Udichi stages ‘Half Akhrai’ today at Shilpakala Academy
Shadma Malik

  • A scene from ‘Half Akhrai’ 
    Photo- Dhaka Tribune

The renowned cultural organisation Udichi will stage the play “Half Akhrai” today at 7pm at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

Written by Ratan Siddique and directed by Azad Abul Kalam, the plot revolves around a historical event, an intellectual conflict between two musicians. Ramnidhi Gupta known as Nidhu Gupta, pioneer of the classical music genre “Bangla Tappa” songs founded “Akhrai” a musical organisation in 1804, along with his disciple Mohanchand Basu. Gupta believed his unique approach of singing is only for the intellectual people and only they can truly value and understand his songs. His genre of classical music was well appreciated among the segmented elites of Kolkata. Due to age complication, Gupta died in 1832, and his prodigy Mohonchand took over the music organisation.

Mohonchand believed that music is not only for a class of elites, it is to be cherished and enjoyed by people from all walks of life. He changed the signature style of Gupta and made the genre acceptable for the masses.

Due to the disagreement of his bold step, conflict arises in the group. Mohonchand left “Akhrai” and established another music group titled “Half Akhrai” with his followers. In a year, this newly formed music community for the mass became most popular in Kolkata.

In the time, anti-Raj people got involved with the team and conspired against these musically devoted communities. One night, a mysterious fire devoured lives of most of Mohonchand’s followers. The conflict between the guru and disciple comes into focus, and the consequence of its brutal effect on the society. 

“Half Akhrai” is an attractive story with the characters of Ramnidi Gupta, his beloved Barangna Srimoti, his partisan Mohonchand, rebellious Ganganarayan and the characters of Shamdas, Harishchandra, Sattaya, Balram, Chandralekha, Kund, Shaybo, Nikunja, Surgeon, Kesto and many more.

Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Goshti is one of the leading progressive cultural organisation and is involved in numerous political significant events. The winner of Ekushey Padak in 2013, the cultural activists holds plays and revolution songs. 

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