Playwright & Director: Nalini Nihar Nayak
Group: New Quest Repertory, Rourkela
Language: Odia
Duration: 1 hr 40 mins

The Play
The Bhakti Movement flourished in Eastern India, and the temples provided shelter to the destitute, abandoned children, widows and community dancers. The play talks of a modern day situation where, as time passes, darkness spreads on those glorious days. The priest, failing to receive patronage of the modern generation, is accused of inheriting temple property. The successor, a differently abled and abandoned child once picked up by the temple priest, shoulders the responsibility of the spiritual world. The spiritual world of women and the devadasi tradition are accused of prostitution. The last hope of the destitute suffers major losses in the claws of modernity. The prayers are often interrupted by DJ’s music that profoundly challenges the existence of traditional bhajans and dances. Threatened, abandoned and unprotected, the temple shrine suffers much on all fronts. It becomes a meeting places for junkies who steal temple ornaments for drugs and accuse the priest for the theft. A vicious plan to smuggle a two thousand year old Krishna idol is about to be executed by robbers when the differently abled priest self immolates himself along with the idol, destroying the attempt of plunderers, thereby offering the last ‘rite’ to the lord. The plot is centred on changes and transgressions of human attitude towards religious devotion, and how the new generation responds to devotion and spirituality.

Director’s Note
This widely acclaimed story by Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo was considered for production for its emotional and spiritual values, devotion to God, and of the laudable concept that in modern times too there exists spiritualism and devotion. The play blends folk dance, classical music, culture, rituals and customs of Odisha.

The Director & Playwright
Nalini Nihar Nayak is not only a well-known theatre director of Odia plays but also an actor, designer, and music composer. He earned his Masters and M.Phil in Drama (Direction) from Utkal University of Art and Culture. He is now pursuing Ph.D. in Analytical Practice with Classical Indian Theatre. He has also learnt Chhau dance in Mayurbhanj style. He has received prestigious awards like Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, Rajiv Gandhi Professional Award, National Youth Award, Konark Samman, Master of Odisha Award, Baisakhi National Excellency Award, Shrestha Natua Samman and more than 120 Government and Non-Government awards. He has acted in about 80 play and directed about 35 plays staged in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh etc. Nalini is serving as a student activity officer at National Institute of Technology, Rourkela and is striving hard to encourage the students towards art and culture.

The Group
New Quest Repertory made its debut in the year 2003 under the visionary leadership of Nalini Nihar Nayak, with the objective to train young artists in theatre and resurrect the dying art forms of Odisha. It has participated in the theatre festival organised by Odisha Sangeet Natak Academi, Yuva Pratibha Mahostav by Sangeet Natak Academi, New Delhi; Experimental theatre festivals by EZCC, Kolkata; National Youth Festival; Bharat Rang Mahotsav by NSD, National Theatre Festival by Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal; Konark festival and many more across the country, besides theatre festivals organised by government and non-government organisations.

Cast & Credits
On Stage: Niranjan Acharya, Pragyan Ranjan Khatua, Bhisma N arayan Swain, Dinesh Mohanty, Kishore Chandra Moharana, Manash Barik, Sagar Rout, Ashutosh Pati, Chinmaya Panda, Samir Patri, Sapan Routray, Abhijit Mishra,
Swagatika Mohanty, Sunayana Mishra, N. Sweeta, Monalisa Sahoo, Subrata Nayak, Debasmita Nayak, Rashmita Lakra
Music: Kailash Chandra Moharana
Sound: Jasobanta Narayan Ray
Make-up & Costume: Ashok Pattnayak
Set: Amit Meher
Team Manager: Swayam Sampurna

Story: Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo
Playwright, Design & Direction: Nalini Nihar Nayak

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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