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Chokher Bali

Rabindranath Tagore's novel Choker Bali is about widow remarriage and sati pratha and also looks at the insatiable hunger of a widow whose clamour for sex is unabashed.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2003 21:59 IST

Director: Rituparno Ghosh
Cast: Aishwarya Rai, Raima Sen, PrasenjitChatterjee

Rabindranath Tagore's novel Choker Bali appeared for the first time in Bangadarshan in 1902. The novel created a stir in the Bengali society as the three women characters ushered a change of sexual desire in society.

It also voiced concern on certain issues that were biting the society then. So the novel has a reference of widow remarriage and sati pratha. The novel also peeps at the insatiable hunger of widow lady whose clamour of sex is unabashed.

Chokher Bali talks about a widow called Binodini. Binodini (Rai), the main protagonist of the novel happens to marry an old man and thus deprived of any sexual intimacy.

Binodini now comes to stay as a maid to Rajalakshmi (Lily Chakravarthy) and soon comes across Mahendra (Prasenjit) and Behari (Tota Rai Chaudhary). Binodini soon finds out that both of them had refused to marry her when she was a child.

Mahendra a medical student gets married to a young girl Ashalata (Raima Sen). Now Binodini tries to seduce Mahendra and Behari on the other hand is completely magnetized by her resplendent beauty. Binodini also forms a strong bonding with Ashalata.

What unravels is a revolt from Binodini, who refuses to bow down before her sexual desire. She also portrays her fight against Mahendra. Choker Bali means the sand that causes disruption to eyes. Ashalata communicates with Binodini by this name.

Writing credits: Rituparno Ghosh (based on the novel by Rabindranath Tagore)
Production: Shree Venkatesh Films [in]
Cinematography: Aveek Mukhopadhyay
Editor: Arghakamal Mitra
Sound: Biswadeep Chatterjee
Art: Indranil Ghosh

Director's bio note
Rituaparno Ghosh's interest in cinema began when he was completing his post-graduation in Economics. He joined an advertising agencyas a copywriter. His advertising films have won 18 awards. His debut venture, Diamond Ring (Hirer Angti), was a children's film.

19th April (Unishe April) brought him national recognition. It won the Best Indian Film of the Year award, and its heroine, Debashree Roy, received the Best Actress award. Till date, all his films - Dahan, Titli, Utsab, Asukh andShubho Muhurat have won national awards.

First Published: Oct 10, 2003 10:12 IST