Burma Comes Alive in Washington as Sharat Chandra, Tagore Get Together

Must read

Washington DC – With Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi making headlines after reiterating her choice to call her country Burma, the name echoed recently in the Greater Washington, DC area when a Bengali cultural group presented a play set in upper Burma in 1885.

Indian culture lovers sat mesmerized as they were treated to an amazing presentation by the Tagore Music Group of Chhobi, a short love story written by the illustrious author, the immortal story teller of Bengal, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.

Nandita Dasgupta outlined the synopsis of the play while Bharati Mitra ably handled the dramatization of the short story, selection of cast and crew, costume design and overall direction, choice of Tagore songs, and the appropriate blending of songs to befit the varying moods of the story line.

Chhobi, set in Burma, portrays a timeless tale of two young lovers, Ma Shway and Ba Thwin, the ebbs and tides of their emotions, their temporary hiatus and eventual reunion. To portray the intrinsic passion and emotions underlying the love tale, the original story was laced with the songs and melodies from none other than Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

This unification of Sarat Chandra and Rabindranath, the two literary stalwarts of the early 20th century, made the musical Chhobi a unique experimental endeavor, not only as a theater presentation, but also from a literary perspective.

Set in the Burmese village of Imedin (near Pegu), not too far from Mandalay (Burma’s last royal capital until the British conquest of upper Burma in 1885), the story took the audience down memory lane to that era, while highlighting the timelessness of human emotions.

The dance drama was performed by students of the Natyabhoomi School of Dance, under the tutelage of Shruti Mukund and her sister Dipti Mukund.

In the role of Ma Shway, Subarna Thakur, and Kamal Ahmed Tushar as Ba Thwin, excelled in an evening brought to a captivated audience of Tagore lovers by the Tagore Music Group, a Bengali cultural association of Tagore lovers of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. (IATNS)

More articles

Latest article