Chandalika : A Bangla Play during 14th Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2012 @ National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi, India
Chandalika was another very famous play of 14th Bharat Rang Mahotsav and it was not very easy to get tickets for the play. This play was performed twice during the festival - Once in Bengali and second time in Hindi. Here is a quick Photo Journey from Chandalika by Usha Ganguli...
Tagore’s Chandalika tells the tale of Prakriti, an untouchable girl forced to live on the periphery of society as ‘chandalika’. No one want to play with her, people keep distance from her but at times increase closeness for their selfish reasons. Chandilika by Tagore is based on a story from a Buddhist text... and here I would like to highlight that 14th Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2012 is also a platform to celebrate Rabindarnath Tagore's 150th Birthday. Many of his plays are being shown during Bharangam 2012 !!!
Play starts with some dialogs by Usha Ganguli where she describes the situation of her region without water and how people are crying for water. Usha is playing main role in this play. She has a daughter and both of them are treated badly by higher society. At the same time, she helps the local kingdom by helping in various problems like water scarcity.
Here is a photograph of musicians in this play who were also sitting on the stage. There was no recorded music during this play and whole music direction was awesome. I liked the running horse sound the most. The man in the middle created that sound through the big drum in front of him. Girls on the other side sung a beautiful song and they also joined for acting, while one of the monk was moving around the villages to spread right information about caste system and related issues.
Here is a photograph showing Prakriti with her mother and when she is requesting her mother for not going to King's place. Her Mother is invited by king to use her magical powers to bring water in the region and make people happy. During the dialog, Prakriti was confident that King will not allow lower cast people to have water and it will be accessible to other villages. So why not resolve it locally first and then do it for others.
After a detailed conversation, Prakriti's mothr showed trust in King's words and started the magical process of bring water from ground. After some long process, she succeeds in bringing water to the region. As the sound of water reached to king's people, they alerted everyone and asked to leave the place as water will be distributed to Brahmans first and then other will get if there will b something left.
After the news that lower caste people will die without water, even when her mother brought water to other folks around the upper caste villages. She thought of breaking the main equipment of her mother.
Again a photograph when Prakriti is worried about her identity as Chandal and why people run out of their place. No one wants to meet them etc.
A very happy moment showing mother's emotions towards her daughter. She dresses her with flowers and hug to make her feel better.
Here is a scene when Bagel vendor comes inside the village and all ladies checking different colors & designs. At the same time Prakriti is standing alone in the darkness, on back side. The small girl noticed her standing alone and offered some bangles and her mother dragged her back to ensure that gril doesn;t touch Prakriti.
One day a Buddhist monk, Ananda, passes by the house Chandalika and asks for water. When Prakriti tells him her caste, thinking he would move on, he dismisses her hesitation with the simple statement that God created everyone equal. During the play Prakriti denied to offer water many times by a thought that she will not be doing right thing by offering water to this Monk as he is pure person and she belongs to lower cast.
After meeting the mon and knowing his thoughts, Prakriti recognized as a valid human presence for the first time in her life... At the same time, it was not easy for her to forget all incidents from past when she was declared as someone is society, who should not come near to anyone in Brahman Samaj or higher caste people. Above Photograph shows a lady protecting her daughter while Chandalika crossing by. This lady was selling bangels and this small girl wanted to offer some bangels to Prakriti...
Prakriti falls desperately in love with Ananda, the monk and pleads with her mother, a woman with extraordinary magical powers, to cast a spell on him so that he returns.
Prakiriti's Mother is very famous in the region for her magical powers. Even people believe that she can do anything. In above Photograph queen is sad about the fact that her parrot left her and flew without any prior notice. She sent some men to bring Prakriti's Mother, who can bring the parrot back with her magical powers.
The play follows this plot around Magical powers and develops events as they unfold. While presenting the manifold forms of love, including conflict and violence, and the manner in which deep emotion is capable of operating, Chandalika also allows a certain insight into the polarities of life in the 21st century.Above Photograph shows Prakriti and her mother indulged in practicing magical practices to have Ananda back in her life, although it was not that easy and her mother was well aware of it.
Usha Ganguli doesn’t need an introduction. Based on a story from a Buddhist text, Tagore’s Chandalika 'bespeaks the anguish of a girl, Prakriti, who is ostracized by the society and lives on its edges. She does not understand the consequences of her birth into a family which is regarded as 'untouchable'. She watches wistfully from the shadows as the world passes her by as even her shadow was inauspicious to some extent. (Courtesy- Know More)
In this particular play , Rabindranath hypothesized not only a warmth of love, but also created vengeance and violence.
Cast of this plat includes - Usha Ganguli, Turna Daas, Mishka Haleem, Sangita Ghosh, kanchanmala Sengupta, Sunaina Naha, Pooja Rai, Dalita chakravarti, Artrika Ghosh, Surangana Gupta, Polomi Banergi, Kathakali Banik, Mausami Dutta, Babita Tiwari, Sohini Mukhargi, Sandhya Chakravarti, Swapn Moitra, Khrishnedu Chakravarty, Rajkumar Singh, Anand pandey, Balram Das, Raju Khan, Suraj Singh...
Usha Ganguli, lead actor and director of Chandalika after completion of the play. This play is basically in Bengali and played in Hindi which is really commendable to present same play in two languages.
One of the NSD representative presenting flowers and 14th Bharangam Momento to Usha Ganguli at Kamani Auditorium after successful show of the play Chandalika.
Whole cast of Chandalika play !!!
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