In this year, we have started preparing our new production "ALKAAP MAYA" written and directed by Parimal Tribedi. The story tells the life of Alkap Ustad Dhananjay Sarkar, popularly known as Jhakshu Khalifa. Script reading, workshops, rehearsal and other relevant activities are going on. Twenty five artists have participated in this play. The Alkap(folk song) artists are also taking part in this play.
Alkap is a form of folk song along with music and theatrical performance depicting the social follies and foibles mostly related to the rural life using sarcasm, irony, mockery and jest. Songs, music, acting, jokes and the inclusion of the chhokras (men pretending to be women or having effeminate characteristics) and hijras (eunuch) and the amusing performance made this folk song popular in all over Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Bangladesh.
The term 'Alkap' comes from the Bengali words 'Al' that means sting and 'Kap' that means sarcastic presentation in form of songs (some say the term 'Kap' means kavya or verse.
Alkap has evolved in the district of Murshidabad, Malda and Birbhum in the state of West Bengal along with the rural areas of the state of Jharkhand and Bihar such as Dumka and Purnia and in Rajsahi in Bangladesh.
Alkap begins with Asar Vandana (invocation) followed by Chhokra, Kaap, Baithaki Gaan and Khemta Pala. Generally it continues for one or two nights but somewhere it continues for seven days or more depending on the popularity of the Alkap group.
Alkap consists of ustad (master/director/guru), chhokras, singers, dohar (repeater/chorus) choristers, and musicians.
Synopsis of the Play
(The term 'Alkap' comes from the Bengali words 'Al' that means sting and 'Kap' that means sarcastic presentation in form of songs. Some say the term 'Kap' means kavya or verse.)
The play Alkap Maya tells the story of the journey of Ustad Dhananjay Sarkar (Jhakshu Khalifa), the eminent alkap artist of Bengal. It depicts the mind pricking conflict and several sides of the artist- his passion for Alkap Song, his relation with the Chhokras (men performing as women), his true love for Ganga, his third wife and his unbreakable stamina in tuff situations of his artistic life, his magic of Alkap song and the maya (illusion) that he pursues throughout his life and so many human vice and virtues of his life. The play presents the year old controversies regarding homosexualism through the relation of Jhakshu and other Chhokras. His mental conflict and torment to maintain balance between his family having a loveable wife and his attraction towards the chhokras and his unbreakable stamina to maintain his unending passion of Alkap are the varying elements of the play.
The play begins with the performance of Alkap . Following the original form of Alkap the play begins with Sarswati Bandana, then Baithaki and then Kaap and other parts. Here the audience is introduced with Ustad Dhananjay Sarkar, popularly called Jhakshu Khalifa. Rehearsal of Alkap song is going on in Jhakshu's village house under his strict direction. Jhakshu teaches Shanti, a chhokra (man playing the role of woman and having effeminate nature) and Fajal. Shanti's attraction towards Jhakshu embarrasses Ganga, Jhakshu's third wife who teases him and Shanti. When the rehearsal is over and Jhakshu goes out, Ganga finds Shanti alone and chases her and questions Shanti's manhood. Ganga and Shanti come close both physically and mentally. An illegitimate relation builds up. Jhakshu catches them red handed. Shanti escapes and Ganga commits suicide. Jhakshu continues his song but misses Shanti, his own creation. Ganga and Shanti's betrayal pricks Jhakshu but he never gives up. He brings new Chhokra but the magic of his Alkap is not reached. Jhakshu tries to find out Shanti with the help of Chandramohan Juari (gambler). At last Jhakshu is successful in catching Shanti. He asks him if Ganga had left her home for Jhakshu or for Shanti. Shanti tells him that Ganga loved Jhakshu but Jhakshu's excessive attention towards Shanti led to their illegitimate relation. Ganga wanted to take revenge on Jhakshu. Jhakshu's heart soothes when he knows that Ganga's love for him was true.
With the passing of time, the presence of women is seen in Alkap and the need of Chhokra gradually diminishes. But Ustad Jhakshu finds the maya or illusion is no more without the chhokras. With the women in women's role, the maya vanishes. Women fail to create the maya that was created by the chhokras. Jhakshu establishes the idea that truth can never create an illusion which is the most important element for Alkap as well as any art form. Illusion or maya is created only to believe what is not in real, to see what is not, to know what is not true.
STORY : SAYAD MUSTAFA SIRAJ
PLAY WRITER & DIRECTOR : PARIMAL TRIBEDI
|LIGHT DESIGN :||JAYANTA MUKHERJEE|
|SET DESIGN :||SANDIP BHATTACHARYA|
|MUSIC :||DEBRAJ TRIBEDI|
|ALKAP SONG :||KHITISH BASAK & MANOJIT SINGHA|
|MAKE UP :||PRADYUT TAKUKDAR|
|CHOREOGRAPHY :||DEBKUMAR PAUL|
|JHAKSU||JOYRAJ TRIBEDI||DEBU||DABASISH ACHARYA|
|SANTI||SEFALI MANDAL||BHOLA||PRABIR DAS|
|GANGA||SUBARNA CHAKRABORTY||PRASANNA||MANOJ HADAR|
|SUKHLATA||DIPTI MANDAL||CHANDRA MOHAN||SAIKAT SARKAR|
|KAMALABASINI||PUNAM TRIBEDI||SUBARNA||MALA DEY|
|FAJAL||GOLAK SARKAR||SANATAN||NIHAR SAHA|
|ANU||ASHIM CHOUDHURY||MANIRUL||PROSENJIT BARMAN|
|BAJNADAR|| MANOJIT SINGHA, BIPLAB DAS,
|DOHAR|| MANOJ HALDAR, RABI HALDAR, RITURAJ
TRIBEDI, SUMANTA PRAMANIK
|BHANU||BANANI TRIBEDI||SHASHTHI BABU||SUMANTA PRAMANIK|
|PROHLAD||RITURAJ TRIBEDI||RAJU||SOUHARDA SARKAR|