Saptarshi Maulik’s PRITHIBI RAASTA SHABDO Director: Rudraprasad Sengupta

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Playwright: Saptarshi Maulik
Director: Rudraprasad Sengupta
Group: Nandikar, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 1 hr 50 mins

The Play
The story starts with a pregnant lady taking her dying husband to the hospital by pulling a rickshaw on her own. But the hospital refuses to treat him and finally he dies. The pregnant lady cremates her husband and takes shelter on the footpath. The night guards of the city rape her repeatedly and one night she bites their sex organs! After a few days, Rabi, a rickshaw-puller, hears a baby weeping in a pile of garbage. He adopts the abandoned baby and names her Pari. He has now found a motive to live…. in bringing up Pari.
Time passes. Now, Pari is a mother but she surrenders her little son, Bodhisotwo, to Rabi’s custody and disappears. Rabi raises Bodhisotwo and leaves behind him a stable along with poor pets – an unfledged parrot, a lame cat, etc. Will Bodhisotwo’s life maintain an undisturbed flow with these pets? Will the roads of our city allow him to grow up as its citizen? Will he be able to live alone…?

The Director
Rudraprasad Sengupta was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata), Bengal. He studied at the Scottish Church College of the University of Calcutta where he earned his B.A. and M.A degrees in English literature. He was formerly a reader in English at the Brahmananda Keshab Chandra College, Calcutta, and a visiting lecturer in the Drama Department of Rabindra Bharati University. In 1961 he joined the Kolkata-based theatre group Nandikar and in the early 1970s started to direct several plays for the group. In the late 1970s he became the leader of the group. He has directed many plays for Nandikar including Football and Feriwalar Mrityu among others. He has also appeared in some Bengali art films, Bernardo Bertolucci’s Little Buddha, and Roland Joffé’s City of Joy. He has received numerous awards to include Best Actor and Director Award from Theatre Journalists Assn. (W.B.) in 1975 & 1976, Best Director’s Award from Critics’ Circle of India in 1979, the highest national award from Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1980, Girish Award as Eminent Theatre Personality in 1980, Senior Fellowship, Department of Culture, Government of India (1984-1987 & 1996-1998), Kalakar Award as Best Actor in 1997, Carey Award for life-long contribution in 1998, Natya-Swapna-Kalpa 2000, Dinabandhu Puraskar in 2006, B V Karanth Samman (Bhopal) in 2007 and many more.

The Playwright
Saptarshi Maulik is presently the Assistant Treasurer of Nandikar. He is also a Training Assistant in Nandikar’s In- House Training and Theatre-in-Education Programmes in schools. He has worked with the inmates of Dumdum Central Correctional Home; students of IIEST, Shibpur; students of Seth Anandram Jaipuria College; and the students of IMI, Kolkata. He has acted in Nandikar productions and is the author of four plays.

The Group
Nandikar is a 56-year-old institution which has been at the forefront of the national theatre movement. Nandikar has participated in International festivals in the New York Fringe Theatre Festival, Bonn Biennale, four festivals in Sweden, and the London Nehru Centre and Edinburgh Festival in the UK. It has interacted with Universities of New York, California, and Riverside; Brecht Zentrum, FIRT and a number of ITIs in various countries. It has worked with the Ministries of Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports, Women and Child Development, and Human Resource Development (Department of Education); and also with the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sahitya Akademi, National School of Drama, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and the Indian Council for Social Science Research.

Cast & Credits
On Stage: Saptarshi Maulik, Anindita Chakraborty, Arghya Dey Sarkar, Rakesh Das, Shubhadeep Roy,
Ayon Ghosh, Pritam Kalyan Chakraborty, Souvik Bhattachraya, Somesh Saha

Costume: Solanki Dev
Decor: Ayon Ghosh
Light: Arghya Dey Sarkar
Music: Souvik Bhattacharya
Make-up: Shusree Mukherjee
Associate Director: Sohini Sengupta

Playwright: Saptarshi Maulik
Director: Rudraprasad Sengupta

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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