Seven Steps Around the Fire deals with the inbuilt illusion of the characters who want to obtain positive response of every action of theirs. The seven steps around the fire is a story about Kamala, a Kinner who is brutally murdered for taking seven steps around the fire.
SEVEN STEPS AROUND THE FIRE BY MAHESH DATTANI
SEVEN STEPS AROUND THE FIRE SUMMARY
Seven steps around the fire was a stage play which was first broadcast as seven steps around the fire by BBC Radio on 4th and 9th January 1999. The Play was first execute on the stage at the Museum Theatre, Chennai By MTC Production & The Madras Player on 6 August 1999. The story explores the taboos of Eunuch community in our society.
CHARACTERS IN PLAY
Champa : Leader of Eunuch community.
Anarkali : A Eunuch who is accused in murder of Kamala.
Kamala : A good looking Eunuch who gets brutally murdered in mysterious circumstances.
Uma Rao : A professor of Sociology at University in Bangalore and wife of Suresh Rao, a Superintendent of police.
Suresh Rao : Chief Superintendent of Police and husband to Uma Rao.
Munaswamy : A constable who helps Uma Rao in Kamala’s murder case study.
Subbu : Husband of Kamala
Mr. Sharma : Chief minister and Father of Subbu
Salim : A bodyguard of Mr. Sharma
Summary of Play
The Story of play centres around a major character named Kamala, a very beautiful eunuch who was brutally murdered in her own marriage. No one knows who does that, but police officer starts blaming Anarkali for the murder of Kamala and put her in prison. There comes second major character named Uma Rao, a woman who is doing some kind of research on Eunuch, goes in prison to meet Anarkali. Even though her husband, Suresh has already informed her that all Eunuch are liar, and they always tell false stories.
She asks her about the murder of Kamala, Anarkali tells her that she does not kill Kamala because she was like a younger sister to her. The police officer starts beating Anarkali as she was denying Kamala’s murder, out of pain Anarkali started crying, and Uma ends up leaving police station.
Afterwards, Uma goes again in prison to meet Anarkali, Anarkali requests for money from Uma to release from prison otherwise she will die in prison. Uma asks her about the real culprit behind Kamala’s murder, she tells her that people who have killed Kamala are very powerful, and we can’t do anything against them. She added even if I tell you about real culprit behind Kamala’s murder, you cannot do anything against as they are very powerful, powerful than your husband, Suresh, who is superintendent of police.
Uma decides to help Anarkali, and she borrows 20 thousand rupees from her father for the bail of Anarkali from prison. But before going to Anarkali, she goes in Champa’s house, a leader of all Eunuch community. Champa tells her that Anarkali has not killed Kamala as they were like a sister. When Uma was talking with Champa, Salim comes in their room and started yelling at Champa for the photographs but when he saw Uma on room, he leaves. Uma asks her about the relation of Salim with Kamala, she refused to talk about Salim but when Uma refuses to give money, she ends up telling her everything about Salim.
Uma has doubt on Salim and Champa, she decides to gather more information about them, she goes in Mr. Sharma’s house to learn more about Salim. Mr. Sharma tells her that he has a doubt on Anarkali and Champa, they might have given money to Salim for the killing of Kamala.
At the mean time Mr Sharma’s son Subbu comes in and request Uma not to take any action against Salim as he is a good person. Uma congratulate Subbu for his wedding but Subbu tells her that he is not happy with his marriage. Mr Sharma invites Uma on his son’s wedding. When Uma heard about the release of Anarkali from prison she decides to meet her one more time. They had a conversation and Uma invites Champa and Anarkali to Subbu’s wedding.
Uma and Suresh goes in Subbu’s wedding, while they were celebrating, one constable informs her about the appearance of Champa and Anarkarli, and on Uma’s request Mr. Sharma allowed them to join the party. When everyone was enjoying the party, Subbu’s saw a photo of Kamala and snatches a pistol of Suresh. He told everyone that he can’t live without her love, Kamala and blame his father for the murder of his lovely wife Kamala. Mr. Sharma apologies to him for his mistake but suddenly Subbu shot himself.
Uma understand everything actually the reason why Mr Sharma killed Kamala is because he don’t want an Eunuch as his daughter in law. Anarkali and Champa both knew who was behind the killing of Kamala but they didn’t tell anyone as they knew it very well that they have to face more suffering in that case. After the death of Subbu, the police doesn’t arrest anyone. Subbu’s suicide was consider as an accident and photographs of Subbu and Kamala were destroyed and nothing happened to the powerful culprit.
Throughout the play Dattani is trying to show us many issues like how people misbehave with Eunuch without any reason and police as puppets in hand of powerful ministers etc.