Sejuti Bagchi’s Play: Neelkanth Pakshi Ki Khonj Main

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Director: Sejuti Bagchi
Group: NSD Student Diploma Production, New Delhi
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1 hr

The Play
In Bengal, Neelkanth bird is believed to be Shiva’s friend who delivers the news of Durga’s returning after Durga Puja. Atin Bandyopadhyay’s novel Neelkantho Pakhir Khonje tells that this messenger of homecoming is lost to everybody. No character in the story finds refuge in the end.
This play has been structured by editing and extending the source novel. It is composed and presented in an alternative space, and the set and hand-props have deliberately been kept real so that the rawness of the narrative becomes an intense experience for the audience. The writing style of the novel deals with continuous painting and erasing of images which shows the immensely beautiful nature of Bengal and the gruesomeness lying under it. The play also proceeds through a thread of building and breaking of live images. It is a venture to address the politics of generosity and how insecurity leads to a false idea of a nation.

Director’s Note
When we study history in schools, we are taught to remember the political events by dates. Hence, from childhood we are made to assume that such things happen suddenly, and some immediate reason is behind all sorts of political mishaps. But the way a pressure-cooker is heated long before it whistles, the problems within a society gradually rise. We only register the impact when it bursts. Nobody tries to put out the fire beneath the pressure cooker. We struggle to avoid the boiling point and keep our next generation indifferent about the fire beneath them. A disparate society is like having a tea-party on top of a volcano and dreaming that it will never erupt. What is the point of nation-building if we don’t address the socio-economic disparities? Can a nation provide dignity and freedom to every citizen? Are we building nations and losing homes?

The Director
Born in Kolkata, Sejuti Bagchi completed M.A. in English Literature and worked for nine years in the theatre group Uhinee Kolkata and a few other Bangla theatre groups as an actor, dramaturge, costume and light designer, and workshop instructor. During and after her diploma course in NSD (2016-19), she had been associated with set, costume and light design in several productions directed by nationally celebrated directors as well as directors from abroad. After her diploma production Neelkanth Pakshi Ki Khonj Me in NSD, she has directed one more Hindi play Khabri for Khwabida, Gurugram which is being performed in different states of the country. She is also one of the conceptualisers and guides in the theatre workshop project Understanding Theatre, and is teaching elementary theatre designing in several different states. Presently, she is practicing theatre as a director-designer in Kolkata.

The Group
This play is a part of National School of Drama’s graduate showcase of class 2019. It aims to provide a platform to encourage emerging theatre practitioners to share their work with a wider audience.

Cast & Credits
Manindranath
(Pagla Thakur) Som
Badi Bahu Aditi Arya
Shachindranath
(Chhote Karta) Abhishek Koushal
Shamsuddin Sayan Sarkar
Malti Ashwini Makrand Joshi
Isham Salim Mulla
Jalali Snehalata Tagde
Fatima Prerna Joshi
Tista Aditi Arora
Chorus All Actors and Bhushan Patil

Art Direction & Set Execution Mayangbum Sunil Singh
Costume Assistant Bhumisuta Das, Ashwini Makrand Joshi
Property Assistant
& Floor Manager Aditi Arya
Make-up Bhumisuta Das
Music Sagnik Chakrabarty
Sound & Projection Saras Kumar Namdeo
Poster & Brochure Som
Light Operation &
Production Design Sejuti Bagchi

Dramaturge Team- ‘Neelkanth Pakshi Ki Khonj Me’

Direction Sejuti Bagchi

Contacts
Sejuti Bagchi
M: +91 9836262371
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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