The Telegraph
Saturday , November 17 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Islam brings Bhaben Saikia’s comedy to GU

Nov. 16: City-based drama group, Seagull Theatre, will stage an Assamese comedy for Gauhati University students at the Birinchi Kumar Barua auditorium tomorrow at 6.30pm.

The play, Aakash, based on a short story written by Bhabendranath Saikia, shows the concerns of a father whose daughter is about to get married. Its dramatisation and direction has been done by theatre personality Baharul Islam, founder of the group.

In Aakash, the protagonist Jyotirmoy Choudhury is a concerned father who receives an unknown letter revealing the love trysts of his would-be son-in-law. With only six days to go for the wedding, the old man starts having sleepless nights and thinks about what might happen to his daughter, if he gives her away to such a person.

Choudhury wakes up one night perturbed with concern and hidden fear of the consequences of the impending wedding. He recollects the day when his daughter was born, the celebrations and happiness in their life. He recalls the women who had come to his life at different times before his marriage. He finds that even he had affairs and thus realises that such issues matter little. Just as he is about to share his thoughts with his wife, she tells him the same thing herself — “Don’t worry, this happens in everybody’s life. In future, everything will be okay.” Soon, his philosophical realisation morphs into suspicion towards his wife and a new cause of concern takes root in his mind.

Islam said presenting a comic play amidst the tensions surrounding human life was the aim of the production.

He said a detailed analysis of Saikia’s stories was tough and staging them on stage is equally challenging. “The simplicity of language, depth of feeling, close study of human mind are evident in Saikia’s stories. They have attracted me since childhood,” the director, who has acted in almost 80 plays in different languages, said.

“In one word, Aakash is an attempt at self-analysis. As human beings, various images, logic and masks cover us and tactfully these elements are hidden for various self-created reasons. The protagonist of the play is not a self-centred person but a common self-conscious person with modern thoughts. Throughout the play, he discovers gradually the minute elements of his own nature and they leave a deep impact on the audience,” Islam said.

The cast members of the 85-minute play are Baharul Islam, Bhagirathi, Namrata, Dinesh Kakati, Raju Roy, Jina, Pallabi, Kismat Bano, Pranab Rajkhowa, Ripa and Gargi. Shiromoni Bhuyan is in charge of lighting, Bhagirathi is the costume designer while Pranab and Raju will be in charge of set execution. Dinesh Kakati has scored the music for the play.

Seagull Theatre was set up in 1990 by Islam along with a few young theatre activists, including some graduates from National School of Drama, to enrich Assamese theatre by experiment, training and consistent practice; provide a prolific exposure of Assamese theatre to national and international audience and bring the richness of Indian and world classic plays to local theatre viewers.

Some noteworthy productions of Seagull are Urukha, Guwahati Guwahati, Jatra, Ximar XipareBeyond the Obvious, Abhimoinyu, Gandhari Ka Abhixap, Ashad Ka Ekdin, Puntila and His Man Matti, Saraighat, Buddhuram, Antigone, Holi, Gadha Nritya, Mricchakatikam, Tughlaque, Parashuram, Court Martial, Ram Shyam Jadu, The Green Serpent and Madhyabartini.

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