Arijit Biswas & Prithunanadan Ghose’s Play: Priyotamasu


Playwright: Arijit Biswas & Prithunandan Ghose
Director: Prithunandan Ghose
Group: Bachhor Koori Porey, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 2 hrs 15 mins

The Play
Priyotamasu is a chronicle of ten turbulent months in 1942. Set in a small mofussil town of Central India, the story is woven around a family of affluent Bengali settlers and a group of old or invalidated British officers, who are posted in that town. Away from the swirling passions of time, the two groups closely interact with each other till time overtakes them and the symbiosis is broken.

Director’s Note
Inspired from a short story by Somerset Maugham, which I read in late eighties, I couldn’t stop myself exploring how the drama in it could be brought on stage? I shared it with my childhood friend Arijit Biswas, co-playwright in this case, and asked him to read it as well. We had a series of debates on the context, the perspective and its acceptability by our viewers etc., which used to end up in tussles.

Finally, we had to change the whole of it completely, keeping only the essence of the outcome intact, and as such it took the shape of an original creation. We named it, Priyotamasu, the beloved.

A reading session was arranged for our acting and technical team who were awestruck listening to it and enjoyed all the rehearsals till it was launched on the evening of 1st June, 2019 at Gyan Manch, Kolkata.

As a Director of the play, I would not like to add any attribute, whatsoever, in favour of the play. Let the play be staged, it would be capable enough to substantiate its merit through its presentation.

The Director & Co-Playwright
Prithunandan Ghose’s approach to theatre is an amalgam of science and art. His presentations are uncanny and aesthetic owing to a background of engineering and the passion for theatre. His first group, Kathik, performed till 1977. When the group dissolved due to other professional callings for a living, he could not reconcile with his staying away from theatre. He formed Bachhor Koori Porey, which means ‘after 20 years.’ In 2015 the same compatriots, re-grouped for a sensational production, Ebong Andhokar, and in the following year for Adhora, a play scripted from a novel of Neelohit. In 2019 the group produced Priyotamasu that has been highly acclaimed. In all these plays Prithunandan has proven himself as a script-writer, lyricist, director and designer.

The Co-Playwright
Arijit Biswas, a writer of repute, is a graduate in engineering from Jadhavpur, and a post graduate in management from XLRI, Jamshedpur. Despite his professional demands he found time to write plays. He has co-written two Bengali plays viz. Priyotamasu and Ebong Andhokar that have been appreciated in and around Kolkata. Another play, Uttordroho, written by him was published in 1996 issue of theatre journal, Gandharba. He has written scripts and serials in Hindi for Zee TV, and for telefilms in Bengali. He is also the script-writer for Bollywood films Agent Vinod, Badlapur and Andhadhun. Under the section of Indian Feature Films category at KIFF, 2018, he won the best director award for the Bengali film Surjo Prithibir Chardike Ghore.

The Group
After a long break the group Kathik reassembled as Bachhor Koori Porey to perform Ebong Andhokar in 2015. The play was presented at important theatre congregations, mesmerizing the audiences and critics alike. Then followed Adhora, in 2016, and after three years, in June 2019, Priyotamasu. The latter has been a much awaited and promising piece that instantly caught the discerning attention of viewers and has now been invited to perform at NSD.

Cast & Credits
Sumi                                                       Aishani De
Aloka                                                      Amrita Mukhopadhyay
Surya                                                      Dipyaman Chatterjee
Doglus                                                    Sudip Mukherjee
Parsu                                                      Kunal Sen
Mr. Mahendra Banerjee                          Biswarup Das Purakayastha
Mrs. Sarbani Banerjee                            Enakshi Sen
Nikhil                                                       Arghya Basu Roy
Bannu                                                     Navoneel Sarkar
Jayaram                                                  Rittwik Roy
Alexis                                                      Avik Das
Monroe                                                   Arijit Chakraborty
Bharat                                                     Prabir Dutta
Bearer                                                     Abhishek Ghosh Roy

Light Design                                           Badal Das
Technical Assistants                               Ranjit Das & Surajit Mandal
Keyboard                                                Krishnendu Chatterjee
Sound Projection                                    Kaushik Sajjan
Make-up Artist                                        M. M. Rahman (Md. Babu)
Costume in-charge                                 Rupa Ghose
Property in-charge                                  Sima Ghose
Accessories in-charge                            Maloy Kanti Ghose
Set in-charge                                          Avirup Maity
Shifting in-charge                                   Sthitadhi Roy
Shifter                                                     Kakoli Chakraborty
Costume Design &Stagecraft Design     Prithunandan Ghose

Playwright Arijit Biswas & Prithunandan Ghose
Co-Playwright & Director Prithunandan Ghose

Bachhor Koori Porey,
W2A(R) 12/5, Phase IV B, Golf Green,
Kolkata-700095, West Bengal
M: +91 9830390690, 9830278466

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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