Konkona Sen Sharma to play Tagore's sister-in-law

  • Anindita Acharya, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: May 05, 2015 15:19 IST

Konkona Sen Sharma was reading author Aruna Chakravarti's Jorasanko when the script of director Suman Ghosh's Kadambari came her way. The Page 3 actor says Chakravarti's book, which takes an in-depth look into the family life in Jorasanko, the house of the Tagores, exposed her to the life of Kadambari Devi, wife of Jyotirindranath Tagore. "I wasn’t much aware of the controversial life of Kadambari, Tagore's sister-in-law. I read Nastanirh in school, which had passing references to Tagore's Natun Bouthan, but there was nothing at lenghth. The book Jorasanko helped me get a clear idea. The film has a lot of facts but we had to weave these facts with fiction for the screenplay of the film," says the National Award-winning actor.

It is not unknown Kadambari Devi was only two years elder to Tagore and hence became playmates soon. She was also the Nobel laureate’s inspiration behind several poems. Tagore's Natun Bouthan became a subject of controversy after her unexpected suicide. However, there are other reasons that attracted Konkona to the script.

"The film is a sensitive portrayal of Kadambari. The story begins with her entering the Thakur Bari as a nine-year-old bride. Tagore was only seven then. The two shared a wonderful relationship. Suman's screenplay is balanced and detailed and we have not gone into the other sensational aspects. There are myriad shades of her life but her great camaraderie with Tagore cannot be denied. Their companionship greatly intrigued me," says Konkona, who will soon be seen in Prakash Jha-produced Lipstick Wale Sapne and Meghna Gulzar's Nyodda, which is based on Aarushi Talwar murder case.

Konkona says the entire cast and crew of the film was extremely efficient and made sure they get the look of the film authentic. Playing Kadambari Devi, also helped Konkona understand the loneliness of Tagore's Natun Bouthan. "We don’t know if they crossed a certain boundary of friendship, and it was irrelevant to the film. They had a meaningful friendship. Kadambari had various other problems. She didn’t have children and in time like hers, the woman always had to bear the brunt of infertility. She was also part of a household, which had some many other important figures. Jnanadanandini Devi had an overwhelming presence and say in their house. Swarnakumari Devi, Tagore's sister, was a renowned author too. Kadambari lead a lonely life. She adopted Swarnakumari Devi's daughter Urmila and the child met an early death too. She was completely alienated after Tagore's marriage. So, there might have been quite a few factors that contributed to her tragic and early death. We don't know. Irrespective of the age we are born, loneliness is a part of human existence. One can easily relate to Kadambari Devi's loneliness and companionship. There are many things, which are relatable, even though the context or times have changed," says Konkona, who remained tight-lipped about whether she is doing AR Murugadoss' Akira.

The film was recently screened for President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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