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Children’s drama fest and Shilpi Divas at New Delhi

Children’s laughter, joyous hue and cry, meticulous acting performance with some melodious songs & dance numbers warmed up two deadly cold evenings of Delhi last week. The Assamese people living in Delhi got a chance to rewind their childhood through the universal appeal of the performances done by those kids who were born or brought up in Delhi & have hardly got the chance to know their own root by social practices. INLI Foundation initiated a praise-worthy attempt of providing them an atmosphere where they can realize the essence of their soil at maximum level. On 16 & 17th January, 2015 INLI Foundation organized Dr Bhabendra Nath Saikia Memorial Drama Festival at Chinmaya Mission Auditorium, Lodhi Road associating these youngsters with some renowned personas of the arena.  

On day 1, Friday, Respected guests Chetana Das, Malaya Goswami, ShubhaLakshmi Khan, Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta(ADGP,Assam), Mayukh Hazarika &Kumar  Padmapani Bora,IRS lighted the lamps inaugurating the event. Following that, a Satriya Dance performance by Srijani Bhaswa Mahanta, a student of Lady Sri Ram College added a sanctified rigor to the event preparing the audience for the drama series. 

The three acts of ‘Xhanto Xhisto Hristo Pusto Mohadusto’ written by Dr. Bhabendra Nath Saikia were staged under the skilled direction of NSD Graduate Parag Sarmah. Act I and Act  II of the series were beautifully enacted by Bidisha Bezbarua, Tathagata Sharma, Bodhisatwa Sharma, Sangeet Prasanna, Utpal Barua, Indrajit Das, Rodali Sarmah and Dharmendra Saikia. A playfully portrayed song “gadi gadi….” written by Biplab Borkakoti & Bobita Kalita & Music composed by Jilmil Hazarika added a colorful dimension to the play. Maitrayee Patar & Daradi Patar sang the lively number where Samyak Prasanna, Hiyasmita, Murchana, Jayati, Anshika and Dharmendra portrayed the characters of moving cars.

Third act of the play came with an all new cast. In this act  Anisha Bhardwaj, Krishanga Shekhar Deka, Dushyant Bora, Sarthak Shivam, Dharmistha Goswami and Rhituparna Bhuyan played the specified roles very convincingly. Light operators  Papori Medhi & Kiran Kumar & Music operator Sonmoni did equally good job throughout the play.

Day I introduced two cute, vibrant little angels Abhishri Bhardwaj and Bhashini Deka as the Anchors of the show; while founder of INLI Foundation Indrajit Das conducted the Day II events himself. As second day of the Drama Festival fell on 17th Jan, lots of multihued programmes were accomplished as tribute to the Rupkonwar  Jyotiprasad Agarwala on account of Shilpi Divas. Anisha, Abhishri, Bhashini and Krishang presented a Jyoti Sangeet under the guidance of Dr. Manideepa Goswami. Deshna Mahanta and Anshika Shivam recited ‘Kumpur Sapon: Bhoot Powali’ and ‘Akonmanir Prarthana’ respectively. A dance number by Pari, Ishita, Abhishri, Tina, Devasmita, Princi, Diya, Namrata, Angel, Mampi, Nilakshi, Drishti, Priya and Hrishita being choreographed by Sangeeta Das filled the auditorium with the very familiar rhythm of Jyoti sangeet.  Eminent actress Roxorotna Chetana Das, National award winning actress Malaya Goswami, Singer Manisha Hazarika, Former Judge  of Supreme Court Dr. Mukundakam Sharma& eminent artist of Assam Manjit Rajkhowa  graced the evening with their auspicious presence and active participation.  Apart from the above mentioned programmes, Day II included Malaya Goswami’s gripping performance of ‘Lovita’ and ‘Firingati’ as well as her recitation of ‘Asomiya Sowalir Ukti’. On the other hand, Chetana Das in a way hypnotized the audience with her very touching, realistic portrayal of characters from ‘Bhogjora’, ‘Karengor Ligiri’ and ‘Upapath’.  

Day II brought ‘Olot Palot’- a social drama as the final presentation of the festival. Based on a poem by Sahityacharya Atul Chandra Hazarika, the plot was dramatized by Utpal Kumar Das(Barpeta) and Directed by Parag Sarmah. Poet & performer Samudra Kajal Saikia wrote the songs according to the mood and movement of the story that duly kept the flow. Music arranged by Binod Bharadwaz with assistance of Biplab Borkakoti[NSDian] and operated by Suneet Bora[NSDian]. NSD graduate Raju Roy and Pallavi Dutta played the lead roles of an old couple leaving the audience spell bound.  Behind the lights was another NSD graduate Papori Medhi.

At the end of the programme, Chetana Das & Malaya Goswami showered INLI Foundation with their heartfelt appreciation for its continuous efforts of constructing a solid pavement towards our socio-cultural glory which is much needed among the Assamese people, especially the new generation born & brought up in Delhi. Mrs. Preeti Saikia being on a tour in the US for medical reasons , extended her appraisal and gratitude to INLI for their initiative in Dr. Saikia’s work & philosophy. Justice Dr. Mukundakam Sharma termed it as an important initiative for the whole Assamese society.  Manisha Hazarika commented on the musical aspects of the programme and called it very contemporary and suitable. Dr. Chandan Deka, Manisha Hazarika, Binapani Dutta, Utpal Barua as well as many  audience including some children expressed their feelings after the experience and promised to extend their association with INLI throughout.

In his concluding speech, Founder & Chaiperson of INLI, Indrajit Das appealed the parents and guardians to make Assam’s own culture and language a household practice. As most of the kids there were born & brought up in Delhi itself; they are educated in schools/ environment which are way too far from their root- Assam. The taste of the soil and language of Assam comes to them as vacation- package which may be fun but not their usual life holding identity. He said, this of course is not only sad but also hazardous for them as well as for the whole Assamese society. On behalf of INLI Foundation, Das promised to continue this movement with their other forthcoming projects like ‘Karengar Ligiri’ and so on. Subhas Borah announced the conclusion with a short and sleek thanks giving speech.

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