Ujjwal Chattopadhyay’s NINE MILES TO GO…. Director: Jayasree Bhattacharya


Playwright: Ujjwal Chattopadhyay

Director: Jayasree Bhattacharya

Group: Pragya Cultural Centre, Kolkata

Language: Bengali

Duration: 1 hr 40 mins

The Play

A dramatist wants to write a play on Baghajatin. He is trying to understand Baghajatin’s strategy to fight against 500 British soldiers with only four companions. Was Baghajatin right? The writer appeared to have had an interaction with the soul of Baghajatin who answers all his queries. He explains how Bhagawad Gita and other holy scriptures of our Indian philosophy had defined true leaders. The melodrama begins when the dramatist rewinds the sequences, imagining that the five great fighters have won the battle.

Director’s Note

I believe it as my duty and responsibility to cover a few moments of truth related to a charismatic freedom fighter of India. India’s Freedom did not come all of a sudden. It was an outcome of great sacrifices of our freedom fighters who selflessly fought against the rulers. As a director, I started researching on the subject quite a while ago and discovered many unknown and interesting (sometimes unpleasant) happenings in the life of Baghajatin. I visited all the places where he had lived, worked and sacrificed his life for the country. The more I travelled, the more I was touched.  Knowing Baghajatin is a journey and that I have tried to capture in this play Nine Miles to Go.

The Director

Jayasree Bhattacharya did her M.Sc. in Archaeology from the University of Calcutta. She is a part-time lecturer at Maharaja Monindra Chandra College and Bagbazar Women College. Jayasree started her theatre journey in Kolkata at the age of three, with her paternal aunty and renowned actress, late Keya Chakraborty. She joined the National School of Drama (TIE), Sanakar Rang Toli as an artist-teacher in 1996. She conducted several theatre workshops under the extension programme of National School of Drama in North East and West Bengal. She is a founder member of Pragya Cultural Centre and works in the tribal areas using theatre-in-education as a tool. She is researching on theatre therapy for the differently-abled, and is presently doing theatre therapy and theatre workshops for differently-abled women and children. She assisted filmmakers Rituparno Ghosh and Buddhadeb Dasgupta. She has made 11 telefilms and one feature film and has won two international awards for her films Madur and Binisutormala.

The Playwright

Ujjwal Chattopadhyay is a professor of Economics and an eminent playwright of West Bengal who has been serving Bengali theatre for decades. Most of his plays have been produced by directors like Bibhas Chakraborty, Meghnad Bhattacharya, Bratya Basu, Soumitra Mitra, Kaushik Sen, Prokash Bhattacharya and others. Some of his remarkable plays are Akarik, Antaral, Bhrom, Antoni-Soudamini, Arabyorajani, Biley, Drohokal, Dhrubatar, Nati Kiranshasi etc. He has also adapted the works of Chekov, Tagore, Shakespeare and Kalidas.

The Group

Pragya Cultural Centre is a Kolkata based theatre group. It works for social causes, and for differently abled people using theatre as a therapy. The group has been performing a popular play Fight Cancer since 2003. It runs theatre workshops for theatre lovers in the eastern zone. It has won several drama competitions and awards.


Jatindranath Mukherjee (Baghajatin): Suman Saha

Dramatist: Gunjan Prasad Ganguly

Chittapriyo Roychoudhury: Samrat Roy

Jyotish Paul:  Argha Roy

Niren Dasgupta:  Soumya Bhattacharjee

Manoranjan Sengupta: Shinjanbasu

Manindra Chakraborty: Tanmoy Karmocar

Bhima:  Madhusudan Chatterjee

Freedom Fighter 1: Arnab Mukherjee

Freedom Fighter 2: Aaishik Thakur

Villager 1:  Dipankar Bose

Villager 2:  Sukanta Pal

Jodu: Sovan Jana

Sharatshashi Devi: Bela Ghosh

Binodbala: Sulakshanasaha

Indubala: Nisha Haldar

Research Work: Prithwindra Mukherjee

Set Design:  Kneel Kaushik

Light Design:  Soumen Chakraborty

Music: Dishari

Make-up:  Sk Amir Ali

Costume:  Jakir

Publicity & Creatives:  Gautam Barat

Singer:  Tanmoy Bhattacahryya

Backstage:  Madan Haldar, Somnath Chakroborty, Sanju Haldar, Supriyo Sur, Abhisekh Mallik

Production Controller: Jayanta Kundu

Entrepreneur:  Sutanu Sinha

Playwright:  Ujjwal Chattopadhyay

Director:  Jayasree Bhattacharya

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.

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