A poignant tale of a father’s love for his daughter.

Hindustani Play – 2hrs (with interval); Age: 8+

Adapted from Naiyer Masud’s Urdu story ‘Taoos Chaman Ki Myna’ published by Katha Books as ‘The Myna from Peacock Garden’

Adaptation and Direction –Atul Tiwari

Production Design – M S Sathyu

Music – Amod Bhat

Choreography – Pooja Pant

About the play: Work is on in full swing at the Royal Peacock Garden to install a Wondrous Cage that will house forty talking hill mynas. Soon, the Cage and its lively, twittering occupants are entrusted to Kale Khan’s care. But he steals a myna for his little motherless daughter, who has long been asking him for one. What lies in store for Kale Khan ... and the beautiful historic city of Lucknow?
‘The dreamlike quality and the meticulous attention to language make Masud’s writing so delightfully different.’ Naiyer Masud is among the foremost contemporary Urdu short story writers in India, with renowned works like Seemiya, Itr-e-Kafoor and Taoos Chaman Ki Myna.
Taoos... premiered in May 2013 and has since been staged in Mumbai, Pune, Bhopal, Delhi, Lucknow and Kanpur, including two shows at the NSD’s prestigious Bharat Rang Mahotsav.
Cast: Vianca Varma, Afsana Ahmed, Vighnesh Sinkar, Devina Medda, Manoj Kumar Karki, Hetal Varia, Ghanshyam Tiwari, Sahil Gangurde, Prasad Dagare, Amit Bhargava, Harshad Tambe, Nishna Mehta, Shreyans Iyer, Vinati Makijany, Anagh Banerjee, Naman Banthia and others

Director’s note: Mix the mesmerism of Daastaangoyee, magic of "Idgaah", memories of Ghadar and monumental Lucknow. What you get is the tale called "Taaoos Chaman Ki Myna" by inimitable Nayyar Masood. It was a pleasure and pain at the same time to adapt this story into a play. Singing birds in a wondrous cage can easy be brought alive by ink on a page. But on stage? How do you bring forty birds, worlds biggest cage, marquee markets, monuments, Mahals etc on stage?... the questions were many and multiple. But at every confusing turn it was the story that showed me the right path to write, and my actors - with whom I used to improvise a part of novella and then go home and scribble. At this time some plot points and charactors started charting their own course. I did not stop them. And now the play, that is before you, is some what like Masood sahab's Myna - that has been stolen and taught to sing a new song. Any fan of the original tale may exclaim, "What the hell is all this singing? What on earth is the meaning of all this?" But I sincerely hope that Masood sahab will understand my "problem" and pardon me the way Nawab Wajid Ali Shah did. After all Lucknowites are like that.

Audience feedback
I liked the play a lot – especially the ending. Ananya, age 6 years
It was awesome, it touched my heart!!! Zubin, age 12 years
It was really nice. The play was very powerful! Antara, age 8 years
This play was so good that even though I don’t understand Urdu, I got every bit. Ahaan, age 10 years
Ek  apurv anubhav, prakriti ki sair karata ek sampurn theatre, sabko badhai. Shekhar Sen, theatre person
Delightful. Enjoyed every minute of it. Shyam Benegal, director
The fun and joy of theatre comes alive!!Rajit Kapur, actor/director
Outstanding, imaginative, insightful. Bhawana Somaya, writer
Wonderful experience. A day to remember. Raman Kumar, director
Very authentic. Yusuf Husain
Wonderful performance great production values. Vivek Kele
Absolutely delightful, so inspiring and energising. Manju Singh
Amazing experience. Hope there would be many more shows! Congrats to all. Sushmita Mukherjee, actor

Some reviews
Shanta Gokhale in the Mumbai Mirror
Taoos Chaman Ki Myna, turned out to be a thing of sheer beauty. It has a lovely set (M S Sathyu), catchy music (Amod Bhatt), graceful choreography (Pooja Pant), effective costumes (Tanya Mahajan), and lyrics by the director Atul Tiwari and Nazeer Akabarabadi. ...
What makes theatre really special is its potential for creating magic. You don’t need technology to do this; only directorial imagination and rigorously rehearsed actors. Taoos Chaman Ki Myna, creates this magic when Falak Ara and Falak Myna “fly” around the stage looking upon the splendours of Lucknow city. It is a truly memorable scene in an altogether memorable play.

Diwan Singh Bajeli in The Hindu
A sensitive portrayal of the woes of one poor man set against a backdrop of social turmoil and anti-imperialist feeling.
“Taoos Chaman Ki Myna” presented by Gillo Theatre Repertory, Mumbai, at Shri Ram Centre as part of the Bharat Rang Mahotsav this past week offers an exciting, inspiring and moving evening of theatre. An unpretentious production, its narrative unfolds in a seamless manner interspersed with beautifully written lyrics by Nazeer Akbarabadi and Atul Tiwari, set to hauntingly lovely music score by Amod Bhatt. Choreography by Pooja Bhatt imparts the production a magical aura. The crisp dialogue with chaste Urdu at places offers aural delight. The production value is enriched with the subtle and intricate design by M.S. Sathyu, veteran film and theatre personality. The sparsely painted draperies hung upstage are suggestive enough to provide the historical and social backdrop against which the dramatic action takes place.

Deepa Gahlot in Mid-day
The most beautiful and moving play of this children’s season was Atul Tiwari’s Taoos Chaman Ki Myna... Children (and adults) are introduced to the reign of the flamboyant Wajid Ali Shah, a connoisseur and patron of the arts....Away from the turbulence of history in the making, the play tells the simple and moving story of a poor man, who cannot afford to buy a rare myna for his motherless daughter, who has set her heart on one....children must have learnt a bit of history, an imaginative style of staging, love for birds (or animals) the power of simplicity that can enhance narration by the distilling the essence of emotions.

Surabhi Sharma (film maker) on Facebook

Thank you for creating theatre for children without making the experience 'simple', child friendly, impossibly happy, politically correct and moralistic. It was fine that my child did not understand every nuance of the language, even missed the plot on occasion. She was sucked into the experience through the sound, the movement of the actors, the stage magically transforming with every scene. 12 hours later she continues to savour the experience, remembers to ask about the meaning of this word or another, that bit of the story, the implication of this or that dialogue etc. Oh, and a very big thank you for opening up Lucknow for both of us on the NCPA stage.
Oh, forgot to add that my child was deeply moved by the play, and had tears streaming down her face on more than one occasion. That things can be beautiful yet sad is something that Walt Disney and its ilk tries its darndest to avoid. Our children are fed on the pill that everything should be happy and every crisis should be easily solved.


  1. Is an excellent production. Waiting for more shows

  2. Brilliant theater. There was a storyline, there was fine acting, terrific comic interludes, beautiful choreography, live music, and pitch-perfect timing. A consummate production that was more than a play. Your Taoos Chaman Ki Myna is a show. I just got lucky that I saw it tonight.