One Man On Mission To Keep ‘Katha-Vachan-Gayan’ Alive
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – Katha-Vachan-Gayan (storytelling-reading-singing) is a legendary and rare art form that stretches back to mythology and legends. Only a few people in India present storytelling through songs.
One of them is Ajay Kumar, a trained artiste from the National School of Drama who tells stories in a unique way.
Katha-Vachan-Gayan is an art form that is known by different names across India, for instance, ‘Swangi’ and ‘Bhandduai’. The artists present the story through their singing, reading, and physical expressions. Stories by Lerika Chandra and plays by Bhikhari Thakur can be found in many places.
Kumar said that the rhythm of reciting poetry leaves an impact on the audience as their interest arises when the story is narrated with the help of body movements and expressions.
The theatre artiste said that an actor’s existence is at stake while performing, adding that terming the form as an example of complete theatre will not be an exaggeration, since the actor must speak, dance, act, sing, etc.
Kumar said that he is a member of the visiting faculty at NSD and an actor in Rangmandal in NSD with presentations of more than 450 stories country-wide.
Kumar has directed, acted, and been a musician in more than 50 plays.
His presentations include “Bada Bhand to Bada Bhand” based on ‘Rijak Marayada’ by eminent writer Vijaydan Detha. The story is based on the dignity of livelihood and revolves around an actor. Kumar has presented this story more than 300 times.
Another show “Mai Re Main Ka Se Kahoon” is also based on a story by Vijaydan Detha, ‘Duvidha’. Kumar has presented more than 150 shows of the same.
He underlined the need to save the folk art forms, cultural traditions, and rare forms of art that are a crucial part of the country’s heritage.