(Last Updated on : 02-04-2012)
Aswini Kumar Ghose was a dedicated Oriya theatre personality. His granduncle, Ramshankar Ray, was the pioneer Oriya dramatist and his grandfather, Gourishankar Ray was an ardent lover and patron of art. He started his playwriting career with the mythological Bhishma
in 1915. This was staged by students of Ravenshaw College in Cuttack
, a premier educational institution. It gave him a name as a new dramatist. His third play, Seoji in 1918 was a historical piece, performed by students of Cuttack Medical School.
At that place Aswini Kumar was introduced to Banamali Pati, owner of Radhakrishna Theatre in Balanga, Puri district
. This meeting proved very auspicious for Oriya theatre. At Pad's request, Ghose wrote regularly for him. The two men grew very close and Ghose found a platform for his drama. Kalapahad in 1922 and Konarka in 1927 had long runs at Radhakrishna Theatre. Following Pati's untimely death, Ghose bought the company while mortgaging his own house. Aswini Kumar renamed it Banamali Art Theatre after his departed friend, and tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to manage it. After its closure he wrote for the newly formed Annapurna Theatre. In the list there were some popular plays like Raghu arakshita i.e. "Raghu the Destitute" in 1937, Bandhu Mahanti, Chandalum i.e. "Scavenger Woman" in 1946, Sri Lokanath in 1946, and Chashajhia i.e. "Farmer's Daughter" in 1946. He sacrificed his personal life for the cause of theatre and died a pauper. Ghose authored forty-one plays. He gave mythological and historical drama a new identity. Especially in the latter, he applied the novel technique of humanistically analysing characters. He portrayed two historical figures, Kalapahad and Govinda Vidyadhar, as strange yet lovable. His dialogues are weak and descriptive, laden with emotion that further diminishes their appeal. The music in his plays was also inferior. Yet he was a master craftsman with a deep sense of dramatic balance, for his plots remain unparalleled.
Aswini Kumar Ghosh died in the year 1962.
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