Theatre troupe BotTola opened the three-day Kalakushali Natyautsab at Rabindrabhaban Mancha in Jalpaiguri, India with a show of its acclaimed play Khona on Friday.
An 18-member team of BotTola left Bangladesh on Wednesday to participate in the festival.
Written by Samina Luthfa and directed by Mohammad Ali Haider, Khona depicts the tragic story of ancient astrologer Lilabati and her struggles against patriarchy.
The myth and stories surrounding Khona are well known in Bengali folklore. A body of ancient agricultural knowledge which includes weather predictions, popularly called Khona’s Sayings (Khonar Bochon), has been passed down from generation to generation through a continuous oral tradition for more than 1500 years.
The play shows how the astrologer Khona comes into clash with her powerful father-in-law Varaha after Khona gets recognition as a more competent astrologer than her father-in-law. A conflict ensues between them which escalate to an extreme level. In the end her tongue is cut off making her Khona, one who cannot speak.
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