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HTKGAF 2018: Four plays celebrate Satyajit Ray’s legacy

The Mumbai audience also got to chat with the actors after the performance

mumbai Updated: Feb 11, 2018 23:16 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
HTKGAF 2018,Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival,Satyajit Ray
Actors perform one of the four plays on Sunday.(Hemanshi Kamani/HT)

A series of four plays that celebrated the work of author Satyajit Ray drew scores of people on the final day of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

The plays were presented by the theatre group Tantra, set up by a group of corporate executives, at Si Bambai.

“We have borrowed the concept and the essence from Ray’s short stories and have transposed them into today’s context,” said Soumitra Acharya, co-founder of Tantra. “We took some creative liberties and changed the climaxes of some,” he added.

All the stories recounted chapters from the lives of middle-class men with mundane lives suddenly faced with extraordinary circumstances.

In Lost Week, a bachelor named Bipin has a chance encounter in a bookstore with a man who claims to have met him in Ranchi; Bipin has no recollection of the person. He begins to wonder if he is losing his mind; if it’s the start of a slide in his faculties presaged and suffered by many in his family before him.

Another tale follows a man named Avinash who becomes obsessed with why the lights in a window opposite his stay on all night. He learns that the owner is an artist who sketches portraits of dead people, and then learns something even more disturbing. Similar stagings explored episodes of darkness, twists and turns in otherwise ordinary lives.

The audience also got to chat with the actors after the performance.

“It was a very tasteful adaptation of Ray’s work,” said Manish Sharma, 26, an investment banker from Mahim. “The stories were re-set in the modern era and yet maintained their essence.”

Manjula Sengupta, 34, a homemaker from Kandivli, said it was great to see young talent adapting Ray’s literary work as theatre. “I came here because I found the synopses interesting and I wasn’t disappointed,” she said. “They gave Ray’s stories a modern touch that I absolutely loved.”

First Published: Feb 11, 2018 23:15 IST