Bhubaneswar: Verses of the 15th-century mystic poet and saint, Kabir, reverberated through Rabindra Mandap in Odisha capital yesterday. Playing the titular role in the mono-act musical play ‘Kabeer’ was eminent classical singer and theatre director Shekhar Sen.
The play, written, composed and directed by Shekhar himself, revolved around the life and teachings of Kabir, who preached love, peace and religious harmony. In the act, he also mentioned the journey of the mystic poet from Odisha to Bengal by boat.
This was Shekhar’s 415th ‘Kabeer’ performance and 976th mono act. “This was my first public performance in Odisha and I am overwhelmed by the response,” he said.
Reminiscing about his days as a classical singer, Shekhar said he has been to Odisha before and travelled extensively for musical concerts. “I remember performing at the Lingaraj temple on Shivratri, back in the 1990’s. Such trips became fewer after I switched over to drama,” he said.
He finds Odisha serene and peaceful. “It’s like an abode away from all the chaos of metro. It’s beautiful. I’m planning to come here with my family soon,” he further said.
In 1998, he staged his first mono act. “People made fun of me, saying no one is interested in Kabir or Tulsi anymore, so it’s a waste writing and enacting their poems. I went on with my work and proved them wrong with the response these garnered from the audience. It was more like an experiment and an exploration of myself. Musical drama is like a strong dose of entertainment that also touches one’s soul,” he added.
Chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi, Shekhar was awarded Padma Shri in 2015.