Narmad: My Life


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Narmad: My Life 

A one-man multimedia musical show


Narmad: my life is a multimedia play presentation based on the life of the fascinating, multifaceted life of Narmad who was born on August 24, 1833 and died in 1886.

The play has created a milestone in the Gujarati Theater, being the first show to be produced in the US and then brought to India. This is also the first one-man show based on real life.

The play starts with the scene of Narmad writing his autobiography, and in a total of 22 scenes in 120 minutes, weaves the life of Narmad: a sobbing Narmad, shaken by the disastrous fire in Surat; Narmad , who got married at the age of 11, lost his first wife during pregnancy, and who marries a widow, Dahigauri; young Narmad who charms his father with his poetry; orator and reformer Narmad who holds audiences spellbound; a carefree Narmad charming rich women; alcoholic Narmad; and finally a repenting Narmad.

The play, currently being performed in Gujarati and English has captured the heart of audiences and critics alike. The scholars who have studied Narmad in depth, have been pleased with the authenticity of the play. The play has been performed throughout the USA and in theaters in Mumbai and in 20 cities in Gujarat including Ahmedabad, Surat, Bhavnagar, at the invitation of the Ministry of Information in Gujarat. The play is going to a number of European cities as well, and Spanish, Italian and French translations are also planned.

Narmad was a fearless writer and public speaker, with the zeal of a crusader. Through his writings, he enriched Gujarati language. He pioneered many literary forms such as autobiography, grammar, poetics, dictionary, historical plays, research in folk literature, to name a few. He was also an aggressive journalist and a pamphleteer.

Narmad was a strong opponent of religious fanaticism and orthodoxy. He kindled the light of nationalism and patriotism, wrote about self government and talked about one national language, Hindi, for all of India, nearly five decades before Mahatma Gandhi or Nehru.

In short, he was the icon of change, a crusader of social reforms, and a singer of the glory of India and Gujarat.

The idea for this multimedia play was originally conceived by the India Foundation of Dayton and Dr. Harish Trivedi, writer and director of the play who has made an in-depth study of Narmad's life. Trivedi holds a doctorate in theater and communications from Michigan State University.

The actor of the play, Mr. Chandrakant (Chandu) Shah, is a well-known actor, writer, producer, and poet. He is founder of the AVANTAR THEATER GROUP in Bombay and in Boston, USA where he is currently living.

The project had received a grant from the Arts and Cultural Alliance of the Miami Valley and Culture Works, and the Montgomery County Regional Arts and Culture Council. It was offered in India with the co-operation of Kala-Gurjari, Mumbai. Music was offered by Ajit Sheth and Kshemu Divetia.

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