Tushar Sonu Naik’s Play: Veer Babruvahan


Director: Tushar Sonu Naik
Group: Naik Mochemadkar Paramparik Dashavtari Loknatya Mandal, Maharashtra
Language: Marathi
Duration: 1 hr 40 mins

The Form
Dashavtar is a popular form of folk-art characterizing rural theatre of South Konkan region, the coastal Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. Dashavtar is generally the presentation of different incarnations of Lord Vishnu, with ‘akhyanas’ (stories) from great epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, though these days more secular themes are also presented.
Dashavtar is an all-male performance. It has music, mime, colourful costumes, extempore dialogues, dance steps, and battle scenes. Dashavtar regales, instructs, and edifies the rural masses through the themes it presents. The music has harmonium, tabla or pakhawaj, and cymbals as accompanying musical instruments, and is based on the Hindustani style.

The Performance
Babruvahana, the king of Manipur, takes in his custody the horse of the Pandavas which they had sent as symbol of their supremacy over all the kings. Meghavarna, son of Ghatotkacha, and Rushiketa, son of Karna go in search of the horse but fail to find it and return. Chitrangi, mother of Babruvahana, reveals to him that he is the son of the great warrior Arjuna. Babruvahana goes to meet Arjuna, but Arjuna gets angry and insults him. This makes Babruvahana furious. He challenges Arjuna for a fight. In the battlefield Arjuna gets defeated and Babruvahana decides to behead him. Chitrangi and Ulupi, Babruvahana’s stepmother order him get the divyamani, a precious stone, from the head of Shesh Nagraj, to save Arjuna and other martyrs in the battlefield.
Babruvahana goes to Shesh Nagraj, who is also his grandfather, and succeeds in getting the divya Nagamani. Meanwhile Bheema, the elder brother of Arjuna, arrives on the scene and on seeing Arjuna beheaded, fights with Babruvahana. Chitrangi and Ulupi stop them and tell him what actually happened.
All of them pray to Shree Krishna who appears and brings life to Arjuna and the others by touching the Nagamani on their heads. Babruvahana and his father Arjuna embrace each other.

Director’s Note
While directing this play, I have selected the artists who are able to portray the character assigned to them. I have worked on the dialogues, costumes, make-up, and hairstyles, especially of males who perform the role of females. I thank the music director of this play for his single-handed contribution in this production.

The Director
Tushar Sonu Naik is a Matriculate. Though he is young, he has directed many plays, such as Veer Babruvahana, which is most popular among all. Most of the plays directed by him are in the traditional folk form of Maharshtra – Dashavtar.

The Group
The troupe known as Naik Mochemadkar Parmparik Dashavtari Loknatya Mandal is headed by Sonu alias Babal Shripad Naik, and managed by his son Tushar Sonu Naik, who is also a musician.
The family resides on the picturesque sea-shore in a small village called Mochemad, in Maharashtra. Dashavtar, a traditional folk art of this area, has been practiced by the family for more than six generations. The performers and musicians of the troupe come from different villages of Sindhudurg district and a few also from the nearby state of Goa. They all are from poor, rustic, rural areas, mainly farmers, agriculturists or artists dedicated to this folk art with devotion and love. Naik Mochemadkars are frequently invited to perform their plays in annual festivals, rural fairs in the courtyards of temples, and these days even in urban areas. More than 240 performances are staged by this group every year.

Cast & credit

Ganesh                        Gajanan Vengurlekar
Riddhi                           Akshay Naik
Siddhi                           Dipak Mayekar
Babruvahana                Nitin Asayekar
Hansadhvaja                Sudhakar Parab
Arjuna                           Narayan Asayekar
Meghvarna                   Nilesh Naik
Rushiket                       Sagar Gaonkar
Ulupi                             Ratnakar Manjarekar
Chitrangi                       Mahesh Dhuri
Bheema                        Krishana Naik
Shesh Nagraj                Guru Varadkar
Shrikrishana                  Aatmaram Sawant

Harmonium                    Rajan Gawade
Mrudang or Pakhvaj       Piyush Khandare
Cymbals                         Snatosh Gudulekar
Singer                             Mahadev Dalvi
Backstage Artists            Sitaram Gawade, Pravin Tandel,
Raman Parab, Harishchandra Manjarekar
Music Director                Jayram Shripad Naik
Head of the Troupe         Sonu Shripad Naik

Research                         Vijaykumar Phatarpekar
Director & Manager          Tushar Sonu Naik

Naik Mochemadkar Paramprik Dashavtari Loknatya Mandal
Mochemad – Vengurla
H.No 134, Bhandarwadi-Mochemad
P.O. – Tank, Taluka – Vengurla
Distt. – Sindhudurga State – Maharashtra
Pin 416518
Ph. +919405070799, 9764504137
E: tnaik82@gmail.com

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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