Govind Ballal Deval’s Play: Mruchchakatik


Playwright: Govind Ballal Deval
Director: Ravindra Khare
Group: Bharat Natya Sanshodhan Mandir, Pune
Language: Marathi
Duration: 3 hrs 10 mins

The Play
Originally, Mruchchakatika (The Little Clay Cart) is a ten-act Sanskrit drama written by Shudrak, an ancient playwright, sometime around the 2nd century. The play is set in the ancient city of Ujjayini during the reign of King Pālaka, The central story is that of a nobleman Charudatta, who falls in love with a wealthy courtesan Vasantasena. Despite their mutual affection the couple’s lives and love are threatened when a vulgar courtier, Samsthānaka, also known as Shakara, begins to aggressively pursue Vasantasena. We would like to mention that this Marathi play Mruchchakatik had been written by Govind Ballal Deval in 1887. The characters are drawn from the mundane world. It is peopled with gamblers, courtesans, thieves, and so on. Though Vasantasena is a courtesan, her exemplary attitude and dignified behaviour impress the audience. The nobility of the characters does not stem from their social conditioning but from the inner virtues and behaviour.

Director’s Note
The subject of Charudatta – Vasantsena from Shudrak’s Sanskrit play, although translated in Marathi but with the same name Mruchchakatik, is very attractive & appealing to the audience in general. Many traditional singing forms & ragas add to the popularity of this production. This musical is interestingly woven with traditional Kathak dance which is the highlight of the play. It also depicts the earlier traditions of Central India, sometime in 3rd century, and also the politics in that particular era, bearing similarity to the contemporary one.

The Director
Ravindra Khare is a well-known actor on Marathi stage & media. He has also composed a musical Nishabda Majgharat, which won prizes at state level and also in Marathi drama competition in Delhi. He is closely associated with Bharat Natya Mandir Group for more than 40 years now and is the Trustee of the institution. He has directed more than 15 Marathi musicals and lends his voice to many ad-films, and also acts in TV-serials by renowned directors. He has produced, directed & edited many plays for AIR Pune.

The Playwright
A well-known Marathi playwright, Late Shri Govind Ballal Deval (1855-1916), has written Durga, Sharada, Shapsambhram, Sanshayakallol, Zunzaarrao, Vikramorvashiya and many other plays. He composed the lyrics and music of many songs in Kirloskar’s play Shakuntal. Deval worked for a few years at Kirloskar Natak Mandali as a playwright, actor, and director. After his move to Pune in 1894, he founded Aryoddharak Natak Mandali; and also worked with Bal Gandharva’s newly established Gandharva Natak Mandali. He was the first drama guru of legendary Bal Gandharva.

The Group
Bharat Natya Sanshodhan Mandir is known to be the oldest Marathi theatre education institution since its foundation in 1894 in Pune. It is producing, organising, performing dramas & conducting dance & music classes since then. The institution completed 125th year of its existence in October 2019. It has a well-stocked library with many rare manuscripts, old photographs, material related to drama and several rare drama scripts which have been written in the past 150 years.

Cast & Credits
Maitreya Ram Sathaye
Sanvahak Sanjay Dole
Sutradhar / Sharvilak Sanjeev Mehendale
Veet Rajan Kulkarni
Karnapurak / Nyayadhish Abhay Jabde
Rajshalak Shakaar Anand Panse
Shodhanak Vishwas Pangarkar
Radanika Aparna Pendase
Madanika Kavita Tikekar
Dancers Maitreyi Nirgun, Radhika Bhinge, Bhagyashree Kulkarni,
Revati Sant, Samrudhdhi Pujari
Vasantsena Gauri Patil
Charudatta Charudatta Aphale

Music Accompaniment Rahul Gole (Organ)
Omkar Deodhar (Tabla)
Lights Shubham Kute
Sound Jayadeep Nemade
Drapery Rakesh Gholap
Make-up Madhav Thatte
Back Stage Viththal Hulawale, Abhijeet Gaikwad, Jitendra Sutar
Team Manager Vijay Kumar Potdar

Playwright G. B. Deval
Director Ravindra Khare

Bharat Natya Sanshodhan Mandir
1320, Sadahshiv Peth, Pune- 411030
Ph: 020-24471614, 24481614
M: +91 9422303676, 9822026425

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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