Radio Play : Popular entertainment and social awareness media

Dilip Mayengbam
Contd from previous issue
Among them Imphal may be producing highest number of plays. Due to the installation of digital recording systems in the studios, recording and editing becomes much more easier now. Quality also is much better. According to 2011 census report AIR, Imphal is the most listened station in the country, next is Srinagar.
In case of Imphal besides the Drama section Khungangi Thouram (Rural programme) broadcast Sumang Leela regularly and docudrama based on forest and environment.
Mention may be made of Tala Pamel Laktagi (About the trees) written by Dr TB Singh, Ucheksingi Waree (stories of birds) by Dr Khangembam Shamungou and produced by Maisnam Biramani. The former got first prize in documentary section of Akashvani Awards- 2006. Family Welfare Section also regularly produces and broadcast radio plays of short duration. In 2007 Akashvani Awards its play Eikhoina Soidana Ngamgani (We shall surely win) written by Seram Neken and produced by Maisnam Biramani got first prize. It was a docudrama based on AIDS.
Again in 2010 its short play Sengao Lakpa (Pickpocket) written by Ekendra Tensuba and produced by Thangjam Ibocha received the 2nd prize in that year’s Akashvani Award. Recently this section again won first prize in Akashvani award-2015 by its play Hekta Sijakhrage Itomta (Let me die alone) script by Shanto M and produced by Tokeswori Elangbam. It’s a comedy play, a man quarrels with his family and attempts to commit suicide. But all the trees disallowed him to climb and requested not to commit suicide from their branches lest they would be cut down by the local people next day. Then the man dropped the idea of suicide.
AIR, Imphal produced many good plays Karnagi Mama (Karna’s mother) and Karnagi Aroiba Yahip (Karna’s last respite) are worth mentioning written by Ningombam Ibobi who was blind by the time it was written dictating to another person. It created a very high quality of radio drama. It was broadcast on 14.01.1979 and 14.10.1979 respectively. When the script was published Shri Ibobi received the Sahitya Akademi award in 1983. The legend GC Tongbra’s play Nabongkhao was a superhit. He also received Sahitya Akademi award on this drama in 1978.
Imagi Ningthem was also first broadcast as a radio play, then it was made into a film by Aribam Syam Sharma and received the International Grand Prix Award. It was written by MK Binodini Devi, a noted fiction writer and Akademi awardee. The famous Manipuri novel-Madhabi of Dr Kamal was also dramatised and produced by Sagolsem Indrakumar. Moirangthem Inao became a famous radio drama writer after his series of plays became hits. Anuradhapur Ashramgi Rajkumar is still recalled by the listeners. It received Special Prize in Akashvani Award-1980 and producer was Sagolsem Indrakumar. His play Chatledo Eidi Meigi Ching Puduna is another hit.
It is a love story based on a small poultry farm they decided to marry after getting a profit but the chicks died because of an epidemic. It devastated their dreams. It has been made into a feature film by Makhonmani Mongsaba. Arambam Samarendra’s Leipaklei was also a radio play that ultimately got Sahitya Akademi Award later in 1995. Radio adaptations of award winning short stories and novels were taken up carefully by Dilip Mayengbam during 1990s and Nongphadok Lakpada (The Rare Guest) based on the short story of Lamabam Viramani and dramatized by MK Binodini bagged the First Prize in Play category of Akashvani Awards-1990. It created history for Imphal station. It was broadcast in all the regional languages of the country in 1991. The story is about a woman who was supposed to arrange everything for the marriage of her daughter, was coming to the marriage as a rare guest. Without any confirmation from a rumour she was charged with having a seemed to be relation with the boy who was helping her in the absence of the husband who had gone for a new posting. The boy was also arranged by the husband. So, she left the house with the young son leaving the daughter. It’s a protest for alleging an unfounded charge against a woman and leading a shattered life whereas man does not suffer from such rumour or charges.

(To be contd)