Sejuti Bagchi’s Play: Neelkanth Pakshi Ki Khonj Main
Director: Sejuti Bagchi
Group: NSD Student Diploma Production, New Delhi
Duration: 1 hr
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.
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?
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.
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
(Pagla Thakur) Som
Badi Bahu Aditi Arya
(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
& 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
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