Binod Sharma’s Play: Murta Murta Neel Dipali

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Playwright & Director: Binod Sharma
Group: Gandharba, Guwahati
Language: Assamese
Duration: 1 hr 45 mins

The Play
The play is based on the lives of the acclaimed Assamese singer Dipali Borthakur and fine artist Neel Pawan Baruah. The couple had lived a life of eternal love. The conjugal bliss of the couple was plagued by a rare motor-neuron disease that Dipali Borthakur had been suffering from before her marriage. After the demise of Dipali, Neel Pawan is left in solitude with an array of memories of his beloved wife. A journalist visits Neel Pawan for an interview and Neel Pawan speaks about his beloved wife Dipali, their heavenly love and life. He speaks what his art is all about, remembers great artists and eminent persons of all times for their contribution to their specific fields of work. Neel Pawan Baruah, the son of a great Assamese poet Binanda Chandra Baruah, recollects his childhood. He tells how he was fascinated towards fine arts since he was a child. The play showcases the achievements earned by both the artists in their specific fields.

Director’s Note
I have designed the play to ensure lucidity in different sequences while the scenes are being enacted by artists. A child born in Sonari of Sivasagar, a small place in the eastern part of Assam, comes in touch with the greatest contemporary artists of her time in Assam and India, and struggles throughout her life to uphold the interest of the masses in the matured stage of her life through her songs and in the long run, makes a name for herself. The characters are given original touches through their dialogues, behaviour and costumes. In many of the scenes, indigenous folk art forms are used to choreograph stage blocks.

The Director & Playwright
A graduate of NSD, Binod Sharma is currently working in theatre and films, acting and directing plays for Gandharba, a Guwahati (Maligaon) based institute of acting and music. He has had acting experience under reputed directors like Kirti Jain, Ram Gopal Bajaj, Devendra Raj Ankur, M K Raina, Anuradha Kapur and Raj Bisaria. He has worked as an actor in NSD Repertory and as an instructor in camps across the country. He has 25 plays to his credit as a playwright. Binod has received training at Kanhaiyalal’s theatre camp in Manipur. He is the founder secretary of Antaranga Natya Gosthi, Assam’s Mirza-based drama group.

The Group
Gandharba is an acting and music institute based at Boripara, Maligaon in Guwahati which was founded in 2004. It has been imparting lessons to students on music, acting and fine arts, and conducting workshops on drama including that of NSD, and pursuing research works on folk culture. Gandharba’s recent production Murta-Bimurta Neel-Dipali has been successfully staged at Baan Theatre in Tezpur, at Shankardev International Auditorium at Kalakshetra in Guwahati, and at Jonaki Kareng Naat Utsav, Nalbari in the state of Assam.

Cast & Credits
Neel Pawan Baruah (Young/Old) Jagadish Deka
Neel Pawan Baruah (Child) Suraj Das
Dipali Borthakur (Child) Harshita Das
Dipali Borthakur (Young) Dipannita Das
Dipali Borthakur (Old) Santana B Thakuria
Nabakanta Baruah Chandra Shekhar Choudhary
Tribeni Jha Bulen Bharali
Bhaben Borthakur Pradyut Bikash Das
Mukul Baruah Dhiraj Mazumder
Nirmal Prabha Bardoloi Chandamita Goswami
Rudra Baruah Dhrubajyoti Kumar
Dipika Borthakur/ Jonali Nilakshi Sarma
Sunil Pawan Baruah Prasanta Kumar Das
P.C. Goenka Gautam Kumar
Journalist Bhupen Deka
Rikshawala Hirendra Kumar Pathak

Light Dimpal Das
Music Arnab Bashistha
Projector Himjyoti Baishya,
Voice & Vocal Dr. Amarjyoti Choudhary, Hiranmoi Goswami, Bhaskar Jyoti Acharya & Rinki Thakuria Kumar
Costume Bishwajyoti Misra & Pankaj Kalita
Make-up Tibrajyoti Boiragi
Set Design Manik Kakati/Mintu Bhuyan
Concept & Design Dhrubajyoti Kumar
Asst. Director Akhilesh Hazari

Playwright & Director Binod Sharma

Contacts
Director, Gandharba (Acting and Music Institute)
Boripara, Maligaon, Guwahati, P.O. Pandu
Dist. Kamrup (Metro) Assam 781012
M: +91 9864133245, 9365343195
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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