Monthly Archives: February 2010

A visual extravaganza

Of late, thanks to the efforts of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Guwahatians have got the chance to get acquainted with a number of excellent musicians from different parts of the globe. Besides bringing performers of diverse and hitherto obscure musical traditions to our very own backyard, it has also enlivened the cultural scene in the city to a commendable extent. I still remember listening in awe to the ‘Chorinho’ (lament or little cry in Portugese) musical style when Yamandu Costa and his seven-member guitar ensemble enthralled music lovers of the city and introduced to them the Brazilian forms of music. I would like to thank ICCR for their initiatives and urge them to continue with their noble endeavours.

Continuing with their quest, the ICCR recently presented Spellbound – a repertoire of Odissi dance presented by the Sutra Dance Theatre of Malaysia under the artistic direction of Ramli Ibrahim. If we were to talk about the presentation, Spellbound is a tryst with the timeless beauty of an ancient temple dance that transforms a theatre experience into an emotional bond and spiritual one. It offers a repertoire of Odissi, commissioned from Guru Durga Charan Ranbir of the late Guru Deba Prasad parampara and rearranged into a stunning group composition by Ramli Ibrahim. Consisting of a multi-racial cast symbolic of the universality of the Odissi dance form, Spellbound has delighted audiences wherever it has performed – be it in Malaysia, India or Europe.

The evening began with Mangala Caranan, which is an invocatory homage to the mother goddess and female principle in her form as Saraswati, the goddess of eloquence, wisdom and learning, and also the patron of arts and music. The lovely costumes of the dancers and the beautiful light effect managed to fill the hearts of the audience with awe and expectation of the things to follow. This was followed by Mukhari Pallavi – a pure dance exposition in which the three bends of the head, torso and hip, together with the solid, symmetrical chowka or the square position, create a firm but fluid contrast. Watching the dance, a critic commented: The unhurried quickness with which the dancers created formations and kept changing them was admirable. For the line ‘Yaa Brahma Achyuta Shankara’, they created Brahma loka with Brahma and Saraswathi; Vaikunta with Vishnu on Adisesha, attended by Lakshmi; and Kailash with Siva and Parvathi. The same seven dancers (two male and five female) changed their roles convincingly with their eloquent gestures and facial expressions.

Throughout the entire performance, it was interesting to note that the stage was not empty for even a single moment. One powerful performance followed the other, after brief but relevant introductions. Added with the beautiful costumes and light display, Spellbound was truly a treat for the senses. Though Spellbound is technically a fusion of traditional Odissi dance with contemporary dance forms, for us laymen it was a thing of beauty.

Moving on to the creative director of the presentation, Ramli Ibrahim is a dynamic force in Malaysian theatre and possesses open-mindedness for both the Old and the New. Trained in classical ballet, modern dance and Indian classical dance, Ramli is a creator and a visionary in the arts who sees unity within the diversity of all of Sutra’s artistic endeavors. In Malaysia, Ramli is acclaimed as a pioneer dancer and choreographer of international standing in the major fields of dance that he has mastered – Bharatanatyam, Odissi as well as Contemporary Dance. As a teacher of Bharata Natyam and Odissi, he has groomed some of the finest dancers to have emerged from Malaysia and at the same time placed Indian classical dance in the context of the Malaysian experience. A disciple of Guru Deba Prasad Das, he was at his best in Guwahati that day –a raw personification of energy, grace, force and speed. The Sutra Dance Theatre, on the other hand, is based in Kuala Lampur and was established in 1983 to promote awareness in theatre and the Arts in the both the traditional and the contemporary. It has established a strong and dynamic school of dance by imparting training in traditional, classical and contemporary techniques. Sutra’s multiracial dancers of Malay, Indian, Chinese and mixed races speak well of dance transcending racial and cultural barriers.

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Rock assault set to leave Silchar ‘thunderstruck’!

