With the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore being celebrated this year, Bengali filmmaker Pranab Chaudhari has decided to pay homage to the Nobel laureate with his film Muslomanir Galpo, based on a story written by Kabiguru a few months before his death.
Muslomanir Galpo is about Hindu-Muslim harmony and atrocities against women. In the story, the lead character Kamala transforms herself into Meherjan and leads her life for the welfare of abandoned and repressed Hindu girls.
"I was searching for a different story for my film. Tagore wrote the story just one and a half months before his death (on Aug 7, 1941). Probably he wanted to tell his readers to stop these atrocities," Chaudhari told IANS over phone from Kolkata. He plans to release the film May 9 to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore.
Chaudhari says the story of Muslomanir Galpo is relevant even 68 years after Tagore's death.
"I have made this film to give the message to the wider section of viewers to stop atrocities against womanhood and to keep Hindu-Muslim amity, the main essence of Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore's story.
"The story is still relevant in the prevailing socio-economic condition of our country as well as in several parts of the universe. Perhaps at the fag end of his life he (Tagore) just reminded us about the atrocities against womanhood and also the need for communal harmony," added the director, who has been in showbiz for 30 years.
Chaudhari, who has made documentaries, feature films and television series, said Tagore still remains the main motivating factor for the Bengali-speaking people.
"Bengali culture and mindset is totally encompassed with the writings and philosophy of Tagore. He is an embodiment of Bengali culture. As a minuscule student of literature, I have not come across any writer who has dealt with so many aspects of life," he said.
Produced by Pitrashish Marketing Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Muslomanir Galpo is made at a shoestring budget of Rs.85 lakh. Shooting for the film started Feb 17 and has since been completed. Post-production work is going on now.
The film was shot at Itachuna Rajbari, Khannan, Hooghly, West Bengal and the surrounding villages of Itachuna.
Made in the Bengali language, the film will be released in West Bengal, Tripura and other Bengali-populated areas of India.
"At the same time English-subtitled print will be made available for release in different major cities of India as well as English-speaking foreign countries."
For Chaudhari, it will be the most privileged moment if any member of Tagore's family sees the film.
"In our country atrocities and discrimination against women and Hindu-Muslim riots are still continuing with great vigour. We shall be able to pay our real respect to Tagore when we can eradicate these injustices prevailing in our country," said Chaudhari.