Omkara, Othello murders Dolly – Desdemona – who he is actually totally besotted with, and Emilia, she's so enraged that she picks up a sickle and slashes her husband's neck, like a kind of Kali figure, slaying of the demon, as it were. And when you read Shakespeare's Othello, you always feel that Iago has got off lightly. He's just taken away prisoner, but there is a change here that, she becomes the instrument of that kind of moral justice. 

Poonam: And then in Haider, of course, Bhardwaj really amplifies Gertrude’s role and Ghazala in fact becomes a central figure because of the superb performance by this actor, she tends to run away with the film.

Poonam: And in the end she becomes a kind of suicide bomber. But not before she has been able to persuade her son, young Hamlet, to give up the idea of revenge. 

Poonam: As a message, I think, it is an important message to the nation also, that violence will only beget violence. It has to stop. There has to be forgiveness. So, Bhardwaj's trilogy is very subtly structured, and he gives all these political messages through the women.

Varsha: Absolutely. My class was watching Omkara yesterday and one of the things that they were most struck by, they were cheering Emilia on as she comes and takes revenge. And Kendall & Casey, who are producers here, I remember that they were sat in the front and they were jumping from their seats and sort of cheering Emilia on.

Poonam: Yes, you see, he, in a way, naturalises the idea of revenge because, you know, as, moral justice.

Varsha: But I think as I get older, I am veering more towards Gertrude and especially Tabu's performance where when she looks at the camera, you can see things she's thinking and so on. It is so beautiful.

Varsha: And also as I get older, I have to say I'm veering more towards the idea of, revenge will only beget revenge. So for me, that was much more satisfying as an ending, to be told that. 

Poonam: Yes. You know, I mean, that's a message for today too. 

Varsha: Yes, that's it. That's it. 

Varsha: So in the recent collection of essays, Recontextualizing Indian Shakespeare Cinema in the West, for which you kindly provided the Foreword, my co-editor and I fiercely argued that it is useful for scholars in the West to pay attention to Indian Shakespeare cinema. And we gave our own reasons for why this is vital.

Varsha: But according to you, what might Shakespeare scholars all over the world gain from studying Indian Shakespeares? 

Poonam: The gains of studying Indian Shakespeares are perhaps the same as the enthusiasm that accompanied Dennis Kennedy’s book on foreign Shakespeares, which was an opening out of the canon and moving it from its kind of narrow parochial confines of Anglo-America, where it was very much based on text criticism and scholarship.

Poonam: Dennis Kennedy's book also was looking at adaptations, European mostly. He mentions just one or two Japanese . He does not mention any Indian productions. But that was really welcomed, so similarly Indian Shakespeare is kind of opening up. There was also a moment, I think, when, Asian productions of Shakespeare, particularly Japanese, Chinese productions, Korean, you know, which were able to travel, created a lot of interest and a great critical buzz, and critics noticed the different modes of performance, the translations, provided new interpretations, almost, of the plays.

Poonam: I thought it was very interesting, that your book, this collection of essays, foregrounds this challenge of reading foreign Shakespeares, because as opposed to the European productions, Indian productions are at another remove, as it were, for the Anglo American, say, academic reading public. And perhaps there is a need to explain things or provide inputs of history and culture for people. 

Poonam: And it's quite interesting that this debate as to ‘why read Indian Shakespeare?’ is an index, perhaps, of the success of the scholarship and promotion of Indian Shakespeare and particularly through film, that people feel the need to understand these very foreign Shakespeares. Also that is important, accepting that Shakespeare speaks to so many nations in so many different voices, and in very legitimate ways, and that, you know, there is no stopping people from picking up Shakespeare and doing what they like with it. 

Poonam: But also, all this study of foreign Shakespeare is not only for the West, because we have so many Indian languages and productions come from so many different points of view that we, you know, in India, too also need the scholarship and explanation.

Poonam: I mean, for example, there's a film, like We Too Have Our Othellos, an Assamiya film. It's a very political film. But then to understand that you need to know the background, all the insurgency movements, in Assam and in the Northeast. So even we in India need the teachers and need the scholars to understand our own work.

Varsha: And talking about a different axis of understanding, right, like talking about the fact that even Indians need to study India, so I want to turn to your 2010 co-edited collection Re-playing Shakespeare in Asia.

Varsha: This collection takes a pan Asian approach to Shakespeare productions. So could you tell us a bit more about this collection and the advantages of looking at Asian Shakespeares together as a group. 

Poonam: This collection was looking at mostly Shakespeare done in traditional theatre forms. And if you look at countries from Asia, you find lots of overlap. Because these are sort of older cultures who had their own performance trajectories. And there are many similarities, so I learned a lot, doing this book and particularly one found that Re-playing Shakespeare in Asia helped us to see how colonialism, contact with the West, instigated a different kind of thinking about performance, performative roles, you know, scripted drama,  and how then people used it for political purposes, and that how there was not only English colonialism.

Poonam: There are other kinds of colonialisms that people in Asia suffer. For example, Japan colonised parts of China, and Taiwan, there was colonialism in Philippines also, and a different kind of colonialism in Indonesia. So you have shifting contacts with foreign powers, which, in a way, oppress, but also create different interests and avenues in culture, and differences of thinking. So, you know, I think that was, I think, the biggest gain from looking at Shakespeare in Asia, in a comparative and relational manner.

Varsha: We have now been talking about lots of developments in the future, you know, looking at archives again, looking at our own histories again, thinking about a different axis while grouping these foreign Shakespeares together.

Varsha: So finally, I want to ask you what developments would you like to see in the future study of Indian Shakespeares or even global Shakespeares?

Poonam: Well, I hope we will come to a time where people do not see Shakespeare as attached only to one language or one culture, where we don't have to feel apologetic, and I hope he remains available to everyone.  

Varsha: Poonam, this has been so enjoyable, and we definitely will keep your words in mind as we do our future teaching and learning. And as usual, you have taught me a lot and I was rapt in whatever you were saying. Thank you so much. 

Poonam: Well, thank you very much. It's been a pleasure for me talking with you. I mean, one can go on. We can go on for another hour.


Poonam: And there's so much. But no, we mustn't try people's patience. 

Varsha: That was Poonam Trivedi talking about Shakespeare in India in classrooms, on streets, in the theatre and on screen. I hope you enjoyed the first episode of our new series and are celebrating Shakespeare and our birthday with some Indian sweets and samosas. So, dear listeners, adieu, adieu, adieu, but remember to tune in to Women & Shakespeare, streaming at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and numerous other platforms. If you want to listen to the podcast with a full transcript, head over to our website, www.womenandshakespeare.com. Until then, keep smashing the patriarchy.