Harvest is a play written by Manjula Padmanabhan focussing geographically on Mumbai, India. We see the character Om, signing up as a organ donor for Ginni who is an American woman simply because there is no more jobs in India. Ginni pays him to lead and live a healthy life, so when it is time for doning an organ, there is no difficulty or problem in doing so. This play feels nice in the beginning because it seems as after signing up as organ donor, leading a happy and healthy life is guranteed and certained, but what lies underneath is when Om and his small family starts to enjoy their new lifestyles, they also start to deny the consequences.
This play reminds me to Brothel #9 mainly because it is takes place in India, although this time it is Mumbai and not Calcutta. This play also has a prostitute and revolves around poor finanical situations resorting to doing very unfortunate jobs to keep their funds up. We see the family go through wonderful meals which can seem as space age because the family is taking off at the beginning of the play with good promise. But as the play furthers itself, we see the promise becoming dark and uneasy.
By seeing the financial situations of Om and his wife Jaya, we can appreciate money as a neccessity to life. In this play, we see Om pretty much selling his life in order to obtain the top dollar for this family, well at least in India it was considered top dollar. Jaya was evidently distressed about Om’s decision on signing himself to Ginni, because the family is already on an off and on troubled relationship because Jaya is having a secret realtionship with Om’s younger brother Jeetu. Jeetu works as the prositute mentioned earlier, Ma is Om’s mother who also lives in the house who favors Om more so then the others.
Work itself is not even hard either. For the family, Ginni operates their services by dictating to Interplanta, which is the company that supplies them with food and services such as a toilet and shower that Om and his family received as newly rich people. This obviously made a foreshadow of his death. Personally, I wanted to just skip right to the point where Om was going to die because it was so clear that if he wasn’t going to die…then this play would be more interesting. I believe that this simplicity had been effective because it relates to this week’s theme of ‘problem with food.’
Om’s new life with his family often surrounded around the luxery of food and the shelter with services they are not used to. The problem with this, is that we as people simply take food and shelter for granted. I do not remember how many numerous times I have complained about how hungry I am or if my sister had used all the hot water in the shower, but as another dystopian play, Harvest showcases the morality and ethical views of our society in my opinion. As a result, Om’s carelessness left his family in turmoil. But…but but but…the tables had turned when Jeetu has gotten sick. This is the point where I was like..wait wait..hold on…oh shit, so that means Om is probably going to donate his organs to Jeetu but he can’t because he had signed to Ginni. We see Jeetu been taking away from the picture as well as the Donor and Jaya is left alone to fend for herself.
In the end, it is evident that the body serves as the major theme. Manjula did a great job on portraying the body’s importance to our society as well as in this play. What I believe was effective is how easy Om was able to sign to Ginni because it shows how uncaring and what his body means to him, in order to get the riches. Kinda makes sense now why the title is Harvest, because our body is like food, we can harvest it whenever in cases we need it as Ginni had portrayed it in this play.