We all know it too well
that the songs of old Gujarati theatre had a unique
magical effect on audiences. Even now when the media
of entertainment have changed people still love such
songs, the impact of those songs still lingers on.
We are a group of artists
who have been singing and presenting these songs as
‘Tarz – e – Thatter’ -
the songs and tunes of theatre, since 1998.
As theatre artists for
years we have always felt that these theatre songs
of olden times have a unique verbal simplicity and
yet depth and subtlety of meaning. They are easy and
sweet to sing, can be enacted effectively and
provide joy and pure, straightforward entertainment
There are about 25000
such songs which is an invaluable cultural legacy of
We a few friends have
been making sincere efforts to retain this legacy
and also to disseminate and propagate it among
people, about nine years we have been presenting
these songs. Our group consists of senior and young
skilled artists like Rajoo Barot, Mayank Oza, Maharshi Raval, Nisarg
Trivedi, Archan Trivedi, Jay Vohra, Rishin Saraiya,
Jigar Shah, Dipti Ramanuj, Neha Ramanuj, Sejal Dave,
Neeta Pattani, Binal Shah, Vishal Vaishya, Maulik
Nayak, Priyank Upadhyay, Nitish Parekh, Jayanti Parmar and many
The generation of old
Gujarati theatre artists is growing older and may be
by next decade none of those shall be with us
anymore. With an aim to collect such songs from
those artists we have been wandering far and wide
all over Gujarat to contact them, of course, at our
own expense! Our aim is not only to collect those
songs (wards and tunes) out to learn to sing them
and to train new generation artists to sing them too
and present them before the audiences to acquaint
present day generation with our great legacy.
Besides, we also sing
entertaining songs from present day theatre (plays
and theatre songs from languages other than
While carrying out this
activity we found a new direction. We learn to sing
lesser-known songs by our late National Poet
Zaverchand Meghani led us to yet another path of
Sufi devotional songs, folksongs and songs related
to water. This on one hand quenched our thirst and
on the other hand reawakened it!
We can assure you that
our programme shall quench your thirst too.
(My husband is the chief police officer of the town)
(A Bhavai performance full of innocent laughter and sarcasm, adorned by songs and musical opus)
This play isn’t exactly from a distant past, as it would be hardly 50-55 years old. Yet it is equally effective even if recalled today. Its roots can be drawn from a Marathi Tamasha named ‘Vichchha maazi puri Karaa’ (Fulfill my wish) which had been penned down by Vasant Sabnis. And it later got adopted by a profound Barodian theatre artist Shri Jagdish Bhatt. Adapting from Sabnis’s Tamasha, he transformed it into a Gujarati bhavai named ‘Ichchha maari puri karo’ (Fulfill my wish). And finally when he attempted the bhavai in Ahmedabad with the same team members; it got well acknowledged and presented as a splendid play entitled “Hero Hawaldar”.
This play was performed in Ahmedabad around October 2010 celebrating Jagdishbhai’s 75th birthday. The team comprised of more or less same artists who got united after 35 long years. And since then I had a wish to perform this Play-Bhavai with the artists from ATG.
National School of Drama Repertory Company had showcased this play within its Tamasha Form with the title “Saiyan Bhaye Kotwal”. We liked this title and so have decided to perform this folk play retaining the same title. .
The story line is very simple and easy to understand. But it has been narrated through the characteristics of a folk Bhavai-Tamasha which has been all the more embellished by sarcasm, laughter and music.
The story goes like this: Hero Hawaldar is in love with Menavati; a beautiful dancer and an efficient lady of his town. Being a government servant, he is waiting for his promotion in order to get married and settled. But he is completely helpless against the influential bureaucratic system. Finally, god favours the one who is truthful and Hero Hawaldar gets promoted. He then marries Menavati with full jubilation and lives happily.
Artists: Priyank Upadhyay, Vishal Vaishya, Hetal Modi/ Vaibhavi Bhatt, Jigar Shah, Maulik Nayak, Nitish Parekh, Nisarg Trivedi and Rajoo Barot.
Harmonium: Kamlesh Chauhan
Tabla: Kirtan Gharekhan
Singing: Nupur Khamaar
Sets: Akhand Vyas, Kabir Thakor
Lights: Herry Upadhyay
Costumes: Bansari Shah
Make-up: Hetul Tapodhan
Stage Management: Jayanti Parmar, Vipul Desai, Jigar, Tirupati
Stage Arrangements: Ghanshyam Patel