Bewildering Beliefs

By Shyamal Sarkar


Can you please tell me which platform?

My four year old granddaughter, Tia and I were going up in our 14th floor apartment in a building in New York. She was counting 1, 2, 3, 4…. the ascending numbers in elevator display panel. She noticed something missing and says, “Look Grandpa, there is a mistake; there is no number 13 after 12”.  A man in his mid-fifties, resident of the building was in the elevator; he grinned silently listening to Tia. “What is funny about the mistake?” Tia was puzzled. I patted her shoulder and said “Yes, it is a mistake; I will tell the building manager to fix it”. Continue reading

“Banijye Basate Lakhsmi” in Kolkata

Banijye Basate Lakshmi

Banijye Basate Lakshmi

In 2006 ECTA (known as Ethnomedia then), our theatre group, staged our play “Ron” to a packed Rabindra Sadan audience. The experience was overwhelming as well as humbling at the same time. It was for the first time, we were telling our story of immigrant life to the Kolkata theatre audience.  This encouraged us to do another show the following year of “Satyameva”. The audience loved it too. Ashok Mukhopadhyay of Theatre Workshop picked up the play and produced it as part of their repertoire. Since then, it has been a long time we staged any of our later plays in Kolkata. The sheer logistics and economics of the endeavor held us back.

Now once again, ECTA is back in Kolkata with one of its latest productions – “Banijye Basate Lakhsmi” to be staged at the Sujata Sadan theatre (7 Hazra Road, Kolkata) at 6:00pm.  The play is presented in Kolkata by SEPA and Theatrics (two organizations dedicated to promote education and culture through performing arts) on the occasion of the inauguration of their print and web magazine.

“Banijye Basate Lakshmi” is a one person play written and performed by yours truly and directed by Sankar Ghoshal. A humorous but poignant tale about a man’s conflict in deciding his objective in life, has touched the heart of each and every person who watched this one-person show. It has been staged few times in New Jersey and in Chicago and has received rave reviews. I hope our friends in Kolkata like it as much.

Tickets (Rs 80.00) can be reserved by calling the following numbers: 9007807831, 9007540974

EBC Drama Club: A Conversation with the M.A.D. Playhouse Production team

Half Hearted

Half Hearted

Few weeks ago, I went to see a play at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York. But it was not one of the typical off-broadway productions that you expect to see at such a venue. It was one of the well known modern plays of India, “Adhe Adhure” by Mohan Rakesh. The play was, of course, staged in English as “Half Hearted” and had a very short run of four shows. But the cast and the crew put in all their heart and soul to present a wonderful production which touched the audience. After the play, I invited the production team to join me at the EBC Radio studios and have a chat about their dreams, visions and their passion for South Asian theatre. Here is a recording of my conversation with Samir Lal, Dipanjan Chatterjee, Prince Vaghani and Akshay.


by Amitava Sen

A Dance Floor

A Dance Floor in Kolkata

As I entered Some Place Else, a discotheque at The Park Hotel in Calcutta, I actually felt like I was indeed in some place else. Deafening music and alcohol flowing, the youthful revelers were in a boisterous mood. Specially what caught my eyes is the attire of the female members of the crowd and the minimal urge to cover the body parts. That’s what I realized, really jolted me a little. After all, it was not a place for me to be visiting, neither did I belong there. I was not only long past being a member of the twenty something generation, but I was quite unprepared for the the leap that Calcutta youth have taken. The reason for this intrusion was, getting my friend’s daughter home from a late night party. Indeed, her father was supposed to pick up her on his way home from the airport; his plane got delayed and I was called upon to do him a favor.

Continue reading