Last year around this very time, a new rock festival started off in Silchar. It was being organized by NIT and was labelled “Thundermarch”. At that time, I was kind of apprehensive about the whole event and somehow could not link Silchar with rock. However, much to my delight and to the benefit of the rock scene in this corner of the country, I was proved wrong. Thundermarch 2009 truly struck Silchar in an unimaginable way and immediately ensured that the festival gets a place into the Northeast Indian rock calendar.

More than 20 bands from different corners of the region had competed with each other for the top prize. And to add further sheen to the entire festival were performances by Boomerang – the rock sensation from Mizoram, Breathe – the Pink Floyd tribute band from the United Kingdom and Demonic Resurrection. Needless to say, the electrifying performances of these bands along with the heavy dose of both rock and metal ensured that the two-day festival was a memorable one.

With the dawn of a new year, the festival is back again in the form of Thundermarch 2010, along with the promise to give the rock crazy people of Silchar another heavy dose of rock! As Harish, the organizer, said, “Thundermarch is back for yet another edition and it promises to be bigger and louder! This is a call to all the headbangers and music lovers to pack their bags and get ready for Silchar is definitely the place to be now!” Well,
The artistes and bands performing this time around are Lou Majaw and Friends, Rampazee, Afflatus and Dream Diabolic.

I feel it would be pointless to deliberate on Lou Majaw for I feel most of us are pretty well acquainted with the grey-haired Khasi guitarist-singer in his trademark shorts and who can enliven any gathering with his rendering of Bob Dylan’s numbers.

Moving on to the rest, Rampazze would definitely be a band which both the younger as well as mature crowd can look forward to. Formed in the fall of 2006 in New Delhi, Rampazze is a classic rock outfit that is pretty popular across the national circuit. The band sticks to its bluesy roots while managing to deliver their music in an edgy fashion. With their impressive and groovy riffs along with their wild on-stage histrionics and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, the band is sure to set the stage on fire. The band was formed at the initiative of lead guitarist Abhishek Boro and Joshringdao Phonglo. Though there have been a number of changes in the line-up of the band, it finally settled on Himangshu Rava on the vocals and Nayan Gogoi on drums, besides the two founding members. They have released their 5-song Extended Play (EP) recently.

And then there is Afflatus – the all girl band from Shillong that is sure to raise a few eyebrows. Formed by Grace Miller (Vocals), Karen Donoghue (Guitars), Sharon Zadeng (Bass) and Mercy Miller (Drums), Afflatus is made up of experienced musicians in their own right with Mercy, Karen and Sharon having earlier been members of bands and Grace a vocalist in her father’s gospel group since she was a child. The band’s debut performance in 2004 won them a prize at a national-level competition, something which proved that they are not to be taken lightly. They lived up to that beginning as since then, the band has come a long way with a debut album in the making and after performing in a number of concerts. As a band member said, “We began our inspirational journey in 2004; a journey that has had its share of hurdles, obstacles and constraints though the band has never lost sight of the one thread, one passion, one love that binds them together… the love of creating MUSIC.”

Dream Diabolic is another band to watch out for. The first progressive black metal band of Sikkim, the band is presently blazing across the national circuit. They have had a dream run since last year, having won the Campus Rock Idol (East Zone), IIT (Guwahati), IIT (Kharagpur) and having participated at Livewire in Mumbai, amongst others. The band has fond memories of Assam as its lead guitarist Tshering Sherpa was adjudged the Best Bass guitarist, while Tashi Nima Lama was chosen the Best Bassist in the Rock o Phonix programme of IIT – Guwahati.

It would be interesting to note if Thundermarch can deliver a thunder of the same intensity as it did last year.

Feel the Breeze!

