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    Dr. Atamjit Singh noted theatre artist of Punjab.

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    The show goes on…

    Theatre person Dr Atamjit has given years to his art. What he wants is more people to come forward and appreciate… 

    Having given thirty-eight years of his life to active theatre, the journey of Dr Atamjit has been a happy one. Having written, acted and directed numerous plays, he has his kitty full with awards and he is proud that theatre today has a say in the cultural scenario of the region. Starting with Rishtian da ki Rakhiye Na to Kamloops Deean Machhiaan, Main tan Ik Sarangi Han and Tatti Tawi Da Sach, his plays have received accolades in India as well as abroad.

    As his play Panch Nad Da Paani got underway on Saturday at the Theatre for Theatre Festival, Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh, the noted director shares excerpts from his journey.

    Then & now

    There have been numerous highs for Punjabi theatre since I began. Today women are open to acting as well as direction. One can think of doing something serious on stage, though it is difficult still. There are enough playwrights as directors, what we are still wanting is more women playwrights.

    Sustained effort

    Although Punjabi theatre is rich today, people still do not spend money on it as they do on dressing, eating, drinking or driving. The state has not been able to provide the infrastructure that we expected. I could sustain this long as theatre has not been a profession or commercially driven venture for me. My job as a Punjabi professor earlier and now MD of an IT company helps me hold ground.

    Punjabi roots

    I would rather be called an Indian playwright, than a Punjabi playwright. We have hardly explored the wider horizon. With Panch Naad Da Pani, I intentionally aim to do that. Yet, I would not choose Hindi over Punjabi because my language has built me and I am not ready to sacrifice its strength.

    It’s ironical

    Seeing the rousing response my plays got in Canada and America, I 
    did envision a bright future for Punjabi theatre out there. Unlike here, people are ready to spend money on watching theatre but they do not have time to create one. Here, we have people who want to work, but there is lack of resources.

    Panch Naad Da Pani

    I wrote it two decades back but it’s even more relevant today. When Turks ruled and Mongols attacked, a Rajput princess Naila could stand up and make a decision that had far reaching consequences. Two bhaand characters Tulla and Thulla have been received very well, as much the music by Atul Sharma and designs by Ashok Sagar Bhagat.

    Up next

    I plan to enact a play Gadar Express here on the centenary of Gadar Party. I did one in Sacramento, but I am not sure if I will be able to that. Also, I want to write on murders and suicides of women.

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    Ajmer Aulakh a noted Writer and Drama personality of Punjab.

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    A inetrview with Dr.Atamjit Singh, Punjabi theaterist and scholar..

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