Theatre troupe BotTala celebrated its ninth founding anniversary through a day-long programme on Friday at Bangladesh Mahila Samity.
The celebration programme comprised cultural, theatre shows and declaration of a new executive committee of the troupe.
Professor Mesbah Kamal and Samina Luthfa were named president and CEO, respectively.
BotTala, which has produced popular plays like Khona, The Trial of Mallam Ilya, Jatugriha and others, staged another of its acclaimed production Madhushikari on the occasion.
The play, Madhushikari (Honey Hunter), brings to light the importance of natural balance in the ecosystem and human relationships with nature.
The play depicts the encroachment of the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest.
Adapted from Karthika Nair’s The Honey Hunter (a children’s fantasy book), the play is directed by Mohammad Ali Haider and is presented in the traditional pala style where music, narration, dance and acting are fused together.
To emphasise the importance of ecological balance, the play portrays the imaginary tale of a greedy boy, Shanu Mia, whose father is a honey collector.
Shanu travels deep into the forest to collect honey against his father’s wishes. His father tells him not to go to the forest as the season for honey collection is yet to come. But Shanu, ignoring his father’s warnings completely, goes to the forest with a group of merchants.
As they move deep into the forest they come across thousands of honeycombs and start to extract honey. Suddenly they hear the voice of Bonbibi (the forest deity), who reminds them that the season of honey collection is yet come.
Shanu Mia and the merchants ignore her advice, drawing the wrath of the deity who summons Dakkhin Roy (the Royal Bengal Tiger) to protect the honeycombs and the forest.
Frightened by the approaching Dakkhin Roy, the group flees but Shanu Mia falls flat on the ground. The deity forgives him, however, on the condition that he will stand posing as a tree for one year so that the honeybees now devoid of colonies can have a new refuge.
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