At a time when a lot of musical outfits from the Northeast have started participating in musical reality shows, another band from Assam is making a difference on prime time television. I am talking about Northeast Breeze – a band which has gained nationwide popularity through their rocking performances in Idea Rocks India. The band consists of Rupam Bhuyan on the lead vocals, Priyanku Bordoloi (guitars), Anupam Nath on the bass, Anowar Hussain (backing vocals and keyboards), Biraj Baishya (drums) and Bidyut Bikash Bordoloi as the percussionist. The band has now managed to move into the finals of the competition, where they will battle it out with two other bands – Lambada (Pune) and Jashn (Mumbai).

Northeast Breeze was formed earlier this year by three bosom buddies– Rupam, Priyanku and Anupam. The trio was later joined by Bidyut, Biraj and Anupam. Though music was the chief element which drew these musicians together in the form of a group, they had another motive as well. And that was to bring into the limelight the various folk elements of their home State Assam, as well as the other north-eastern States.

Well, their efforts were on display for everyone to see during the initial rounds of the competition where they performed. Beautifully blending Asomiya tribal beats with popular Hindi numbers, the band quickly managed to carve a niche in the hearts of the people. The entire program was based on Bollywood numbers and as such, the band’s initiative was commendable. At a time when rock groups have mushroomed all over the region, the fact that these musicians still dared to experiment with their traditional music speaks volumes about their dedication and passion towards music.
Another noteworthy point of the band is the vocal harmonies lent by Anowar and Priyanku. The duo have been amply backed by innovations in the melody and rhythm section, resulting in the band creating a beautiful medley of Northeaster sounds catered to suit the modern day palate. “We want the people of the country to experience the real flavor of Northeastern folk music. And in order to attract the new generation, we have chosen to blend our traditional music with western beats to make it more appealing. We hope to showcase our traditional music at the international level very soon,” says keyboardist Anwar Hussain.

The Idea Rocks India auditions had been held nationwide in order to select the best bands of India. Nine bands have been finally selected from the auditions to battle it out for the winners trophy. This is the first initiative of its kind taken by Colours to promote the local rock outfits of the country and as such, they deserve appreciation for their efforts. The finals will be held in Mumbai on December 20, 2009. Voting limes will open from December 7 onwards.

In order to clinch the winners trophy, full rehearsal of the band is going on at Brahma studio in the city. Lead guitarist Priyanku says, “We are highly confident of making Assam proud by emerging as the winner in the show. But without the support of the people of the Northeast, we will not be able to translate our dreams into reality. As such, we request the support of the people of the entire region to help us with their valuable votes.”

The band has already had a number of shows booked all over the region in November and the first week of December. In the days to come, they will be performing in places like Palasbari, Rangia, Sivsagar, Tezpur, Nagaon, Guwahati, Bokajan, amongst others. Even the State Directorate of Cultural Affairs has stepped in to help the band by arranging a show for them at Pragati Maidam in New Delhi on November 21 during the International Trade Fair.

Experiencing Satriya in a new way

Satriya dance, a classical dance form of India, developed sometime in the 15th century at the initiative of great Vaishnavite saint and social reformer Srimanta Sankardeva. The Satriya dance form borrows its emotional thrust from Ankiya Bhaona theatrical traditions without forsaking its traditional moorings. Though Satriya dance has now traversed from the Satras to different corners of the entire globe, it has not forsaken its meditative character. It evokes a message of universal peace and harmony, just like Sankardeva’s preachings ushered in an era of renaissance; its unique blend of morality, simple philosophy, religion, poetry, music and dance empowering every being to free the shackled ‘jeeva’ or soul.

Keeping with the spirit of experimentation and innovation going on with the dance form, Vedajyoti Ojha – a spirited classical dance soloist and choreographer – has conceived and launched an Arts antiquity project, entitled ‘Satriya Heritage Project. Under this project, different dimensions and facets of Satriya traditions, like instrumental music, theatre and stage props can be used for traditional and contemporary interpretation of the dance form.

