(Last Updated on : 25-07-2009)
Atamjit Singh is a Punjabi director and dramatist with four one-act anthologies and five full-length plays to his credit. His first full-length work, Kaberstan i.e. 'Graveyard' in 1975, gave evidence of Beckett's influence. It shows life as absurd, for people are dead even when breathing. His first collection of one-act drama, Chabian i.e. 'Keys' in 1976 attracted the attention of discriminating readers with its formal innovation. His next collection, Hawa mahal i.e. 'Palace in the Air' in 1980 made him famous. Natak, natak, natak i.e. 'Drama, Drama, Drama' in 1981 exemplifies the ingenuity that marks his style. Chirian or 'Sparrows' in 1989 has impressed even the strictest critics on this score.
Rishtian da ki rakhiay na i.e. 'What Name to Give to Relationships?' in 1984 is based upon Saadat Hasan Manto's celebrated story. Toba Tek Singh was about the anguish and terror of the 1947 partition of India. Dispensing with historical specificity, the play harps on the intractable ambiguity of life. Tree Growing in Cement Floor in 1989 deals with the aridity that characterizes relationships between men and women. Puran in 1991 derives its subject from the ancient legend. Set in a modern milieu, it pleads for transparency in sexual matters. As overtones of the leitmotif, earlier writers who employed this legend for their own purposes figure as dramatis personae.
Atamjit has also scripted two television plays, Duki, tikki, chauki i.e. 'Two, Three, Four' and Akhian or 'Eyes'. These have been published. Atamjit Singh composed a light-and-sound production on the holy city of Amritsar in collaboration with his father, S. S. Amol. Its presentation drew thousands of people who had otherwise never seen Punjabi theatre
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