Theatre connoisseurs in the Capital City were treated to a thought-provoking play ‘Swetapadma’ written by eminent dramatist and story writer late Pranabandhu Kar on Monday evening.
Staged by artistes of Bhubaneswar-based Abhinaya Jagruti Institute of Theatre at the Rabindra Mandap, ‘Swetapadma’ was directed by actor Ajit Das.
The psychological one-act play marked the beginning of the centenary celebration of Kar that began on Monday.
Considered as one of Kar’s best dramatic works, the play revolved around the relationship between a couple and the importance the wife, Sweta, gives to her psychologist husband Hemakanta’s looks and health.
The play deals with complications and the emotional problems of the central character Sweta who experiences misunderstanding in her complete dedication to her husband’s health.
Well-written dialogues with subtle humour, realistic characters and successful depiction of psychoanalytical reactions were important aspects of the play.
Its neat presentation and superb direction from none less than Ajit Das, coupled with acting by the artistes of Abhinaya Jagruti Institute of Theatre(AJIT) had a spellbound effect on the audience.
Deepak Ranjan Pati as Hemakanta and Manishita Das as Sweta did justice to their characters. They left a lasting impression and so did the other actors in various roles.
Written in the 1950s, ‘Swetapadma’ was adjudged best play in the All India One-Act Play competition held in 1958.
Earlier during the inauguration, actor Das and veteran playwright Bijoy Mishra paid tributes to Kar and recalled their associations with the eminent dramatist. “I am glad that I got a chance to stage Swetapadma. Kar’s works are never time-bound which is why a play like Swetapadma, which was written 50 years back, stands relevant even today,” he said.
“He was someone who always encouraged us to write new stories for theatre. Whenever we staged the plays, he was the first one to review and criticise them like a true critic. His criticism was never sugar-coated,” recalled Mishra.
Speaking on the occasion, Editor(Odisha) of The New Indian Express Srimoy Kar said a trust - Pranabandhu Memorial Trust - has been floated which would publish the unpublished works of the dramatist and as a part of the birth centenary celebration, many of his plays will be staged. “Besides, the Trust would felicitate a young writer every year,” he said.