Oakville: Dr. Kanu Bhatt is a relationship specialist, contributing his skills to harmony in both personal and professional space. But now this Oakville based veteran has turned into an author with a controversially titled play Gandhi in Jerusalem which will have its first reading on Feb 16 at 3.30 P.M. at the Oakville Public Library.
This fantasy play is scripted around the dream of peace on earth, initiated by Gandhi but finally led by Lilith, the legendry first wife of Adam and women of all communities jointly demanding ‘peace now’! The play has an intriguing title since Gandhi was assassinated some five decades ago, it is further puzzling that his assassin is in heaven at the behest of Gandhi! Narad, the villain of the play is another heavenly character – a wise, witty and equally wicked mischief monger, falling in love with a nun! Another unique feature is the Buddhist belief that any departed soul could visit the earth to serve the humanity.
The play has the fiery dialogue between Emile Zola accusing of Israeli Apartheid while the fierce Golda Myer shouts ‘Never Again’. The mission to Jerusalem includes Jewish scientist (Einstein), Islamic scholar (Mohammed Iqbal), Christian medical missionary (Schweitzer), and our own Trudeau! The all-male Mission is severely criticized by women in heaven as well as those on earth, apprehending the habitual masculine mess usually made, whether it is in the kitchen or in the public life. Yet, the play is serious without being stuffy, funny without being frivolous.
Dr. Bhatt explains the motivation behind the project, “The prime purpose of writing this play is to contribute my little mite to the noble philosophy of peace between different cultures and religions through the medium of drama for its built-in popular acceptance element of a heavy theme. It is scripted on the Buddhist belief that any resident of heaven could visit the earth to serve the humanity. On this premise Gandhi in heaven proposes a peace mission to Jerusalem to bring amity between the followers of Judaism, Islam, Christianity and emerging democratic element, particular the feminists.”
He had staged a play earlier in Ottawa called in Trouble in Heaven. “While I have been a practicing psychotherapist for the last forty years in Canada I have always been a closet playwright. It inspired me further to undertake an ambitious project requiring a lot of research and consultation.”