Girish Karnad’s Play: Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi

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Playwright: Girish Karnad
Translator: Srotoswini Dey
Director: Tulika Das
Group: Kolkata Bohuswar, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 1 hr 10 mins

The Play
The play opens with Manjula Ray in a television studio, giving one of her countless interviews. Manjula is a successful Bengali writer whose first novel in English has got favourable reviews from the West. She talks about her life and her darling husband Pramod, and fondly reminisces about Malini, her wheel-chair bound sister. After the interview, Manjula is ready to leave the studio but is confronted by an image. Gradually Manjula starts unfolding her life showing two facets of the same character. The conversations between the character on stage and the chhaya-murti go on and Manjula peels layer after layer, revealing raw emotions and complexities of the relationship between Manjula, Promod and Malini. We can relate to both Manjula and Malini… all of us being flawed in some way or the other, and that’s what makes us human.

Director’s Note
I wanted to explore the text of Girish Karnad’s Broken Images with my own understanding of Manjula, the lady portraying two facets of the same character. Despite all her shortcomings and flaws, she did not degenerate into a stereotypical vamp. Although she had made unforgivable mistakes, wasn’t there enough reason for her to exercise duplicity and betrayal? I found myself asking this question and wanting to see the larger picture through another prism. It has taken years for the Bengali stage to come up with an adaptation of the 2004 play. The Bengali translation by Srotoswini Dey Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi helped me to stage it. Theatre, I feel, should not be just entertainment. It should encourage a bit of soul searching too. I am thankful to Mr. Karnad, Srotoswini and the team of Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi of Kolkata Bohuswar to help me do just that.

The Director
Tulika Das is an actor and director of Kolkata Bohuswar. After her M.A. in Theatre, she joined Bohurupee and acted in several plays under the direction of Kumar Roy and also directed four plays, which received a lot of appreciation. In Kolkata Bohuswar, she directed Choturthir Jor, Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi, Agnipaak and Anandamath. Tulika is working with under privileged children and young adults, using theatre as a tool to build their capacity to overcome the barriers around them. She is actively involved in Human Rights movement of people with disabilities.

The Translator
Srotoswini Dey, M.A., MPhil, is an Assistant Professor of English Language in a college of West Bengal. She is a theatre lover and is trying her best to enrich the Bengali theatre through the translation of scripts of famous playwrights who have written in other Indian languages. She has also published a book Re-reading of Vijay Tendulkar’s Ghasiram Kotwal: a Critical Study of Vijay Tendulkar.

The Group
Kolkata Bohuswar was established in January 2017 in order to create and promote innovative theatre. The word ‘Bohuswar’ means a collective of different kinds of voices. True to its name, Bohuswar is home to individuals of different ages, genders, religious identities and places of residence. The group has produced the play Choturthir Jor, based on a story by Ismat Chugtai (selected for 8th Theatre Olympic), Bhanga Bhanga Chhobi, based on Girish Karnad’s Broken Images (selected for 21st BRM), and Agnipaak, based on a play by Mahesh Dattani. The group had organised a November theatre festival (2018) along with a theatre workshop for young theatre workers with Ruchika theatre group, Delhi. The group facilitates inclusive theatre workshops for the under-privileged children in the rural areas of West Bengal.

Cast & Credits
On stage Sukriti Lahori Sinha, Piyali Guha Roy, Tulika Das

Off stage Mayukh Dutta, Monomita Chaudhury, Rashmi Natua, Sampreeti Chakraborty
Sumita Basu, Biswajit Roy, Arka Ranjan Bhattacharya, Tanmoy Das, Bobby
Kar, Arko Roy, Tapas Roy, Indrajit Mukhoty
Music Kalyan Sen Barat
Set & Light Gagandeep
Make-up Piali Samanta

Playwright Girish Karnad
Translator Srotoswini Dey
Director Tulika Das

Contacts
Kolkata Bohuswar
18, Deodar Street, Kolkata- 700019
West Bengal
M: +91 9830262165, 9830872209
E: [email protected]
[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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