Since 1989 I have been involved with Bangla Theater in USA. Over the years I have worked with several groups, several associations and have been involved with several theater productions. My theater journey in this country started with the theater group Sansaptak with their production “Sabda Moho Bandhane”. The play was directed by Sakti Sengupta. Being involved with theater since my childhood, I was a bit skeptic about the theater scenario in USA when I first arrived in this country. But my first experience was not only a pleasant surprise but an extremely enjoyable one. All the stereo typical notions of expatriate Bengali theater were shattered with that production. Sakti-da took us through a complete production development process of a new play. The script was developed based on Shirshendu Mukherjee’s short stories, Sunil Ganguly and Sakti Chattopadhyay’s poems. It was not a simple narrative, but rather a complex collage of character’s, their relationships, their dreams and disillusionment. Continue reading
Three months ago, when I lost my mother, I received the following email from a close friend:
The email was from Gayatri Gamarsh (who allowed me to call her as Gayatri-di) and it really helped me cope with my pain. Little did I know that three months later, Gayatri-di herself will move on to “her after-life” leaving us behind mourning her loss.
I came to know Gayatri-di mainly through her literary works and her love for anything artistic. She used to love coming to our plays and appreciated them very much. Several times she has written about our plays in Anandasambad and other magazines. Her appreciation and encouragement meant a lot to me and my team mates. It is for people like Gayatri-di that makes all the hard work in writing and staging a play worth it.
In September, she had participated in a workshop on creative Bengali writing conducted by Sunil Gangopadhyay. She had rescheduled her heart surgery just to attend this workshop online. That was the last time I had heard her voice on the phone. Later, after her surgery, she had sent me an email asking for an article or cartoon for the “Sambad Bichitra” English section. But I never had the chance to hand it to her.
As mentioned by Gayatri-di in her email, I’ll believe that she is always with us and will be watching any play we put up or read any article I write or any cartoon I draw.
Goodbye Gayatri-di and thank you for all your encouragement and blessings, for those will be my source of inspiration for whatever I do in the future.
On July 4th, Saturday night, the curtains came down upon the NABC 2009 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. But as the NABC lights faded out in the West Coast, Kallol of New Jersey got into full gear to herald in the NABC of 2010 to be held at the Atlantic City Convention center from July 9th to 11th, 2010. Although I was not able to attend the San Jose NABC, but judging from the excellent coverage on Urhalpool, it seemed that it was a successful one from an overall perspective. It seemed that the shows ran on time (which was unthinkable even a few years ago, NABC seems to have fixed that vexing problem and made this cartoon irrelevant), they were entertaining and dazzling, food was good, as were the long adda sessions. The second generation kids also seemed to have enjoyed themselves, some made new friends and some met old ones they met at previous NABCs.