The first session of this project, ‘Noble Rhythms and Melodies: Experiencing Satriya through Mridanga and Sarinda’, was presented at the Vivekananda Kendra Institute in Guwahati last week. In this project, the traditional but no so popular rhythmic instrument, Mridanga, and the forgotten string instrument, Sarinda, have been introduced into mainstream Satriya dance by Vedajyoti in collaboration with musicians Bhaskar Jyoti Ojha (Mridanga) and Prasanta Kumar Choudhury (Sarinda), thus enriching Satriya repertoire.

The basic aim of the Satriya Heritage Project is to establish the Mridanga as a major rhythmic instrument in addition to the Khol. At present, no indigenous instruments have been used either in the Satras or other Vaishnava institutions, including Satriya dance music. The Sarinda is sure to fill the void of a stringed instrument in Satriya dance music, which was greatly felt till now.

Vedajyoti claims the Satriya Heritage Project to be an original concept carried out in close consultation with Nrityacharya Padmashree Jatin Goswami. She says, “This is the first time in the history of Satriya dance music that such a work has been attempted. The entire project has been documented through dance notation and digital music technology”.

Vedajyoti Ojha is a fulltime dancer who ameliorates her artistic realms through creative choreography, expressive dances, seminars and workshops. Based in Houston (USA), Vedajyoti is immensely committed towards performing Satriya dance and exploring innovative elements for presenting Satriya as a classical dance form within its traditional framework. She envisions herself as one who can create bridges – between culture and people.

Vedajyoti’s tutelage in classical dance vocabulary started at the age of five years under the tutelage of Guru Indira PP Bora, who is a highly acclaimed Indian classical dancer and choreographer and also a recipient of the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. She received initial training in Satriya under Guru PP Bora and Sri Bhuban Bora. She has also received intensive training in Satriya dance under Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Nrityacharya Pandit Jatin Goswami. Vedajyoti has performed in various cities of India and abroad with Guru Indira PP Bora and her troupe – Kalabhumi Dance Company – and also as a soloist. Persistent encouragement from her mentors to ascend from the purview of her dance education to different genres of traditional and classical dance forms has inspired Vedajyoti to actively associate herself with practical research, innovative presentation and performance of a 560-year old living dance tradition. Extensive study trips to India have put Vedajyoti I touch with the contemporary and traditional interpretations of Satriya. She delves into the changing dynamics of Satriya – checking out the current trends with her dance gurus. With these experiences and guidance from her mentors, her roots and insight went deeper, expanding her repertoire of the traditional and contemporary developments in Indian dance.

Carving a new poetic idiom

Art which does not touch life and does not speak of the common man’s struggle and strife is no art at all. For art should have a purpose and for good art to survive it needs an audience. For just as it is the duty of the artiste to give people a good taste of times and art, it is the duty of the of the reader to appreciate and encourage good work so that crass commercialism does not crush the sensitive , enlightened voice. Such a sensitive yet bold and refreshing voice is Himangshu Prasad Das. A recent pass out of National School of Drama, a capable actor and a reputed director, who for the last few years has been making a forceful and insightful foray into the craft of writing through the medium of poetry, sometime to voice current issues like misplaced idealism, effects of globalization, commercialism, youth gone astray, unemployment, of generation gap or communication gap. If he calls himself the naxal poet in one of his pennings, then he also gives voice to the matters close to the human heart like the ecstasy of new found love, the pangs of separation from one’s beloved. Himangshu Prasad Das‘s poems are like a breath of fresh air that is bent on breaking conventional idioms of poetry. You find in him the rawness of a naxal poet, the passion of a revolutionary, the tenderness of a youth high in love, the cutting edge of a philosopher and the innocence of a child. He is a man who is in search of a muse so he rightly calls his collection ‘Aei suwali abar bhal pai saba naki?’

