Sattar Khan & Laxman Deshmukh’s Play: Mahua ke Paani

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Playwright: Sattar Baig & Lakshman Deshmukh
Director: Poonam Tiwari
Group: Rang Chhattisa, Chhattisgarh
Language: Chhattisgarhi
Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Form
Nacha is a traditional folk-theatre and a legacy of Chhattisgarh. According to some scholars the basis of this theatrical form is Gammat Nacha, which is mainly a singing form. Gammat Bhajans include expressions of emotions, humour, longing etc. The performance is conducted throughout the night and the audience enjoys it wholeheartedly. It includes singing of bhajans of Tulidas, Surdas, Kabirdas, Meera, followed by filmy Ghazals, Qawwalis and folk songs like Karma, Dadriya, Yuvapanthi, Holi etc. The performance includes all colours ranging from humour, compassion, love, anger etc.

The Play & Director’s Note
This play is to encourage the audience to help in getting rid of the increasing dilemmas in the society, and build a clean and beautiful nation. It also urges those who are in the grip of an addiction, to give up the bad habit/s so that one’s health, family future generation, and the society does not have to pay for one’s folly. The addiction to liquor is driving the society astray. Through this play we wish to convey that alcohol, known as ‘Mahua ke Pani’ (Water of Mahua) in our region, is destroying our world. Families are suffering due to this evil habit. I, Poonam Tiwari, and my team are honoured to present this play at NSD, Delhi.

The Director
Born on 13th November 1963 in Chhattisgarh, Poonam Tiwari attended school till class four. At the age of nine she started participating in the productions of Nacha parties like Dau Mandaraji Nacha Party, Jaalbandha Nacha party, Pateva Nacha party and Nishad Nacha party. While working for Champa Barsan Nacha party of Durg, she came in contact with the great thespian Habib Tanvir and from 1984 to 2005 worked under him as an actor in Charandas Chor, Mitti Ki Gadi, Mor Nau Damad Gaon Ke Nau Sasural and many other productions. She has been awarded with Dauji Mandara Samman 2005, Sharad Vairahagkar Samman 2015 by IPTA, and Dau Ramchandra Deshmukh Bahuman Samman 2020.

The Playwrights
Lakshman Deshmukh was born in a farmer’s family in Village Dugatola, 10 kms from the forest of Ambagarh. He has written many songs and plays on social issues like de-addiction, dowry system, oppression of women etc. He along with Sattar Baig has adapted this play to bring awareness about the evil and ill effects of alcohol that are spreading in the society. The play focuses on the addiction of liquor, made from the fruits of Mahua tree, in tribal villages. The play has been written in Chhattisgarhi Nacha style.

The Group
Rang Chhattisa based in district Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh), is a folk and cultural theatre group which has been presenting plays mainly based on the folk-art form Nacha. The group prioritises social issues over commercial ventures. It has performed numerous plays including Lottery, Rajim Bhaktin, Pathshala, Mahua Ke Pani and many more, in cities like Jaipur, Wardha, Bilaspur, Raigarh, Ajmer, Delhi, Indore, Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati etc.

Cast & Credits
Guru’s Wife                                  Poonam Tiwari
Guruji                                           Sattar Baig
Sahinav                                        Mitr Shailender Rajak
Sahinav’s Wife                             Kumari Kaushik
Baba/Dada                                   Chhannu Sahu
Guruji’s Daughter                         Lakshmi Yadav
Friends                                         Divya Tiwari, Annu
Liquor Seller                                 Tejram Devangan
Bania                                            Rajkumar Chauhan
Bania’s Assistant                          Murad Khan
Policeman                                     Deva
Pallbearer (Arthi Uthane Wala)     Mahesh Sahu
Saheli                                            Pramila Yadav
Student                                         Chhotu Meshram, Mahesh Sahu

Harmonium                                   Limesh Shukla
Bansuri                                         Hemraj Sinha
Tabla                                             Monu Pandiya
Banjo                                            Chetan
Dance Director                              Varsha
Dance                                           Jeetu Yadav
Singer (female)                             Anita Jhanghel
Singer (male)                                Narottam Das
Guidance                                      Deepak Virat

Playwright                                    Sattar Baig & Lakshman Deshmukh
Director                                        Poonam Tiwari

Contacts
Rangchhatisa
Mamta Nagar, Ward No.-19
Rajnandgaon, Chhatisgarh
M: +91 9009008070
E: [email protected]

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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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