Binodini Dasi

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Binodini Dasi
Binodini dasi.jpg
Born1862 (1862)
Died1941 (aged 78–79)
Other namesNotee Binodini
OccupationDrama actress

Binodini Dasi (1862–1941), also known as Notee Binodini, was a Calcutta-based, Bengali-speaking renowned actress and thespian.[1] She started acting at the age of 12 and ended by the time she was 23, as she later recounted in her noted autobiography, Amar Katha (The Story of My Life) published in 1913.[2]


Born to prostitution, she started her career as a courtesan and at age twelve she played her first serious drama role in Calcutta's National Theatre in 1874, under the mentorship of its founder, Girish Chandra Ghosh.[3] Her career coincided with the growth of the proscenium-inspired form of European theatre among the Bengali theatre going audience. During a career spanning twelve years she enacted over eighty roles, which included those of Pramila, Sita, Draupadi, Radha, Ayesha, Kaikeyi, Motibibi, and Kapalkundala, among others. She was one of the first South Asian actresses of the theatre to write her own autobiography. Her sudden retirement from the stage is insufficiently explained. Her autobiography has a consistent thread of betrayal. She violates every cannon of the feminine smritikatha and wrote down what amounted to her indictment of respectable society. Ramakrishna, the great saint of 19th century Bengal, came to see her play in 1884.[4] She was a pioneering entrepreneur of the Bengali stage and introduced modern techniques of stage make-up through blending European and indigenous styles.

In popular culture[edit]



  1. ^ Murshid, Ghulam (2012). "Dasi, Binodini". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  2. ^ "Women on stage still suffer bias: Amal Allana (Interview)". Sify News. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  3. ^ Bringing alive Binodini Dasi The Tribune, Sunday, 18 November 2007.
  4. ^ Christopher Pinney, Photos of the Gods p. 42
  5. ^ Nati Binodini-IMDB
  6. ^ Romesh Chander (8 December 2006). "Autobiography comes alive : "Nati Binodini", based on Binodini's autobiography "Aamar Kathaa"". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  7. ^ "STAGE CRAFT". India Today. 8 February 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  8. ^ "Lights, sets, action..: Nissar and Amal Allana's "Nati Binodini" premieres this weekend in Delhi". The Hindu. 24 November 2006. Retrieved 2 April 2010.


Further reading[edit]

  • Binodini Dasi: My Story and My Life as an Actress. Edited and translated by Rimli Bhattacharya. New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1998.

External links[edit]