Himangshu Prasad Das is that raw, sensitive passionate voice who has learnt to juggle both pain and pleasure, revolution and evolution, development and degeneration with ease of one who can by turns become a sensitive, sensuous lover and also revolutionary and progressive by turns. His pen is not dipped in nectar, he uses sensitivity to touch upon current issues, and rawness and passion to speak of personal loss, pain and love. If he chooses to speak in a conversational, rough mode in the title poem then he can also portray human sentiments with a rare candor.

For all who appreciate brave, bold attempts and understand the need to break conventions, idioms, rhythms of poetry, to analyse today’s changing dynamics of times, problems and relationships, Himangsu Prasad Das’ collection would be an interesting attempt. ‘Aei suwali abar bhal pai saba naki?’, slated for release in the forthcoming book fair, will appeal to both to the young and the matured.

Asom has a new hero

Assam has got a new hero. And a true hero he is at that. In the violence-hit district of Karbi Anglong where the youths are angry and frustrated at being targeted by both the underground elements for fresh recruits and the security forces harassing them on suspicion of harbouring the boys in the bush, they have now found a new youth icon in the form of Kiri – the boy from Diphu who was the only entrant from the entire Northeast into the popular television reality show ‘MTV Roadies’ and who subsequently made it to the finals.

Your average boy next door, Kiri – who is a science graduate and an activist with the “Karbi Human Rights Watch” (KHRW) – has become an unlikely hero among the Karbi youths. Not just because he had participated in the highly popular television reality show, but because of his in-born attitude, charisma and honesty which manages to bowl over everyone at first sight. So the last couple of months, while the entry country was feeling the heat generated by the 15th parliamentary elections, the people of Northeast India, especially those in Karbi Anglong and other parts of Asom, had a new pastime – watch MTV to cheer for their new youth icon!

A shy person, Longkiri Timung, or Kiri as he is popularly known, likes to maintain low profile and let his actions speak more than his words. Or that was the case until MTV Roadies happened, that is. His entry into the highly popular Roadies show has had thousands of Karbi youths fired up, who now look up to him as their spokesman.

What endeared Kiri to thousands of people in his home district were just a couple of sentences he had spoken about his district when the twin baldies were grilling him. He had spoken about the popular autonomous State demand in his district and about his participation in rallies in support of their constitutional demand. At a time when the people of the entire region are lambasting their representatives for failing to highlight their problems in the right places, the young brigade of Karbi Anglong have now found an unlikely hero in Kiri. Not surprisingly, the local media of Karbi Anglong chose to make full use of the opportunity. A prominent newspaper of Karbi Anglong had featured him prominently in its front-page, displaying his portfolio alongside that of Biren Singh Ingti, the four-times Lok Sabha MP from the lone reserved ST constituency of Karbi Anglong and NC Hills, who is blamed for having failed to take up any of the problems and issues of the people of his constituency at the national level.

Kiri, who managed to push through the grueling tests in Roadies to finally bow out in the finals, has now become a celebrity with a tremendous fan following. He is recognized in public places, in bus stops and train stops, with youths pestering him for his autograph. But for someone who likes to maintain low profile, the sudden twist in fate does get dramatic at times. An unknown Longkiri, who is now back home in Diphu, is still running from pillar to post making arrangements for his mother’s treatment. His father, a terminal cancer patient who was suffering for a long time, had expired just a month back, while the Roadies show was still being aired on television. Having had to grapple with his father’s demise when he was still basking in the glory of his triumph in Roadies, Kiri, like a dutiful son, is now attending to his mother, whose health is deteriorating with each passing day. He is just back from Vellore where he had taken his mother for another round of treatment, which, like the previous times, failed to yield any results.

The last time I had gone to Diphu, Kiri had come to drop me at the station, dodging the countless people who, after recognizing that it was their own ‘Roadie boy’, kept pestering him for his autograph. But Kiri’s is well-grounded for he is well aware of the fact that like beyond the reality show is much tougher. He is happy with himself and takes pride in whatever little he could do for his land and his people. Karbi Anglong and Asom have truly got a new hero in their midst!

