Ashok Ki Chinta by Dr. Vinaye Goodary

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The Play & Director’s Note
The journey for Ashok Ki Chinta started when I was thinking about my new Hindi play for 2017. Iasked Dr. Vinaye to write something for me. He showed me the script of Ashok ki Chinta. The play is  the journey of Samrat Ashok, the great emperor, conveying the contemporary issues like war, oppression and misuse of power. Ashok has been portrayed as not only the one who rules the state but also, as one who tries his best to keep the power in his hands. Three specific situations, that are contemporary to Mauritius, have been retained in this play – war and terrorism, conquering world- market through money and power, and marginalization of the Diego Garcia people by uprooting them to Mauritius. Having won various wars, Ashok starts realizing his ultimate goal towards life – his love for simplicity and Nature. Ultimately, after winning the Kalinga war, Ashok’s heart is truly transformed by grief and love and he becomes the proponent of humanity by adopting the path of Buddhism.

The Director
Rajeshwar Seetohul won his first award as Best Junior Actor in 2010 at the age of 14. He became the youngest actor ever who won the Best actor award at National level in Bhojpuri language at the age of 17, and Hindi language at the age of 18. He became the youngest Director in Mauritius. After that he won many awards for his performances. After winning three Best Actor awards at the National Level, he was offered his first play in Hindi for direction in 2015. That was his initiation into direction. He directed the play Shakuntala, authored by the greatest poet and dramatist Kālidāsa, and won the second-best director award. He is also a cinematographer and has made several short movies for social awareness and competitions organized by Mauritius film Development Corporation.

The Playwright
Dr Kumarduth Goodary (Vinaye) is presently Senior Lecturer at the School of Indian Studies withabout 17 years of experience in teaching and research at tertiary level. His interests vary from creative writing, leadership skills and motivational pedagogies to multi-disciplinary research. He is the presenter of Srijan-Your Rendez-vous with Culture, a talk show programme aired on MBC 1 TV weekly, since 2015 with some 60 interviews with scholars in Hindi. He has also acted in local serials and short films in Hindi, Creole, Bhojpuri, French and English. He has directed a short film Reperkision based on domestic violence. He wrote a film on mother's day named Merci which was
projected at Jaipur International Film Festival in which he played the lead role. He has been scriptwriting for numerous films and serials. Having authored Ashok ki Chinta, a contemporary play, he won the best local writer and best actor awards for the national drama competition. He has been awarded at several occasions for his contribution to Hindi in Mauritius.

The Group
The Vacoas Rang Bhoomi Kala Mandir (VRBKM) was founded in 1977 by Late Shri Gawkurrun Seetohul. VRBKM presents plays and films in English, Hindi, Bhojpuri, Urdu and Mauritian Creole (Local Language). In the Past 40 years, VRBKM has presented more than 150 one-act plays and 200 Radio Bhojpuri Jokes on the National Radio. Lately, VRBKM has been producing short films to create awareness on social issues.

Cast & Credits
Ashok : Goodary Kumarduth
Radhagupt : Seetohul Rajeshwar
Sushim/ Soldier : Mohundin Mounesh
Dancer/ Keem Loo/ Villager : Gunesh Girisha

Dancer/ Bankarm/ Chanda : Sooroop Sonam
Dancer/ Widow : Ghurbhurrun Joshita Devi
Village Child : Reetam Keshav
Buddha/Senapati : Seetohul Rajiv
Soldier/Buddha’s Disciple : Gooljar Shakshi
Light Designer : Dabydoyal Leenisha
Music / Sound Effect : Konnjah Yashveer
Stage Manager : Ramdeny Krishnanand Singh
Technical : Seerkissoon Rakesh, Sovida Sunkur
Head of Delegation : Rashid Neerooa

Playwright : Dr. Vinaye Goodary
Director : Rajeshwar Seetohul

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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