Journal of Vaishnava Studies



How to Cite

Paula Richman. (2022). Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 12(2), 189–200. Retrieved from (Original work published May 11, 2022)


For centuries Westerners have likened the South Asian Ramayana to the ancient Greek epics. In this paper, I will explore what the comparison really means for people of South Asian descent—particularly one dramatic approach found in the United Kingdom today. Jatinder Verma, founder and director of the Tara Arts theatre company, pondered the question while collecting autobiographical accounts of journeys that South Asian migrants made to Britain. His response was 2001: A Ramayan Odyssey [henceforth Ramayan Odyssey]. Its first act selectively recounts Odysseus’ journey by sea, its second act Rama’s journey on land. The play, however, does more than just juxtapose the travels of the two men. Rama remains on stage watching act one, and at times urges Odysseus to consider his motives more critically, while during act two Odysseus observes the events in Rama’s story and periodically interrupts to challenge Rama’s actions. At the beginning of the twenty-first millennium, as communities move from one part of the globe to another, the play presents journeys as relational events.

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