Ja Nei Bharatey

Script and direction by Manoj Mitra

"Tell the King if he will still not care for my children they will come out of the forest in swarm.. and there will be war, a great war..a bloodthirsty moon has risen and strewn all over the crop-laden fields are dismembered corpses.." warns Patokini the jungle mother who shelters the unwanted children of Hastinapur in the forests.

"Were this merely an issue of succession the matter would resolve quite easily, but this is a conflict of two opposing doctrines, two different world-views. On one side is the age-old tradition that counts a king's power in terms of conquests and loot, on the other is our king's lone struggle to end it all," says Kanchuki, the 130 year-old keeper of the inner chambers of Hastinapur's royal palace.

Beginning before the birth of Dhritarashtra and Pandu, Manoj Mitra's Ja Nei Bharatey traces the crosscurrents of aims and desires which shape the time. It questions the miraculous birth of the Pandavas and the Kauravas? And what makes Dhritarashtra take up weapons or rush into leaping flames?

If the Bengali proverb 'Ja nei Bharatey ta nei Bharatey' means 'whatever is not in the Mahabharata, does not exist in India' (or exist at all). In Ja Nei Bharatey it also means 'All that remains unsaid in the Mahabharata'. Without distorting the epic text Mitra here reads between the lines and looks rationally at all that led up to the great conflict, taking the side of Nature, wilderness and the neglected outcasts of society.

The play taps the ancient roots of our culture, testing the knowledge embedded in the Puranas with the new awareness in the age of Globalisation and scientific progress. In this new perspective stereotype characters like Shakuni, Pandu, Ambika, Gandhari and others acquire new lives, and a few new characters step out of the shadows.

The play has Manoj Mitra in a leading role and a cast of 20 artists from Sundaram. Light design is by Joy Sen, music by Gautam Ghosh and stage and costume by Amit Sarkar.

Ja Nei Bharatey Casting Script and direction: Manoj Mitra

Kanchuki: Manoj Mitra
Bhisma : Dipak Das
Vyas: Samar Das
Dhritarashtra: Subrata Chowdhuri
Pandu: Priyojit Bandhyopadhyay
Vidur: Dipak Thakurata
Patokini: Mayuri Ghosh
Ambika: Amrapali Ghosh Mukherjee
Gandhari: Arpita Sen
Ira: Antara Bhattacharya
Subal Raja: Tarit Bhattacharya
Shakuni:Mukesh Chakraborty
Raj Purohit: Soumen Chakraborty

Credit:

Set: Amit Sarkar
Light:Joy Sen
Music: Gautam Ghosh
Costume: Ankhi Sarkar
Makeup: Ajoy Ghosh
Set fabrication: Dipak Das and Manab Roy
Sound: Digvijay Biswas
Light operation: Bablu Roy