Sattar Khan & Laxman Deshmukh’s Play: Mahua ke Paani

Playwright: Sattar Baig & Lakshman Deshmukh
Director: Poonam Tiwari
Group: Rang Chhattisa, Chhattisgarh
Language: Chhattisgarhi
Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Form
Nacha is a traditional folk-theatre and a legacy of Chhattisgarh. According to some scholars the basis of this theatrical form is Gammat Nacha, which is mainly a singing form. Gammat Bhajans include expressions of emotions, humour, longing etc. The performance is conducted throughout the night and the audience enjoys it wholeheartedly. It includes singing of bhajans of Tulidas, Surdas, Kabirdas, Meera, followed by filmy Ghazals, Qawwalis and folk songs like Karma, Dadriya, Yuvapanthi, Holi etc. The performance includes all colours ranging from humour, compassion, love, anger etc.

The Play & Director’s Note
This play is to encourage the audience to help in getting rid of the increasing dilemmas in the society, and build a clean and beautiful nation. It also urges those who are in the grip of an addiction, to give up the bad habit/s so that one’s health, family future generation, and the society does not have to pay for one’s folly. The addiction to liquor is driving the society astray. Through this play we wish to convey that alcohol, known as ‘Mahua ke Pani’ (Water of Mahua) in our region, is destroying our world. Families are suffering due to this evil habit. I, Poonam Tiwari, and my team are honoured to present this play at NSD, Delhi.

The Director
Born on 13th November 1963 in Chhattisgarh, Poonam Tiwari attended school till class four. At the age of nine she started participating in the productions of Nacha parties like Dau Mandaraji Nacha Party, Jaalbandha Nacha party, Pateva Nacha party and Nishad Nacha party. While working for Champa Barsan Nacha party of Durg, she came in contact with the great thespian Habib Tanvir and from 1984 to 2005 worked under him as an actor in Charandas Chor, Mitti Ki Gadi, Mor Nau Damad Gaon Ke Nau Sasural and many other productions. She has been awarded with Dauji Mandara Samman 2005, Sharad Vairahagkar Samman 2015 by IPTA, and Dau Ramchandra Deshmukh Bahuman Samman 2020.

The Playwrights
Lakshman Deshmukh was born in a farmer’s family in Village Dugatola, 10 kms from the forest of Ambagarh. He has written many songs and plays on social issues like de-addiction, dowry system, oppression of women etc. He along with Sattar Baig has adapted this play to bring awareness about the evil and ill effects of alcohol that are spreading in the society. The play focuses on the addiction of liquor, made from the fruits of Mahua tree, in tribal villages. The play has been written in Chhattisgarhi Nacha style.

The Group
Rang Chhattisa based in district Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh), is a folk and cultural theatre group which has been presenting plays mainly based on the folk-art form Nacha. The group prioritises social issues over commercial ventures. It has performed numerous plays including Lottery, Rajim Bhaktin, Pathshala, Mahua Ke Pani and many more, in cities like Jaipur, Wardha, Bilaspur, Raigarh, Ajmer, Delhi, Indore, Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati etc.

Cast & Credits
Guru’s Wife                                  Poonam Tiwari
Guruji                                           Sattar Baig
Sahinav                                        Mitr Shailender Rajak
Sahinav’s Wife                             Kumari Kaushik
Baba/Dada                                   Chhannu Sahu
Guruji’s Daughter                         Lakshmi Yadav
Friends                                         Divya Tiwari, Annu
Liquor Seller                                 Tejram Devangan
Bania                                            Rajkumar Chauhan
Bania’s Assistant                          Murad Khan
Policeman                                     Deva
Pallbearer (Arthi Uthane Wala)     Mahesh Sahu
Saheli                                            Pramila Yadav
Student                                         Chhotu Meshram, Mahesh Sahu

Harmonium                                   Limesh Shukla
Bansuri                                         Hemraj Sinha
Tabla                                             Monu Pandiya
Banjo                                            Chetan
Dance Director                              Varsha
Dance                                           Jeetu Yadav
Singer (female)                             Anita Jhanghel
Singer (male)                                Narottam Das
Guidance                                      Deepak Virat

Playwright                                    Sattar Baig & Lakshman Deshmukh
Director                                        Poonam Tiwari

Mamta Nagar, Ward No.-19
Rajnandgaon, Chhatisgarh
M: +91 9009008070