Theatre group Swapnadal honoured theatre veteran Ferdausi Majumdar at the Studio Theatre Hall of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on March 9 to mark the International Women's Day terming her as “Moncho-Jononi”. Mothers of 12 Swapnadal members were also accorded honours on the occasion. Ramendu Majumdar and Swapnadal chief Zahid Repon handed the crest to Ferdausi Majumdar. In her reaction, Ferdausi Majumdar said today's women live in a more encouraging society, so they must stride towards success. She also urged for greater participation of women in theatre. A number of other theatre troupes also congratulated the thespian, handing her floral bouquets.
Swapnadal also staged their production of Rabindranath Tagore's lyrical play “Chitrangada”, following the ceremony.
Tagore originally wrote Chitrangada based on a story of the Mahabharat, as a lyrical play in 1892, and then wrote a dance-drama on the same storyline in 1936. Although the dance-drama has been staged countless times by various troupes, the lyrical play -- considered by many to be too intricate for a stage act and more reading-oriented, has not seen many instances of staging.
Chitrangada, the heir to the Manipur kingdom, was brought up as a son by the king; she learned archery and studied warfare, and had no feminine traits. One day, she comes across the great warrior Arjun in a forest, and instantly falls in love. But Arjun rejects her because of an abstinence vow. Insulted, Chitrangada pleads to the Madan and Bashanta, the gods of love and spring, to turn her beautiful for a day. The gods grant her wish for a year, and as she goes back to the forest, Arjun sees her and falls in love. But then begins Chitrangada's internal struggle; the external beauty of hers that Arjun has succumbed to, is not hers, but a temporary blessings of the gods. The beauty that drew her love towards her becomes her rival. The struggle of duality of Chitrangada and the transformation of Arjun's love from the exquisite beauty of his nameless lover to the powerful, existential identity of Chitrangada brings the play to a fitting end.
Swapnadal has been celebrating the International Women's Day since 2012, through honouring eminent women theatre activists. They accorded the honours to Nuna Afroz and a mother of a troupe member in 2012, and Lucky Enam and all women members of the troupe in 2013.