Sunday, 27 September 2015

Karubasona: A Play Within

Aitrayee Sarkar shares her experience watching Karubasona, a play enlightened with inner search of a creator.   

Karubasona is not perhaps the most popular works of Jibanananda Das but it has the flavour of eternal dilemmas faced by a creator and his creations. Kolkata-based theatre group Pancham Vaidic deserves applause for selecting such a difficult text to stage before the cerebral audience of the city. Honestly, Director Arpita Ghosh seems to have no intention of creating too much dramatic moments with Karubasona. Knowing well that a symbolic piece by Jibanananda Das would be hard to transform in to any visual medium, the Director has not tried any short cuts. She sticks to the original story-line mostly and has improvised with the overall designing of the play. It’s obviously an experiment that would come up with flying colours in future. 

Sujon (right) and Anirban (left) with Joy Goswami

The scenography done by Debesh Chattopadhyay is another key aspect that has contributed in transformation of the play. The light, music and stage designing are complementary to the inner pain that a true creator feels throughout his life. Without realizing that pain even approaching such a work is difficult. But the Arpita-Debesh combination has not only portrayed the search of a creator in a realistic light but also gave the opportunity to the audience to relate with that.     

The protagonist of the play, Hem, has been portrayed by actors of two generations—Sujon Mukhopadhyay and Anirban Bhattacharya. Preferring one out of the two is difficult. Both are apt and have done justice to the character.

Since it’s a vintage Jibanananda Das creation poetry has played a key role in it. The narration at times came in a poetic rendition. Poet Joy Goswami’s on stage presence is a refreshing and surprising idea. The way he read out lines of poems to manifest the intricacies of a creator’s life is remarkable. His symbolic presence has actually bridge the gap between the two forms of art—poetry and drama.

Protagonist Hem
However, trying Jibanananda is not new in Bengali stage. Another theatre group Swapnasandhani had staged Jibanananda’s Malyaban a few years ago. After the success of Karubasona more groups would hope to try that path in future. That would surely throw light at the lesser known areas of work done by masters like Jibanananda Das.   

A play like Karubasona may seem less dramatic to many but the eternal poetic language is there to create a new form of conversation between the stage and audience. Pancham Vaidic has staged the production as a tribute to the artists across the world on the 100th birth anniversary of legendary Sombhu Mitra. It’s a fantastic tribute to a man who himself was the master of experimentation.  

The writer is an editor of WebPressClub


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