Direction : Sohini Sengupta
Back in the last decade of the nineteenth century, the Queen Mother of Nepal and the teenage daughter-in-law of a Lord in Calcutta are in similar agonies: they both are feeling terribly unwell. And neither of them can be examined by male doctors since it is against the existing social norms. They both would rather embrace, or be left to embrace, death. Enter Kadambini Ganguli, the first female doctor in the entire British Empire to have learnt and practised western medicine. She, of course, cures both women. And we embark on a journey through the life and times of Kadambini Ganguli.
Kadambini’s father believes in women’s emancipation and is always supportive of Kadambini’s academic endeavours. Dwarakanath Ganguli, a very enthusiastic social worker, braves a hostile administration to help Kadambini get her much-deserved seat at the Medical College in Calcutta after Kadambini becomes one of the first two female graduates in India. However, not everyone is as supportive or even as accommodating. In an all-male Medical College, she is the centre of all uncalled-for attention. A particularly jealous professor stands between Kadambini and her graduation degree. But, with some help from Dwarakanath, she overcomes all adversaries and becomes the doctor she always wanted to be. Together, Dwaraka and ‘Kadu’, become one.
And, as we walk through the streets of an old, colonial Calcutta, hand-in-hand with one of the foremost harbingers of women’s liberation of the nineteenth and the twentieth century, many questions arise. Can men and women be truly equal? Is the role of a successful woman limited to being the support system behind the success of a man? Can the roles here be reversed? Does women’s liberation essentially mean ignoring the family or one’s social responsibilities? Can successful working women also be successful homemakers?
The world, perhaps, would be a better place if we could find the answers and live up to them.
Nandikar (Bengali: নান্দীকার) is a theatre group in India. The group has its headquarters in Kolkata in the state of West Bengal, but works around the world.
We are a 57-year-old theatre institution from Kolkata, India. We have been at the forefront of the national theatre movement since our inception in 1960. Our logo was designed by Satyajit Ray. For diversity, quality and scale of its sustained activities, Nandikar has earned a niche in the national cultural calendar.
NANDIKAR, NOT JUST A THEATRE GROUP but an Institution
Nandikar has produced about 80 Plays, performed these nearly 8500 times across the nation, featuring in all major National/State Festivals, as well as abroad. Quite a number of its productions, e.g. NatyakarerSandhaneChhatiCharitra, Tin Poysar Pala, Bhalomanush, Football, Antigone, etc., have been performed for more than 400 nights each.
National Theatre Festival, organised by Nandkar and in its 33rd year now, is one of the foremost events in the theatre calendar of India.
Our theatre and communication training programs and workshops, tailor-made for actors, children, college students and corporates, are pioneering work in the field of application of performing arts in communication skill development and personality development.
We work with differently abled persons, correctional home inmates, deprived persons and residents of red light areas.