Presenting a live performance of Jungle Nama (text by Amitav Ghosh, composed by Ali Sethi, and directed by Brooke O'Harra)
The Center for Experimental Ethnography invites audiences to the first English stage performance of Amitav Ghosh's adaptation of an episode from the legend of Bon Bibi, titled: "Jungle Nama: A Story of the Sundarban." The performance will take place at the Montgomery Theatre at Penn Live Arts.
Jungle Nama is Amitav Ghosh's verse adaptation of an episode from the legend of Bon Bibi, a tale popular in the villages of the Sundarban, which also lies at the heart of the novel The Hungry Tide. It is the story of the avaricious rich merchant Dhona, the poor lad Dukhey, and his mother; it is also the story of Dokkhin Rai, a mighty spirit who appears to humans as a tiger, of Bon Bibi, the benign goddess of the forest, and her warrior brother Shah Jongoli. The original print version of this legend, dating back to the nineteenth century, is composed in a Bengali verse meter known as dwipodi poyar. Jungle Nama is a free adaptation of the legend, told entirely in a poyar-like meter of twenty-four syllable couplets that replicate the cadence of the original.
Illustration by Salman Toor