Badal Sircar’s PAGLA GHODA Director: Bipin Kumar


Playwright: Badal Sircar

Translator: Pratibha Agarwal

Director: Bipin Kumar

Group: Yuva Rangmanch, Ranchi

Language: Hindi

Duration: 1 hr 45 mins

The Play

The play is woven around the simple promise of four men, from different walks of life, chatting at the funeral of a young woman. The play is set in a Shamshaan Ghat (Cremation ground) where the girl’s dead body is being exhumed on the funeral pyre while the four men, drink and play cards. A mystery shrouds her death but, when they try to examine the reason/truth behind her death, skeletons from their past start falling on them. Unraveling the deep secrets of their – external and internal worlds. The woman’s specter haunts, staring down on the four, compellingly to encounter their lost, love and guilt, while revealing her lifelong longing for true love.

The Director

An Alumnus of National School of Drama, Bipin Kumar has directed approximately 30 plays in various Indian languages with theatre groups & corporate sectors in India. He was conferred with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Direction in 2018. Formed Kshitij Theatre Group (1988) in Delhi, and has been associated with it since then. He is a visiting faculty member of drama departments at Ranchi and Gwalior University. Co-produced feature film Kaala Heera for Zee channel, on Chasnala coal mine disaster; a comedy serial of 13 episodes name Gadbad Ghotala for Doordarshan. Currently he is deputed as zonal director of the National School of Drama’s Sikkim Theatre Training Centre, Gangtok, Sikkim.

The Playwright

Badal Sircar (15 July, 1925–13 May, 2011), was an extremely influential Indian dramatist and theatre director, most known for his anti-establishment plays during the Naxalite movement in the 1970s. He was responsible for taking theatre out of the proscenium and into the public arena, when he founded his own theatre company, Shatabdi in 1976. He was a pioneering figure in street theatre as well as in experimental and contemporary Bengali theatre with his egalitarian ‘Third Theatre’, and continues to be one of the most translated Indian playwrights. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1968 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour in the performing arts by government of India, in 1997. He was proffered with the Padma Bhushan by the government of India, in 2010.

The Group

With some young artists trained in NSD workshop held in B.I.T. Mesra Ranchi in 1981 along with some unemployed youth, hailing from tribal and backward areas and some engineers, journalists, teachers, students and industrial workers, Ajai Malkani, Avinash Singh, Bipin Kumar founded the Yuva Rangmanch, with an aim to motivate common people through theatre and other cultural activities, for their active participation in bringing about a change for the betterment of society.  The group has organized 50 workshops in the tribal region and has trained about 1000 budding talents and has successfully given a scientific direction to the theatre movement in Jharkhand by staging 500 shows of almost 50 plays inspiring both rural and urban youth. With its founder director, Ajai Malkani the group members are theatre professionals from NSD, BNA Lucknow and Department of Indian Theatre, Punjab University.

Cast & Credits

Kartik: Ajai Malkani

Sattu: Pulkit Raj

Shashi: Shankar Pathak

Himadri: Pawan Kumar/ Ajay Kumar

Ladki: Kumari Pooja

Malti: Sikha Swaroop

Mili: Meera Singh

Lakshmi: Neha Prasad/ Puja Kumari

Stage Manager: Abhiraj Kumar

Set design assistant &Light Design: Chakra Bahdur Chetrri

Set Execution: Tashi Lepcha, Munna Lohar

Properties: Munna Lohar, Pawan Kumar

Music (Score): Abhiraj Kumar

Assistant Director, Costume & Choreography: Gargi Malkani

Production Coordinator: Purnashish Ghosh

Playwright: Badal Sircar

Hindi Translation: Pratibha Agrawal

Design & Direction: Bipin Kumar

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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