Dwija Kanai’s MOIMONSINGHA GEETIKA Director: Goutam Halder


Story: Dwija Kanai
Director: Goutam Halder
Group: Naye Natua, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 2 hrs 20 mins

The Play
The ballads of Moimonsingha Geetika belong to a matriarchal society. Some of the characteristics of the matriarchal society are – choosing a husband, freedom of love, and marrying in old age. Love in this society is like a divine wild flower which the vices of city life cannot destroy. In this society, selecting one’s partner is valued over marriage. This folk literature is like the history of mankind. According to Dinesh Chandra Sen, a schedule caste brahmin Dwija Kanai created these ballads, now known as Moimonsingha Geetika. The ballad starts with a beautiful secular form. Far in the north is Gara Mountain. There lives a Brahmin with his six-month old daughter. The leader of a gypsy group Hoomra steals (kidnaps) the beautiful child one night. When the girl turns sixteen she falls in love with the prince Nader Chand. Hoomra does not like this love affair and ordered Mahua to kill Nader Chand. But Mahua kills herself instead of killing her husband. Afterwards the Gypsy Group killed Nader Chand. In Bengals folk literature Mahua (A ballad of Moimonsingha Geetika) has been representing womanhood of our society.

Director’s Note
While reading Moimonsingha Geetika, the ballad of Mohua and Nader Chand had inspired me. We have performed many serious, political and social plays dealing with complex problems of existence. The ballad of Moimonsingha Geetika explores Love, along with the complexities, that mankind can treasure. This story speaks of ideals, norms and ethics of the society, the status difference and its effects on human relationships.

The Director
President and founder member of theatre troupe Naye Natua, Goutam Halder was awarded State Award of Best Production for Meghnad Badh Kabya, State Award as Best Director for Chile Kothar Sepai, and Aditya Vikram Birla Kala Kiran Award. He has directed and acted in many plays for Nandikar, Naye Natua and other theatre troupes of Kolkata. He is trained in Kathak, Bharat Natyam & Classical Vocal Music, and is an actor – trainer in various institutions in India and abroad.

The Playwright
Dwija Kanai wrote and sang Bengali folk ballads of Moimonsingha around 350 years back. He belonged to the scheduled caste, but his works influenced the people of the society and they upgraded his status to that of a brahmin. There were times when these songs of Mohua were sung by everyone in east Moimonsingha in the undivided Bengal. It was the initiative of Sir Ashutosh Mukhopadhyay and the University of Bengal which officially appointed Chandra Kumar Dey to collect the ballads of Dwija Kanai. Sri Dinesh Chandra Sen collected these songs from Chandra Kumar Dey in 1921 and later published them as a book Moimonsingha Geetika.

The Group
Naye Natua, a theatre troupe of Kolkata, has around 40 young talented actors, dancers and musicians, including casual and regular artists who are working tirelessly throughout the year. The group has performed in USA (New Jersey, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Diego, Kansas, Nashville, Washington etc.), Canada (Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary – Alberta), Oman (Muscat), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Kuwait, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Assam, Kolkata, West Bengal and many other places.

Cast & Credits
On Stage: Goutam Halder, Dyuti Ghosh Halder, Santanu Ghosh, Parthib Roy,Tamsuk Routh, Pronay Biswas, Tanmoy Maji, Alamin Amin, Mousumi Ghatak, Teesta Mondal, Swati Dasgupta, Sanghita Dutta Chakraborty, Swaralipi Chakraborty, Sujana Sikdar

Music Associates: Satyajit Chowdhury, Nilansuk Datta, Probir Das, Niraj Mondal, Joydeep Biswas
Costume: Dyuti Ghosh Halder
Light Operation: Debashish Chakraborty
Associates: Chandan Mitra, Bhola Chatterjee
Make-up: Samir Ghosh
Backstage & Technical Management (Sound): Soumitra Bhandari

Story: Dwija Kanai (Moimonsingha Geetika)
Dramatization, Music, Choreography, Set, Light & Direction: Goutam Halder

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: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in 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.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *