Renowned theatre troupe Mahakal Natya Sampraday will turn 36 on July 14. To mark the occasion, the group recently staged their renowned play Shikhondi Kotha for the 175th time, at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA).
President of Sammilito Sangskritik Jote (SSJ), Golam Kuddus was scheduled to attend as the chief guest, while presidium member of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation, Lucky Enam was the special guest at the event.
Written by Anan Zaman and directed by Rashid Harun, Shikhondi Kotha unfolds as a distinctive and powerful play, based on the trials and tribulations faced by the members of the transgender (hijra) community.
It narrates the story of a boy named Ratan. At one point in life, he realises that he is different from the other boys in terms of posture and feelings. He later identifies as a transgender and leaves his home to settle with a transgender community. With time, the plot reveals how society looks down on transgender people and refuses to address them as equals in society. Each member in Ratna’s (Ratan’s new name) community have their own grievous history and by sharing it with each other, they seem to find consolation.
Apart from the many heart-wrenching moments, the playwright managed to benevolently include comedic bits, maintaining a balance between humour and melancholy. The cast of Mahakal Natya Sampraday executed Shikhondi Kotha with sheer brilliance. It helped the audience to step in the shoes of the oppressed and get an overall idea about the hardships and inequality faced by the transgender people in our communities.
The members of the troupe comprised of Zahid Hasan, Poly Biswas, Ripon Farazi, Surela Nazom, Samiul Joibon, Sathi amongst others. Tanvir Hasan and Shafiqul Islam were behind the design of the set, while Rafiqul Haque Himel designed the stage lights. The costume and makeup were done by Wahida Mollick and Shubhashish Dutta Tonmoy, respectively.