Ajay Shukla’s Play: Taj Mahal ka Tender

Playwright: Ajay Shukla
Direction: Chittaranjan Tripathy
Group: NSD Repertory Company, Delhi
Language: Hindi
Duration: 2 hrs 20 mins

The Play
Emperor Shah Jahan invites the chief engineer of CPWD, Guptaji and shares his dream of building a monument in the memory of his late, wife, Mumtaz. After much deliberation he comes to the conclusion that a mausoleum be built in her memory and he wants it to be named Taj Mahal.
Guptaji, a shrewd, corrupt, official, entraps the Emperor in the snares of bureaucracy and red- tapism leading to many hilarious situations. The ridiculous bureaucratic procedure takes 25 years only to float the tender notice of Taj Mahal.
TajMahal Ka Tender is one of the successful satires of contemporary times.

Director’s note
The state is the best creation of man as it is not an imitation of anything that existed before. With the emergence of the State, a primitive society is transformed into a civil society, leading to the germination of division of labour, division of time, rank, file, red-tape etc., thereby giving birth to official dom. TajMahal ka Tender is a satire on rank –file, red tapism and the sad state of officialdom. It focuses on the organizational diseases that India is suffering due to – corruption, idleness, favoritism, arrogance and insensitivity to public needs.

The Director
Chittaranjan Tripathy graduated from National School of Drama in 1996 with specialization in acting. He was also enrolled in the musical theatre department in the Guildford School of Acting (GSA), Guilkdford, UK, under the Charles Wallace fellowship.
Shri Tripathy has directed plays for many leading theatre groups and repertory companies including the National School of Drama Repertory Company, the Shri Ram Centre Repertory and the Sahitya Kala Parishad Rang Mandal. Some of his most popular plays include TajMahal Ka Tender with NSD Repertory Company, Capitol Express, Arre Mayavi Sarovar with SRC Repertory; Ladi Nazaria and Humare Sheher Ke Romeo Juliet with Sahitya Kala Parishad Rang Mandal.

The Playwright
Born in 1955, at Agra Ajay Shukla is a post–graduate in history from Lucknow University and then joined Indian Railway Traffic Service. His play, Doosra Adhyaay was directed by Ram Gopal Bajaj in 1998, and was broadcast from All India Radio later the same year. In 1993 he received the Delhi Sahitya Kala Parishad’s Playwright – Award for Doosra Adhyaya and Mohan Rakesh Samman for his play Tajmahal Ka Tender. In 2000 he received the National Award by All India Radio (Akashvani) for his play Hum Honge Kaamyab.

The Group
Established in 1964 with a membership of only four persons, the Repertory Company is the regular performing wing of the School. It was set up with the dual purposes of establishing professional theatre on one hand and continuing with regular experimental work on the other. Over the years it has produced a variety of plays ranging from stylized musicals to realistic contemporary Indian drama to translations and adaptations of foreign plays. In addition, several eminent persons of national and international repute have worked with the Company, and it has performed over one hundred and eighty one plays by ninety-eight playwrights and has worked with ninety directors. Quite a few of its actors have emerged as celebrities in theatre, cinema and television. The Company has toured extensively in India and abroad. It is celebrating fifty years of its existence this year.

Cast & Credit
Shahajahan                                            Shahnawaz Khan
Gupta                                                     Suresh Sharma
Sudhir                                                     Ashutosh Banerjee/ Virendra Singh
Bhaiyaji                                                   Deep Kumar
Mahila Neta                                            Sampa Mandal/ Shruti Mishra
Kanhaiyalal                                             Sikandra Kumar
Murarilal Sharma                                    Naveen Singh Thakur
Shethi                                                     Shubham Pareek
Ladka                                                     Rahul kumar
Ladki                                                      Sakshi Sharma
Aurangzeb                                             Parag Baruah
Mummo/ Mumtaz                                   Snehalata S. Tagde
Darbari                                                   Shubham Pareek, Vishveshvar M. Gondhali, Manish Dubey,                                                                       Virendra Singh, Naresh Kumar
Jahanara                                                Anamika Sagar
Shaktiman                                              Jitu Rabha
Four Friends                                           Virendra Singh , Manish Dubey, Vishveshvar M. Gondhali,
Naresh Kumar
Dancer                                                    Aparna Menon
News Paper Hawker                               Shruti, Sampa, Aparna Menon, Snehalata S. Tagde
Other                                                      Palak Jasrotia

Production Co-ordinator                         Sukumar Tudu
Set Designer                                          Pankaj Jha
Set Execution                                         Ram Pratap, Manoj Kumar, Brijesh Sharma
Light Design                                           Govind Singh Yadav
Light Execution                                      Md. Suleman, Pradeep Aggarwal
Costume Design                                    Sunita
Costume Helping                                   Shruti Mishra
Chief Costume Co-ordinator                  C.S. Bhatia
Dance Choreography                             Meghana Malik
Singers                                                   All Repertory Artistes
Music Rearrangement                           Santosh Kumar (Sandy)
Property In-charge                                 Moti Lal Khare
Sound Operation                                   Mukesh Kumar
Make Up In-charge                                Sikandra Kumar, Shruti Mishra
Stage Manager                                      Govind Singh Yadav
Assistant Director                                  Md. Abdul Kadir Shah

Playwright                                              Ajay Shukla
Lyrics, Music, Design & Direction          Chittaranjan Tripathy

Contacts
NSD Repertory Company
Bahawalpur House
Bhagwandas Road
New Delhi – 110 001
Ph: 011 23383420
W: www.nsd.gov.in

 

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is Currently a Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he teaches are: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.com and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.org & www.stagebuzz.info He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He is an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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