A poster of Itihas Theatre in Guwahati | Photo: Subhamoy Bhattacharjee

They are among the torch bearers of Assam’s one of the most popular cultural communities that has been carrying the legacy of people’s participation through the medium of performing art as professional people’s theatre namely ‘Brahmayman’ or ‘roving theatre of Assam’.

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Along with other performing art, the official nod on relaxation of COVID-19 protocol, has helped the struggling cultural industry to be back on its track after two years of darkness.

Mridul Bhuyan, a popular star of the ‘Bhramyaman’ thanking the Assam government and mainly chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, said: “During the sudden closure of all performances for around two years, we had pass through a tremendous crisis. And those untold stories of survival have taught us a different lesson. We, the theatre artists never thought of savings, because with the flow of roving/mobile theatre, we simply carry on our journey of life. But the pandemic has changed our life cycle. It has compelled us to think about savings, which earlier we never felt.”

Now, after the relaxation of COVID-19 protocols by the Assam government, four major theatres of Assam, including Itihas Theatre has come back to people with their presentations. The Itihas Theatre is the first among them who presented the first show to bring the traditional flavour in Guwahati.  And the response of audience is gradually increasing to come to see the performances of the artists.

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Itihas Theatre in Guwahati | Photo: Subhamoy Bhattacharjee
Itihas Theatre in Guwahati | Photo: Subhamoy Bhattacharjee

Besides being a platform for performing artists, Bhramyaman theatre helps support professionals like stage decorator, make-up artist, transporter, team manager, musicians, light men, stage assistants, carriers and many more hands, who dedicatedly work behind the scene. Moreover, the mobile theatre as an industry is the breathing space for a large number of self-styled professionals whose socio-economic life depends upon this cultural industry.

Ranjit Dutta, the man behind the scene of Itihas theatre, said: “We all had a tough life due to COVID-19 pandemic. We also lost a few of our colleagues in this devastating journey through lockdown. But we had faith that theatre will never die. It has to come back and we are happy that it has come back on its track.”

Mobile theatre back on track; Guwahati witnesses seasons’ first show with Itihas Theatre_2

With the maiden performance of Itihas Theatre with their most popular play “Bhul Nubujiba Bhupen Da” in Guwahati, the natural vibe of ‘Bhramyaman’ which was missing for the last two years due to the pandemic, has come back.

Remembering his days with the legend late Bhupen Hazarika, Mridul Bhuyan feels proud of projecting the forever melodies of “Bhupen Da” again after a gap of 13 years to connect the budding generation of Assam through theatre with the all-time great play “Bhul Nubujiba Bhupen Da”. The play tells the story of a great fan who waited till his last breath for a phone call from the legendary ‘people’s singer’ whose popular numbers touch everyone’s heart.

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Mridul Bhuyan, his wife Aditi Bhuyan with legendary singer Bhupen Hazarika
Mridul Bhuyan, his wife Aditi Bhuyan with legendary singer Bhupen Hazarika | Photo courtesy: Mridul Bhuyan

The much adorable traditional performance has come back to people’s doorstep after two years of silence. Now it’s the responsibility of the people to carry forward the legacy with utmost support.

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About Subhamoy Bhattacharjee

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Subhamoy Bhattacharjee is a Photojournalist-Communicator. He tells the tale of the region, with his writings and photographs. Photo documentaries, news features and book projects attract him most.

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