Mallabhumi – A good food for brain after long time, both in play and drama

Posted by Kaahon Desk On March 28, 2019

It’s been a while since we’ve had the chance to watch a Bengali Absurdist Theatre. A production of Kalyani Mukhosh, play: Mallabhumi. Plays influenced by absurdism generally tend to explain serious problems in our lives through some unreal situations. This problem can be either personal or cumulative. But the funny thing about Absurd Theatre is; these discussions are not carried out in a spectacle fastened solemn sense with lots of theories of lots of theorists. These plays have a natural tone, a languid pace, and they can carry the audience deep into the story.

Previous Kaahon Theatre Review:

Writer Nabhendu Sen and Director Anindita Bhadra, both have invested utmost care in the preparation of this production. And despite having all their chances they have skipped the prospect of over speaking, over explaining, and over showing; which is very commendable in the backdrop of contemporary over-acting and television mega serial influenced culture. The absurd situation in this play is a fairy-tale. In this fairy-tale a monster attacks a city. Every day he eats a few of its citizens. The vassals are distressed and fearful. The king was compelled to announce that whoever can kill the monster (of course the king won’t take such risks upon his life such as to kill the monster himself) will get half of his kingdom and also the princess (whoever is willing to take such risks can expect at least this much). But this does not go as planned like other fairy tales. Everybody fails to kill the monster at last. Or it’s fair to say they begin to join his side. Great champions begin to visit from all over, after a few days they begin to complain about the inadequacy of having to kill a man eater while being on a diet of animals, and after that they switch their diet to human flesh just like the monster.

The greed of human flesh easily subdues the attraction of a kingdom and a princess. The monster roams around in the guise of an old comic, and keeps the great champion Bajrodhar tamed in his disposal. A gang of vultures patrol the wrestling ring. There are countless metaphors in this play, and in a real sense it is an open ended play. You can construct your own story from this band of metaphors. It can be a story of the changing nature of capitalism, it can be a story of the perpetual political unrest, it can be a story where the differences between the blacks and whites, good and bad, are blurred, an imitation of our lives, a story where everything is a shade of grey, or it can be all of the above. (Ultimately every book is a part of another book, every thought is connected with another thought) Mallabhumi is a play that gives the audience the rare chance to think. It’s been a while since Bengali theatre has seen such a play.

Ek Mansuh Chhai | Theatre Review | Bengali Theatre Group | Belgharia Avimukh

The actors have done a commendable job. But they are not convinced about their place in the play somehow. Somewhere there seems to be a lack of clarity and conviction. There is scope for experimentation in acting while doing an absurdist play, this play is no different. If such scopes can be explored, then all the better. Lights, stage, and music everything was in accordance with the play, and nowhere there seemed anything a bit extra. People who search food for their brain may find this play particularly appetizing.

At the very end a strong need was felt for another common man to rise up to fight the monster. Just to signify the perpetual struggle of the human kind and their failure to do otherwise. When the champions are taking a knee in the influence of greed, no chance should persist for a common man. But hope; is the end of it all. People keep on going, following different paths, trying to fix everything, chasing different aspirations. Some fail in the way, and wither away, and some succeed. And the moment one entanglement is solved another seems to present itself from nowhere. This continuous flow of problems is; the religion of men, the incapability of our kind. Win, loss, hope, despair, these come later. As long as a human being lives, it has to keep floating in the stream.


Ebong Ipsita
A Kolkata based theatre practitioner, she has been doing theatre from 2005 and now she is co-directing and adapting plays for different theatre groups in Bengal. She believes to explore the web medium as well to express herself to the world.

Translation: Harit Chowdhury

Related Updates


Follow Us

Show Calendar

Message Us