NE poet, bands shortlisted in TFA Awards

The sixth TFA Awards in the field of creative writing, music and photography were recently announced. Two music bands from the Northeast were among the shortlisted entries and a poet from Assam also figured in the list.

The TFA Awards started in 2005 and cover three broad categories – music, creative writing and photography. The TFA’s first award for music recognises exceptionally talented bands and individuals making any kind of music, in any language, from rock to folk or metal to jazz. The only constraint is that applicants must be under 30 years of age, and their submissions must be original compositions. In 2008, the TFA had tied up with Counter Culture Records and the winner got a chance to record their full album at CCR studio. Previous winners of this award include Myndsnare (2005), Demonic Resurrection (2006), Lounge Piranha (2007) and Shefali Alvares (2008).

Rosemary from Mumbai was adjudged the winners of this year’s competition. This time around two bands from the Northeast – Dark Horizon and Lucid Recess – were among the shortlisted bands. Both bands are presently based in Guwahati and blazing across the national circuit, primarily on the strength of their originality and creative prowess. Lucid Recess frontman Siddharth Barooah said, “The TFA Awards are presently into its sixth year and pretty well respected all over. It was nice to see an independent jury taking due cognizance of your talents and being shortlisted among the five bands of the country.” The band’s second album is up for release next month.

The other shortlisted band from the Northeast, Dark Horizon, is riding on the immense popularity of its new album, Star, which is earning rave reviews all over. The new Alternative/ punk sensation in the country, the band is made up of a group of dedicated musicians who believe that there is no shortcut to success.

“All TFA awards are judged by external juries composed of leading practitioners of and experts in the particular arts. All submissions are sent to them anonymously, and TFA does not, in any way, influence their final decision. So far, the Music Award has been judged by Luke Kenny (VJ, Programming Head Channel V), Vishal Dadlani (Pentagram, Vishal-Shekhar), Jitin Abraham (Programming Head Vh1) and Arjun Sankalia (Sony BMG),” a source said.

Assam has another representation in the TFA awards – this time around in the field of creative writing. Anurag Rudra, a poet and a student of Cotton College, was among the shortlisted candidates this time. Significantly, he was the only poet to be shortlisted, the rest of them all being script-writers. The TFA has divided an award of Rs. 50,000 between 2 writers who are between 18 and 30 years old, and whose entries reflect something of this mysterious combination. The volume of entries has grown exponentially over the years, as has the diversity of styles and themes – from performance poetry to science fiction – explored in the submissions.

The sixth award-giving function was held at Alliance Francaise, Bangalore last week.

Still in search of love

Most of us who grew up with a heavy dose of the music of the last century would immediately recognise Sade – the elegant Soul/ Jazz siren who enthralled us with her highly rhythmic and melodic numbers. Right from her debut Diamond Life onwards, who can possibly miss the evergreen numbers Smooth Operator and Love is King? One of the most iconic female vocalists alive, Sade, who is now 50, heralded a new beginning in the pop music scene with her stylish image. The iconic singer is back in the news once again with her latest album, Soldier of Love.

Although I grew up listening to Sade (who in our music crazy region didn’t?), Sade never held much of an interest for me. But over the last few years, when much of the life in the R&B world seems to have come to a standstill with more emphasis being laid on creating music intended to sell rather than to inspire, I have started admiring her more and more. Maybe this is a result of my quest to find significant elements of the music I am listening to. Judging from that angle, I already had my hopes pinned on her last album, much before it was even released.

Soldier of Love, thankfully, does not disappoint and lives up to those expectations. The album is a perfect example of Sade’s individual style – smooth velvety funk with the use of the orchestra. Sade is still singing about love and her songs and voice can still make you frolic in ecstasy or writhe in agony. The latter occurs when one listen’s to the intoxicating The Moon and The Sky, a track in which Sade mourns the loss of a man that she loved and who left her alone and lonely. “You’ll always know the reason why/ We could’ve had the moon and the sky/The reason why this love/The reason why this love/Ain’t gonna let you go!” A haunting guitar string repeats itself throughout the song and really sets the mood of sadness and despair.

