Main Article Content
Vijay Tendulkar's acclaimed work 'Sakaram Binder'- published in 1972 and banned in 1974, is a controversial play even in contemporary context. Typical of Tendulkar's style the play unravels in layers providing contrasting and contradictory revelation of characters. The protagonist (as we initially assume Sakaram to be) is a lower middle class brahmin who ran away from home at the age of eleven to escape from his cruel father's beatings. Fed up of being at the receiving end of his father' s fault findings, young Sakaram is one among many Mumbai orphans who survive. His is not the rare rags to riches story but a mediocre street smart survivor who shrewdly manipulates social laws, ethics and charity to suit his needs. Though born in an upper caste family, Sakaram doesn't enjoy either education or money but makes a living as a book binder. The running away from home perhaps made this man averse to family bindings though he instructs his mistress to convert his house to a home. That can happen when there is a social and moral bonding between a man and a woman, which has not happened with the six women who lived and left on a contract basis. Sakaram brings abandoned women ( there have been six so far) to his tiny shelter on the street, instructs them on cooking, cleaning and satisfying him. They cannot interact with anyone and can leave whenever they feel like. The charity worker image which initially the reader assumes of Sakaram very soon erases as we witness an uncouth womaniser who can still contentiously proclaim of paying his dues to God.