October-December 2002 issue
House Boats on Dal
Lake in Srinagar. Credit for introducing
House Boats in Kashmir goes to Pt. Narain Das, father of Swami Laxman ji.
- Natya Parva 2002
Lal Kemmu's 'Aka Nandun'
Natya Parva 2002, the Theatre Festival
of Sangeet Natak Akademy, New Delhi was organised in Mumbai in association
with the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai, from 1 December to
16 December 2002. The Kashmiri play 'Aka Nandun', a presentation by National
Bhand Theatre, Wathora, Kashmir was staged on 3 December 2002 at Y.B.Chavan
Auditorium. The play in original Kashmiri language, music and costume was
penned, designed and directed by Shri Moti Lal Kemmu.
Aka Nandun has been a part of Kashmiri folklore
for ages. It would be sung in music assemblies. Attempts to put it on stage
and TV were made several times. The format chosen by Pt. Kemmu has been
that of Opera, with elements from Kashmir's own theatre style of 'bàndûh
päthûr'. The presentation, even before an audience, majority
of which was non-Kashmiri speaking, was excellent.
The story revolves round a queen longing
for a son after giving birth to seven daughters. A Sadhu blesses her with
a son on the condition that the boy be named Aka Nandun and be returned
to him after 12 years. The queen accepts the condition. After 12 years,
the Sadhu returns and asks for Aka Nandun. The queen tries to strike a
bargain with the Sadhu by offering him money, land and jewellery, but the
Sadhu does not relent. He commands her to cut Aka Nandun into pieces, cook
them and serve them on 11 plates. Finally she complies and the Sadhu leaves,
directing her to call Aka Nadun aloud, upon which Aka Nandun reappears.
The format chosen by Kemmuji has tried
to interpret the message of the tale. The tale, which ordinarily looks
to be very sordid, is not actually so. The concept of a mayavi Aka Nandun
being cut to pieces, when the actual one is there to appear on the call
of his mother, has been dramatically brought out.
The story is of Hindu dimensions, with
prayers, mystics and gods forming part of the tale. The actors, director,
musicians and all, are Muslims, particularly of rural background.
here for more details)
About Pt. Moti Lal Kemmu :
in 1933 in Srinagar, Kashmir, Shri Moti Lal Kemmu took his graduate degree
from J&K University in 1953. He received training at M.S.University,
Baroda under a Govt. of India scholarship. He has also been awarded a Senior
Fellowship (in literature) by the Deptt. of Culture, Govt. of India.
With his plays Teen Asangat Ekanki, Trunove,
Tshai, Tota Ta Aana and Bhand Duhai, Shri Moti Lal Kemmu has established
himself as an important dramatist in Kashmiri. Actively involved with the
promotion of the traditional Bhand theatre of Kashmir as well as other
arts including the Dhamali dance, he has organised a number of workshops
for actors and playwrights in Kashmiri.
Shri Moti Lal Kemmu received the Sahitya
Academy Award in 1982 and was honoured by the Jammu & Kashmir Government
for his service to Kashmiri literature and arts. Shri Kemmu received the
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1997.