The title track is very different from the band’s earlier work. The music is more aggressive with heavy military drums, gritty guitars, and a dark backdrop. Sade sees love as a battlefield that continually tears her heart to shreds, but she refuses to back down in defeat. “Still waitin’ for love to come and turn it all around!” she sings. While the concept isn’t the most original, Sade takes it to another level altogether and is a perfect choice for a single.

My favourite track would have to be In Another Time, where like a mother, Sade comforts those with a broken heart and assures them that they’d “be surprised, girl/Soon they’ll mean nothing to you/They’ll fall into their brew/And take some of the boys with them too”.

All in all, an excellent album and a nice nostalgic ride. This album proves that while Sade’s been gone for a decade, she hasn’t lost even a bit of her touch. Her voice is as smooth as ever and the band is always on their game. A must buy!

Retelling an Ao-Naga folktale in a musical way

Music is something which is deeply ingrained in the lives of the people of the region. Contrary to what many believe, the affinity of the people here for this art form is not something new and the same can be traced back to the early ways of life of the people. For instance, members of the Naga tribe have been known to communicate with one another through singing and they also sing or chant while working in groups or alone, proving the amount of influence music has in our lives. Seeking to bring to life this age-old relationship between music and the people, a group of musicians in Nagaland have now evolved a new form of musical drama, Howey musical drama, which retells an Ao-Naga folklore in a musical way.
The play, Lichaba’s Daughter, is based on a Ao- Naga folklore and has been further modernised for further appeal. It has been scripted by noted musician Guru Arenla Subong. As the folktale goes, Lichaba – the maker of the world – had a daughter called Tsungrosenla, who by chance was married off to an ordinary man. They settled and led a normal family life, till suddenly the wife started reminiscing her earlier days with her father – her beautiful looks and everything else that she had… She wanted to get them back and needed help from the husband. The husband consented to her pleadings and agreed to get the special food from Lichaba. The wife soon started on the diet of special food that her husband brought from Lichaba and very soon, she began to regain her old beauty. The husband was curious to know the reasons for her physical resurgence for even his father-in-law had warned him not to be interested in the food he sent for his daughter. Curiosity however prevailed and the husband, determined to know the reasons for his wife’s transformation, finally realises that she was fond of human flesh, which her father was providing as special food.

Being an ordinary mortal, he realised he cannot cope with Tsungrola, who was the daughter of the great Lichaba (a god). Due to the clash of styles between the heavenly and the mortal, he became more and more determined to get rid of Tsungrola – his wife. With the husband being filled with despair and helplessness, the end of the play is really tragic and heartrending. He finally manages to get rid of Tsungrola, who transforms into a bird after being abandoned on a tall tree left with no means of escape. Colourful and well-dramatised, the entire play is a wonderful concept and is very much pleasing to the eyes.

The cast and crew list of the film includes Arenla M Subong, who plays the part of Tsungrola, and her husband Moa Subong, who plays the role of Meja – Tsungrola’s husband. The character of Lichaba is essayed by Dilip, while the other crew members are Zokoi (Achi and Ato), Ayimla (Atem), Tia (Nungshi and Akato, Vinino (Vinili), Mughato (Longri), Akokla (Akala), Impang (Kivi) and Lisa (Yashi). The child artistes are Marjo, Noel, Lensana and Abigail. The camera was handled by Akum Subong and Imli Subong while the video was edited byMoa Subong. The music and songs were composed by Arenla Subong and Moa Subong.

Recorded in Soulspeak studios of Dimapur, the drama is being marketed globally by US-based Createspace and distributed by Filmbaby, Ryko Distribution/WEA, Netflix Distribution and Super D – all film distributors in the United States. The same is also available for download at Amazon.