So that is what theatre is about –success and disappointemnt, frustation and renewed hope. What seems impossible, slowly but surely shows rays of light, human strengths and frailties, enduring warm friendships.
I would go on feet from Bengali Market to Pragati Maidan, the Venue of rehearsal and staging because those were the days of hardship for theatre artistes. But it did not dampen our spirit and we were determined to do nothing but theatre.
Going backstage to wish the cast 'break a leg' before the show of The Queen and the Rebels, I found Bhaskar Ghose bewaiting the fact that some of the actors for the important crowed scnes had not turned up. Naturally, he dragooned me into giving up my seat in the audience and going on to stage, Equally naturally, I agreed!
Mriccbakatika was an innovative experiment. The stage was bare, the actors wore half –masks and colourful make up and the costumes were ultra –modern. We girls wore mini –ghagras and the briefest of cholis for which we were pelted with tomatoes and onions at a performance in Aligarh.
A group of travellers, yatris with a passion for theatre, registered themselves as Yantrik in 1964 as blingual repertory company. The objective was to project the arts as a one of the longest –existing theatre groups. Hundreds of performers have walked the stage under the Yatrik banner, and shall continue to do so, this is the story of the journey in the words of the yatris.
Born in Kalet in Uttarakhand in 1937, Diwan Singh Bajeli has been writing on theatre for four decades. His reviews and his interview ofeminent theatre and film personalities have appeared in almost all leading national newspapers. His theatre reviews have been published by India Weekly, London. For young readers, he has retold many kumaoi folk tales. He regularly reviews dramas for the Hindu. A trade union and cultural activist, Bajeli has had a long association with Parvatiya Kala Kendra, and is presently its vice president.
Bajeli has an MA in Political Science and a diploma in Journalism. He has written short stories in both Hindi and English, as well as a few one –act plays. One of his books The Theatre of Bhanu Bharti: A New Perspective published by Niyogi Books has been widely acclaimed by the press and discerning theatre lovers. The Ministry of Culture, Government of India, awarded him Senior Fellowship in the Field of the theatre in 2007.
Currently he is working on a book, titled Folk Theatre of Kumaon.
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