Ke ?

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The Play

Dr. Sunil Sen. has a tiff with his wife Kurchi, following which he comes to stay at his sister Bula’s and brother-in-law, Arun’s farm house. Manoj, a successful businessman, is Kurchi’s lover. One fine morning, a stranger, Srikanta Gupta, comes to meet Sunil and informs him that his wife, Lily who is Sunil’s patient, has committed suicide that morning. The reason behind the suicide is Lily’s alleged affair with Sunil and her pregnancy. Srikanta threatens Sunil with murder. Sunil, in self defense, approaches his college pal, Rabi, a high rank police officer. But Srikanta is violent with Rabi as well and injures him. Left with no choice, both Rabi and Sunil approach a private detective, Chatak Chattaraj, on Arun’s advice. Can Chatak Chattaraj solve the mystery?

Director’s Note

Ke? (Who?)  apparently conveys the sense of a thriller, but at its core is a blend of complex human relations, empowerment of women, and the modern day stagnancy of the institution of marriage. The soul of the play carries a delicate hint that helplessness arising from individual vulnerability adds to the philosophical belief of life, more than human vaunting. Every space in this production penetrates the other. The office enters the house, the coffee shop makes way into the office, the doctor’s chamber breaks out of the coffee shop – each intertwined with the other, expanding into the entire city and society in the end. Casting of light is meant not merely to represent illumination or darkness, but to signify a process of psychological continuum. In this production, the transition from one scene to the next never occurs in darkness; rather the accompanying music portrays a world proportional to the light, entwining the conscious with the sub-conscious. While a prototype of music and light has been used to illustrate the consciousness of the mind, another pattern is used to depict its sub-consciousness. The association of cricket comes as a requisition in the play. Costumes and make up represent two different colors and mental states. Finally, is ‘Ke? (Who?) about analyzing the registers of life, unconsciousness, cricket, and society, placing them all on the same premise?

 The Playwright & Director 

Bratya Basu is an accomplished theatre artist, playwright, actor and director. His noted plays include Aranyadeb, Shahar Yaar, Virus-M, Winkle-Twinkle, 17th July, Ruddhasangeet, Chatushkon etc. His plays have been staged by various and renowned groups and directors. He has directed three films viz. Raasta, Teesta and Tara and has acted in many films including, Kaalbela, Icchey, Sthaniyo Sambad etc. Basu has bagged many awards and recognitions such as Shyamal Sen Memorial Award, Dishari Award, and Satyen Mitra Award.

Bratya Basu, currently Hon’ble Cabinet Minister and in charge of the Ministry of Tourism for the state of West Bengal, formed his own theatre group Bratyajon in 2008. His recent plays Cinemar Moto and Ke? are milestones in Bengali Theatre.

 The Group

‘Bratyajon’ is the brainchild of ace playwright and actor-director Bratya Basu. The group’s productions have been influenced by the learning, motivation, inspiration and experiences of the renowned playwright and theatre artist himself. Some of the important productions of Bratyajon are Ruddhasangeet, Canvasser, Byomkesh, Chiro Kumar Sobha, Cinemar Moto and Ke?. An important activity of the group is to organize an annual theatre festival, Bratyajon Natya Aayojan. Bratyajon confers Bishnu Basu Smriti Puroskar in the loving memory of the late Bishnu Basu and also organizes Bishnu Basu Memorial Lectures.

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is Currently a Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he teaches are: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD 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: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in & www.stagebuzz.info 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 is 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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