NURUL ISLAM LASKAR
The upcoming stage prodigy from Guwahati, Kismat Bano, has gone beyond the call of duty and done what perhaps no artiste of her age has so far done in Assam. She has got a mini theatre hall built atop their residential house at Dhirenpara in the city, most of the funds coming from her regular savings, and her army contractor father Liaquat Ali contributing the rest. This mini theatre hall, with a capacity of 75, will enable her to train the neighbourhood children in the art of acting on one hand and arrange plays to be staged here, on the other hand, from time to time to promote theatre and theatre awareness in the city. The mini theatre hall will be inaugurated on Tuesday, March 6, during which two plays, Bidhyabalan (Assamese) directed by Naren Patgiri and Bade Bhaisahab (Hindi) directed by Dilip Khanal will be staged.
It may be mentioned here that Kismat Bano received the ‘Young Talents Artistes Award’ for the year 2016-2017 from the hands of PB Acharya, Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, at a colourful function that was hosted at the Raj Bhawan in Itanagar in July last year. The annual award was announced by the selection committee of the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) under the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.
Kismat Bano, who earlier received a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, has in recent years performed in major drama festivals across the country as well as abroad. Two of her most recent plays staged in Guwahati and other cities of the country, ‘Helen’ and ‘Bano’, not only received appreciation from the theatre loving crowd everywhere but also critical approval from the press.
Kismat Bano, at a very young age, has already acted in over 25 plays in different languages- including Assamese and Hindi and these plays have been staged in many major cities of the country. To mention some of these plays: Aakaash, Madyhyabartini, Jatra, The lesson, Komala Kuwori, Helen, and Puhor. She has participated in different top drama events and festivals such as Bharat Rang Mahotsav, Nandikar, EZCC, Sangeet Natak Academy, Prithvi, Nehru Centre, PDA festivals, Kalakshetra Chennai, Octave festival (Goa and Rajasthan) and at Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival etc.
Kismat Bano established her own theatre troupe ‘Wings Theatre’ (cultural group) in Guwahati with a view to using theatre in education to children, working for spastic girls in association with Sishu Sarothi, India, conducting theatre performance-oriented workshops for orphan and indigenous girls in rural areas, and working with the blind children of Guwahati in promoting theatre among differently abled children.
In December 2016, Kismat and her team staged their play Helen at Shilpakal Auditorium in Dhaka, in the programme organised by ITI UNESCO & Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Kismat states, “Performing abroad has increased my eagerness to perform all over the world and now I am working on performances which I would organise in different countries around the world.”
In addition, Kismat has also completed a 40-day film making course in Pune under the supervision of Prof AS Kanal, former faculty of Film & Television Institute of India, Pune last year. Now she is working on the scripts of two documentaries that she plans to make in the coming months.
What is further praiseworthy about Kismat is that she has instituted an annual award titled “Padmashri Arun Sarma Samman” to be presented to an artist who has made an exceptional contribution to the field of theatre. The first award, this year, will go to Pakija Begum, who will stage her play ‘Padmapriya’ at Kismat’s mini theatre hall on Wednesday, March 7.