Soutan by Balwant Gargi


The Play
The play is about one of the many incidents that have happened in the life of Balwant Gargi. Soutan deals with the incestuous relationship between a mother, a son and a daughter, in the mud courtyard of a village. Two hags unfold the action with song and drum; a witch doctor questions and lashes the characters, aiming at healing them; in the end the mother possessed by the spirit, of the dead daughter, in a fit of hate, strangles the daughter in law. What follows is a macabre scene of incest.

Director’s note
The play is about a triangular relationship of a mother, her son and her daughter in law. It revolves around the themes of lust, sarcasm, atrocity and the struggle between financial and physical possession. The characters mentally disguise themselves and enact all the forbidden feelings realizations and try to find the reality of their incomplete desired dreams.

The Director
An alumnus from National School of Drama, Satwinder Singh has come a long way since the day he started his career in Punjab. He developed his interest in set designing at an early stage of his life. He has designed sets for productions like Daughter of the Bin, Kudesan, Baba Bantu, Damroo, Mando, Vadda Banda Chotta Banda. At NSD, he did back-stage work for many plays. Now he is working with his own Amritsar based theatre group, Artistically Busy Unit.

The Playwright
A renowned personality of Punjabi Literature, Balwant Gargi is known for his raw presentations. nspired from an incident that happened in his childhood, he started writing this play in 1964 and completed its first draft in 1970. The incident left him an everlasting impression on his mind and he couldn't resist but thinking about it and penned it down.

The Group
This play is being presented as part of National School of Drama’s Graduate Showcase (Class of 2017), which aims to provide a platform for emerging theatre practitioners, allowing them to share their work with a wide audience.

Cast & Credit
On Stage : Aamir, Brinda,Pallavi, Manohor, Swati, Niranjan, Gurleen, Priyanka, Lakshmi, Gaytri, Talwar, Anjali, Deputy, Prabhjot

Stage Manager : Gopi
Music : Ravi Nandan
Lights : Ujjwal
Design & Direction : Satwinder Singh (Sunny Masson)

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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