- Title of the Play : JATRA (the Journey)
- Genre : Realistic Play in Assamese
- Playwright : Baharul Islam
- Director : Baharul Islam
- Duration : 1 hour 30 mints
- Interval : No interval
- No of People on the stage : 17
- No of People on Tour : 22
- Minimum performance area 30 x 20 feet
- Freight : 150 kg
- Contact details : Baharul Islam
Members of the team
- Indrajit Das
- Chandan Deka
- Saged ali
Script & Direction: BAHARUL ISLAM
Production: Seagull theatre
Guwahati, Assam, INDIA
JATRA- the Journey
Simple stated, this journey of ours is introspection.
The subject of each of our plays since the beginning of our days in drama has been to examine us closely. It is beyond us to make an appraisal of the extent, depth and universal appeal of Islam.
But non-Islamic tendencies in the garb of Islam in the Muslim society of lower Assam have been our concern since our childhood.
In this illiterate or semi-literate society, we hear different interpretations of the same religious tenets by different ideologues. At times, one negates the other.
Here, many mullahs or other religious dignitaries say so many things under the cover of religion to serve their own purposes. With their connivance, self-seekers feign ignorance to abuse Islam.
The journey is an expression of our longstanding perceptions.
Even today, the women of this society are unorganized.
They are feeble, not only as a class, but also in their individual mental make-up.
They tend to accept any misfortune as ordained by God or as the quirk of fate instead of analyzing those with their own faculties.
This is the reason why so many divorces, remarriages, etc. are taking place.
Rabiya, the protagonist of our journey, comes from such a society of women, yet she shines in a unique role.
It is, therefore, our aim to highlight this role played by Rabiya, only for the cause of bright future
JATRA– the Journey
ABOUT THE PLAY
Rabiya is a divorced lady. She earns her living by selling firewood. In her work her sister sakitan “s daughter Dulali helps her. A lady who is socially divorced is not fit to live in the society and so sakitan scolds Rabiya and also forcefully takes away Dulali from that place.
Rabiya recollects her past when she lived happily with her husband Hannan. On a special occasion Hannan invited the Moulabi and some other persons and organized a milad at his home. On that occasion Hannan prepared the meat for the milad by killing Rabiya’’s pet duck. The ladies were busy in cooking while the male members were listening to the Moulabi, who was giving sermons on Allah. Moulabi during the discussion, made a reference to beautiful fairies. At that moment Hannan saw a beautiful girl at work, and he got attracted. Rabiya’’s casual talk with the Moulabi became a big reason for Hannan to bash her up in front of all present. He also sexually assaulted her throughout the night. The nest mooning Hannan divorced Rabiya for no reason and also gave her 21 rupees that was fixed at the time of their
Marriage.Soon Hannan married the beautiful girl who was of his daughter’s age and took her to his home.
After this, started the solitary life of Rabiya. She continued to live there by force of her will power and by selling firewood. Dulali also helped Rabiya openly in facing the crisis of her life.
On the other hand Hannan could not satisfy his new wife and became worn out physically and mentally. The young wife left Hannan and ran away with another boy. Hannan got despaired and approached Rabiya to marry her again. At first “Rabiya was cruel towards him but looking at his pitiable condition mellowed down and agreed to marry him. But the dictates of religion came in the way. Hannan asked Rabiya to marry the Moulabi. Rabiya disagreed. Hannan and Moulabi told Rabiya about the religious custom that if a divorced lady wanted to remarry her earlier husband, she would have to marry another person first and spend 3 months with him and at lest once there should be a physical relation between them. Thereafter when the man divorced her, then only her earlier husband would accept her.How Rabiya faces the whole situation is depicted in the play -“Jatra“.
CAST AND CREDITS
JATRA- the Journey
Light design: Bhagirathi
Execution: Kanu Choudhury
Costume: Tahira Sultana
Singer: Saged ali
Production Controller: Dinesh Kakati
Associate Director: Bhagirathi
Story: Imran Hussain
Script, Music, Design and Direction: BAHARUL ISLAM
Production: SEAGULL THEATRE
Received many awards including –
- Sanskriti Samman from Eka ebong koekjon publication, Guwahati,
- Monohar Singh Smriti Puraskar 2005 from NSD approved by Ministry of Culture, Govt of India
- Natyaprobor Award from Sharadakanta Bordoloi smriti committee, Nowgaon in2011.
