Synopsis of Swadeshi:

Shakespeare is considered to be one the greatest poet of human era. We Bengali people consider Rabindranath. Know about other great poets, don’t have clear ideas about the works of many others. Surprisingly, Shakespeare is basically a dramatist. And Rabindranath is the best dramatist not only in Bengali language but also in many other languages. Jose Ortega is the greatest philosopher for Spanish speaking people of modern times. The fascinated interpretation by Ortega helped to newly know about “Dakghor” by Rabindranath. Juan Ramon Jimenez was awarded Nobel Prize for his poetry in nineteen hundred fifty six. A very big portion of the poetry of this great poet is the translations of Rabindranath.

The interpretation of Dakghar by Ortega captured my heart. I was a student of class five then. The school will build a dakghor (post office). I was sure that I will be Amol. Returning to the school after a long vacation, I found that Jyotibindra Roy was rehearsing for the character Amol. He belonged to famous Roy house, and was the grandson of congress leader Ananda Roy. I had never seen such a beautiful boy. He speaks very sweet. Just what was suitable for Amol. Still I envied him. But got highly benefitted by witnessing their rehearsal, I memorized the full drama. It wasn’t in the last scene before, “Somudre Shanti Parabar” (Peace in the Sea) can be obtained after the Rabindra–application. It’s not even in the drama book. Shanti Chakrabarty, who wasn’t a girl, used to read a few class upper than us. Couldn’t be able to control my tears when he used to sing that song in rehearsals. That’s was because of the context of the drama, not for Shanti’s voice.
This is how I entered in the world of Rabindranath’s dramas. Watched Dakghor in English, produced by American embassy. Arranged by the children of the employees of the embassy. So beautiful! Bohurupi’s Dakghor was released in cassettes. Amol by Chaity Moshkal was incomprehensibly beautiful. Saw and read his many dramas, one by one. Comedy type drama could be written by any other writer, there would have been no loss if no one could. Somehow Dakghor taught to hope for something else. My mind was satisfied after watching plays like Roktokorobi, Ocholayoton, Muktadhara, Raja etc. Evrey time the horizon of mind used to touch the edge of the world. Malncha, both as novel and play. Taught this drama as part of voicing practice for a long time. Business, gardening, a bridegrrom, a bride, a sister–in–law. A dense disclosure of human nature was made by them like the sunrise in a garden. Very beautiful, yet very painful. “Prangonemor” is a new theatre troupe, started “Char Oddhay” in order to showcase the novel as a drama. On this occasion, my navigated the revolutionary world of Indranath Otin and Ela once again. I don’t know if there is enough drama written in such way where the main context is happening and there is a strong agitation in the society about it. A perspective from far is needed, not just for writing history, but also for literature and drama. As if Rabindranath put the cake his mouth just after taking it down from the pan. Words started again after putting it. Burnt many things, but the Rabindranath’s mouth, nothing happened to it. Just an image was kept hanging for two or three era, an anti–rebellion cloak wear sage and a bourgeoisie Rabindranath.
Anytime living from that time, should be heavily ashamed of it, if they read “Char Oddhay” once again now.  Is the political novel “Char Oddhay” against the revolutionary violence? This sort of judgment seems very childish now. Rather, it seems like in “Char Oddhay” Rabindranath indicated some crisis of human being driven to the infinity, the way he spoke about them in Dakghor, in Roktokorobi. In his every drama, there is a pleading similarity somewhere. But not in his comedies.
I am facing no problem about praising the courages of Prangonemor in advance. Hope that through acting and presentation, this drama will become similar to the novel “Char Oddhay”.

Director’s Word:

“Swadeshi” is a drama adaption of Rabindranath’s novel “Char Oddhay”. It was written in 1934. It’s a complete romantic novel written on the events of swadeshi movement. Rabindranath himself described it a romantic novel. I tried to keep this in my mind while adapting and directing this one for stagnation. There are many controversies about this novel. Let’s talk about how the novel “Char Oddhay” started in the mind of Rabindranath. On the other hand, he was vedantik – fearlessly spirited, self–denying, scholar and immensely influential.
Rabindranath used to get astonished seeing the way he could unveil the toughest theories after sitting in a discussion with him. When Lord Curzon was firmly determined about the Bengal dissection, which created an agitated vortex throughout the heart of the country, at that period of time this monk dived into it and published a paper named “Sondhya” all by himself. The way he started to pour the essence of alcohol in an acute language, it flown fireballs in the bloods of the country. That paper indicated the glimpse of the horror to the approach of creating Bangladesh for the first time. That fierce change in the vedantik monk was completely unimaginable. At those moments, he didn’t have any meeting with Rabindranath for a long period time. According to Rabindranath, “I thought he was diverted from me with disregard after realizing the conflict about his process of state movement with me. Many symptoms of depredation started to emerge. During those days of dark madness, I was sitting alone in my room at the second floor of Jorasanko, suddenly mr. Upaddhay came. Some of our old topics were mentioned during the conversation. After the discussion he took farewell, looked back for once after going near the threshold and said, “Rabibau, I have been heavily declined.” It was pretty clear to me that he came here to say this tragic line.”
It is needless to say that, despite of having full respect for a person, taking the options like “ghastly ways” or “shelter of terrorism” was a symbol of declinement to Rabindranath. The novel “Char Uddhay” was written on the basis of this incident. When the conflagration encouraged and stimulated the people of the whole country, Rabindranath then wrote the novel “Char Oddhay”.

What he wrote in the preface of the first edition, he had to deduct them in the next edition due to the nuisance of the people. The story lied in “Char Oddhay” is notable because despite of having unstinted respect for that unique simple and truthful person, Rabindranath was irm in his dissidence. But I was a bit surprised about one fact. The characters that we call negative characters generally, I have noticed in Rabindranath’s various stories, dramas that I have read that in most cases Rabindranath brought self realization to those characters, in other words the oppressor stood against his own self. I can mention Raja of “Raktakorobi” or Raghupoti of “Bishorjon” as examples. But we don’t find anything of that sort in “Char Oddhay”.  Though Indranath is not a negative character here, still a ‘But’ continued to scratch me. Yes, he might have thought about this kind of ending as it was a novel. But I had to make play. The outcome or the ending message of the drama is very important to me (many can differ). So, I couldn’t end the play in a point where Atin would leave instantly after killing Ela. So, I have some inclusion. I hope the Rabindra lovers won’t find it difficult to accompany with my thoughts. If they do, then I will take all the liabilities.

Ours is a new troupe. All the performers are new. It is difficult portray a character like Atin without a skillful and experienced actor. I completed this task with a completely new boy. The scarcity of experience can’t be filled without gaining experience itself. But yes, the boy who played the character Atin, he or they can definitely play bigger characters in future if they want. We florescent the path for them, and this is the purpose of Prangonemor. “Shyamprem”, the first production of us is also acting and story based drama. The people who helped me in many ways- Fayej Zahir in set, Thandu Rayhan in lights, Joglul Alam in lights, I am really grateful to them. I am surprised by the level of dedication they showed in this production. The number of rehearsal the attended with full concentration to compose the set, light and music of this production, it is really rare to see in these days. Even the poster designer Saiful Islam, who read both the novel and the drama form, designed the poster after passing two days in our rehearsals. They did these tasks after accurately observing our rehearsals, despite of their busy schedules. The way my friend, Ananta Hira tried to fulfill the demands of the director like an obedient boy added a new dimension in my confidence. The integrity of the performers of my troupe made it easier for me. Many of them are growing up as a true theatre activist, which gives a very pleasant feeling.

Nuna Afroz

Direction: Nuna Afroz
Premier show- 02 October 2005
Venue –Experimental Theater Hall, Bangladesh Shilpokala Academy, Dhaka.

Back Stage & On Stage

Ela                   :           Nuna Afroz

Indronath        :           Ananta Hira

Atin                 :           Ashraful Tutul/Sumon Seikh/Ramiz Razu

Kanai Gupta    :           Shishir Rahman/Bandhu Tuhin/Mainul Tawhid

Akhil               :           Shariar Hossain/Abu Hayat Jashim/Bulet Jewel

Botu                :           Mir Salauddin Babu/Sarwar Saikat

Back Stage:

Light Designer :          Thandu Raihan

Stage Design   :           Fayez Zahir

Music              :           Jaglul Alam

Poster  Design :           Saiful Islam

Dress Design   :           Nuna Afroz

Makeup           :           Tapon

Stage Manager :          Sarwar Saikat

Direction         :           Nuna Afroz