Sambhu Mitra's A Doll's House - Putul Khela (completed)

The primary aim of the project is to explore and discuss an adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House by Sambhu Mitra titled Putul Khela (Playing with Dolls) which was brought to stage by Kolkata's pioneer theatre group, Bohurupee in 1958.

About the project

The project envisages a close scrutiny into the text and the receptions of the play to understand why and how it was one of the successes of the Bengali theatre.

Research fellow, Ahmed Ahsanuzzaman, argue that the principal reason for Putul Khela's popularity can be attributed to the fact that Mitra made a Bengali experience out of Ibsen as he set the play in his contemporary Bengal, replaced Christmas by Durga Puja, the biggest Hindu religious festival of the region, introduced recitation of a Tagore poem in lieu of dance and allowed for Nora-Bulu's removal of sindur (vermilion), a sacred emblem of the married Bengali woman, from the parting of her hair - an action which was a blow to the institution of marriage itself.

By discussing Putul Khela he will aim to see how an Ibsen play is recreated, and how it gives birth to new meanings and thoughts when it is localised in a new cultural context.


Ibsen's entry into the Indian playhouse nearly coincided with India’s independence from her British colonial rulers in 1947, and A Doll’s House is one of the foreign plays which is still widely staged both in translation and adaptation in different parts of the Indian subcontinent.

Mitra’s adaptation of A Doll’s House is important because it had been quite a regular engagement of the Kolkata theatre for two decades with the curtain falling on it in 1978. Mitra’s adaptation of the Ibsen play is considered a milestone in the field of adaptation.

Research fellow

Ahmed Ahsanuzzaman is originally from Bangaldesh. He received his Master's degree in Ibsen Studies at UiO in 2009. He is now one of the Ph.D candidates on the project "Ibsen between Cultures".



Tags: Ibsen, India
Published June 14, 2010 12:38 PM - Last modified Mar. 31, 2017 3:31 PM