Gambhira-Gambhira by Parimal Tribedi


The Play

The play tells the story of Bhubhan, a Gambhira artist. Bhubhan believes that without truth, Gambhira is not possible. What we see today, Bhuvan says, is not the original Gambhira. It’s only a mike, a mike to announce various projects like sanitation, literacy, health etc. It has lost its voice. The vandana that they once sang to please lord Shiva is now sung to please the political leaders. The voice which once spoke against the social follies and foibles, now advertises different projects.

 Director’s Note

I was born and brought up in a village. In those days there was no television. Radio was the possession of only rich people. So we found our sources of entertainment only in Jatra, Alkap, Manosa Gan, Kirtan, Gambhira and other forms of folk theatre. Among these ‘Gambhira’ was the most powerful medium to depict the follies of the society of the time. It spoke the truth. It spoke for the common people. But now, days have changed. Entertainment has several fountainheads and in the crowd of media and hordes of TV channels the true ‘Gambhira’ is lost. I miss it. I miss its real flavor, its power to speak the truth.

As ‘Gambhira’ has its own distinct identity and it bears the folk identity of Malda district, it was difficult to give it a dramatic shape. I have gone through a lot of experiments and studies. Its language, tone, song, dance, body movement, costume, and theme – every part of it needed an in-depth attention. It was not an easy task to string all the parts into a single thread. We have to arrange workshops, seminar and several sessions of talks with the Gambhira artists to bring clarity on each part of Gambhira. The play took about eight months to get prepared. In these eight months we tasted the real flavor of Gambhira and earned a great experience.

 The Director & Playwright

Director, actor, playwright and founder of ‘Malda Malancha’, Parimal Tribedi is a well-known theatre personality in Bengali Theatre and is a Member of Paschimbanga Natya Akademy. For the last twenty one years he has been leading his present group ‘Malda Malancha’ in the mofussil district, Malda. In these years he has directed nearly fifty plays. He has written 15 plays which has been staged and highly acclaimed.

Some of the noted plays written by Parimal Tribedi are Gambhira GambhiraRanir Ghater BrittantoBhalo ManushRatanUdas PujaAsamayer Bhabna, Lotun Jevan, Swasti and Lajja. He has directed almost all these with his group.

 The Group

A group of young but competent theatre workers led by Sri Parimal Tribedi formed ‘Malda Malancha’ in 1993 to devote itself to the task of promoting the glorious tradition of experimental theatre movement. “Malancha” ventured to produce some significant modern plays, both original as well as in translations. “Malda Malancha” also organises theatre festivals every year and conducts seminars and theatre workshops.

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He was an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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