A year ago, on a certain Black Thursday, Guwahati and Assam came to a standstill. A series of explosions perpetrated by a heartless bunch of beasts-in-the-garb-of-men shattered the lives of many. On that day, it was humanity that died a sad death. There were many spontaneous outpourings of protest, and much rhetoric that had emanated, particularly from the powers-that-be. A year later, life is running its normal course. In the past one year, it is questionable as to how many amongst us have actually spared some time to think of the auto rickshaw driver or the vegetable vendor or the lawyer or the student who lost their lives in the blasts on that fateful October 31st? All the rhetoric that had emerged then have long run down the drains that traverse the city of Guwahati. And what have we gained? Nothing, but the realization that man has indeed transformed into machines.We live such mechanized existences that not even death can afford to affect us.
Such feelings hung in the silent air of the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra Auditorium as a bunch of young children put up a ‘Mukabhinay’--a mime show on the 7th of January,2010. Titled ‘Bisphoran’(which means ‘explosion’), this mime show was based on (and was presented as a tribute to all the lives lost in) the serial blasts that rocked the state on 31st October, 2008. It touchingly presented some of our lives’ crucial issues all the while as it highlighted the consequences and aftermath of the ghastly explosions.
This mime show was the outcome of a workshop on the art form of Mime conducted by Pranjal Gogoi, Himanshu Prasad Das, Pranab Jyoti Lahkar and Prince under the aegis of Nisabda , a socio-cultural organization. The outcome of the creative efforts of a few enterprising youths, Nisabda (which in itself means silence) has within a short span of time been able to make a mark for itself in the cultural sphere through mime shows, short films, documentaries, dramas and so on. As Pranjal Gogoi, Director and Secretary Nisabda says—“within the grammar of mime, Nisabda endeavours to create a new wave of consciousness in the sphere of art. Nisabda is ever open to efforts at creativity”. Such efforts at creativity were manifest in this show as well. Video clippings of the (aftermath of the)bomb blasts, shown as the backdrop and a well composed(situational) song, added to the impact.
Conceived and directed by actor, director and mime artist Pranjal Gogoi, the artists of this mime show were-Pran Pratim, Bijit Kumar Das, Radali Hazarika, Hridayjyoti das, Rituraj Konwar, Varnayuattree, Joyrenba Singha, Arindam Bharadwaj, Bidyut Jyoti Burhagohain, Aoshim Chetia, Riddhi Raj Burhagohain, Saheib Ahmed, Dristanta Basumatari, Dhrubajyoti Dutta, Hirak Jyoti Dutta, Ranjit Sharma, Khanjan Kashyap.
While music was by Dipanka Saikia, the song was sung and performed by Ritu Vikash. Light design was by Tapan Baruah and set design by the students (i.e. the participants of the workshop). Make-up was by Prince, and Pranab Jyoti Lahkar was the production controller . Sound was courtesy Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra. Publicity was handled by Nilakshi Deka and Raisy Begum.
We hope we shall get to see further such projects from the creative coffers of Nisabda.
[published in The Sentinel on 9th January, 2010]