- Bishnu Basu Smriti Samman by Bratyajon theatre, Kolkata in 2012.
5 Badal SIrcar Rang Ratan Award 2015 from FACT Rang Mahoul Begusarai,Bihar.
SCENE WISE SYNOPSIS OF THE PLAY
A song depicting the strength and vulnerability of a woman is a sung by a FAKIR (Priest) and he is accompanied by two of his followers.
A Railway station in the village.
Rabiya is collecting firewood to sell in the railway and she also waiting for her cousin (elder sister’s daughter) Dulali to come. Suddenly Rabiya’’s sister SAKITAN arrive in the railway wearing a black BURKHA. She angrily shouts at Rabiya and tells her that she will not send her daughter (Dulali) to sell firewood with her since it is not respectable profession.
In the meantime Dulali arrives seeing Dulali the mother loses control and screams at Dulali and beats her and calls Rabiya a “ Prostitute” and she boast about her own husband, Sakitan makes an ironical stab about Rabiya’’s so called Independence.
The devasted Rabiya recollects her own past.
She remembers how her husband Hannan had seized the opportunity of MILAD to kill her favorite pet the duck.
Today is also MILAD and as usual everyone is busy cooking. Today at hannan’s place the MUALABI is interoperating the QUARAN SHARIF is his own and along with Hannan his mates are also immersed in readings of the Moulabi.
Hannah is getting attracted towards a young girl. On the other hand the whole night he has physically abused his wife.
Next morning after reading the Namaaz he requests Rabiya to go to her mother’s house and spend a few days there and when she refuses he utters TALAK TALAK TALAK (DIVORCE).
In front of the shattered Rabiya Hannan goes and marries that young girl.
The shy and quiet Rabiya leaves her husband house and starts selling firewood as a means of earning her livelihood.
Many women from the village come in search and along with them sakitan also comes. All the women folk trey to explain to her that since the divorce has not taken place according to the
Shariyat– the Islamic Law, she should return to her husband’s house.
Rabiya stand silent and incidentally among those women who come to speak to Rabiya among themselves there starts a debate regarding emancipation of women.
On the other hand due to physical dissatisfaction with the young wife Hannan became worried.
He takes to help of the Moulabi who is he forever-immersed in dance and drama. The Moulabi inspires Hannan feeling him that there is nothing that a man cannot do.
An excited Hannah once again tries to woo the little girl who flees in fear and Hannan is again DEJECTED.
One man tries to make sexual advances to Rabiya while she is trying to sell firewood and there is a confrontation between Rabiya and the man. Sakitan arrives with Dulali, she tells Rabiya “you keep Dulali with you, make her an expert in your business. Otherwise her father is planning to marry her off to an old man.”
As sakitan is about to depart she tells Rabiya that she should also marry and settle down.
Rabiya suddenly remembers the youthful Hannah her husband for a few moments.
A collage scene of the Rabiya and Dulali’s journey, Sunshine- Rain, security-police- Bazaar – Train etc.
Along with other passengers Rabiya is there along with Dulali. After sometime a sick Hannan arrives and tells Rabiya that there should once be unified in matrimony Rabiya becomes agitated Hannan falls at her feed Rabiya softens.
Hannan goes and brings the Moulabi so that he can marry her again according to the Shariyat- the Islamic law. Rabiya gets angry, According to Islam if Rabiya is to marry Hannan once again she must first marry another man and stay with him for three months and at least once have a sexual contact with him, After that if her new husband divorces (Talak) her only then she can marry Hannan requests Rabiya to marry the Moulabi.
She becomes agitated she spit on the face of the Moulabi.
An angry Moulabi makes an exit Hannan loses all self control in a fit of rage.
Rabiya slaps Hannan very hard.
(Azaan can be heard) In the fashion of Namaaz Rabiya covers her hand.
A lot of Burkha clad women come and stand next to her.
THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENT
For the play JATRA
Platform : 2 Nos
Size 6 x 3
Height 1.5 feet