OLD IS GOLD, they say. And veteran actor-director Ajit Das has proved this with his decade- long venture to stage dramatised versions of Oriya literary classics.
Ever since his theatre body AJIT (Abhinaya Jagruti Institute of Theatre - that follows his name) was established ten years ago, Das has successfully staged 12 such classics that include path breaking novels like Chhamana Athaguntha, Sashthi and Mala Janha. His latest play – Kantababi Laxmikanta Mohapatra’s touching and tragic story of Budha Sankhari – staged at Rabindra Mandap last week witnessed huge rush of audience on both the evenings. Even cine star Anubhav and eminent theatre director Subodh Patnaik were seen attending the shows on both the evenings.
The 90-minute play was conventional but captivating. Dramatised by late Biswajit Das with stage craft by the acclaimed Asim Basu, Das’ cast included several seasoned actors from the cine world – Minaketan, Hari, distinguished dubbing artiste Rakhi besides gifted actor Antaryami who was cast in the role of the protagonist in this tragic play.
Hari, whom his fans had hitherto known as an out and out comedian, exhibited his potential as an actor of substance in the character of a mad man in the play who plays the role of the conscience keeper for an insane world. The director’s young daughter Manishita also gave a stellar performance in the character of the protagonist’s daughter and as the newly wed bride later in the play.
While the original story dwells largely on the characters of the old man and his love for the newly wed bride in whom he sees his dead and beloved daughter, the dramatist and director duo has magnified the relevance of the characters of almost all the supporting characters that has added a distinct dimension to the dramatised version.
Though an actors’ play, Tapas Das’ background music plays an important role in conveying the moods of the scenes.