Banijye Basate Lakshmi: Corporate world captured on stage
Playwright, Bratya Basu in his effort to expose the ruthless corporate world does not criticise it from outside. He enters into the 'capitalist world' with Arya and uses the philosophy of David Howe, David Crystal, Max Weber and Prof Barch in the play.
That the visionary who recognised the emergence of 'third theatre' or 'Company theatre' a decade and a half ago will go on to inculcate corporatization in the minority art form to make it a sustainable project is much expected. The stupendous promotion of the play, 'Awdyo Shesh Rajani', directed by him is a paradigm shift in terms of pre-launch activities which can be compared with the marketing steps taken by any business house before selling their own product. The promotion of Mohit Maitra Mancha as a theatrical venue in north Kolkata is another pioneering move by an artiste and an 'entrepreneur', Bratya Basu in cultivating art and culture in the society. The noted playwright, director and the initiator of this process touches a significant issue by writing a crisp, suave drama titled 'Banijye Basate Lakshmi' that deals with the life of a corporate employee turned entrepreneur, Arya Dutta, who hails from a township Durgapur in Bengal. Here we see how theatre picks up a noticeable development of young minds of this generation which the creative persons did not pay heed to.
The title 'Banijye Basate Lakshmi' is a Sanskrit phrase which means that the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi dwells in trade and commerce. It drives home the message that it is in a commercial business that money is worshipped. Every young aspirant steps outside his home in pursuance of a dream of successfully earning enough to attain a respectable position in his career and thereby in the society as well. This drama is a success story of a young man, Arya Dutta, who joins a company of repute after completion of MBA in marketing. After being hand-picked by Sagar Dabriwal, the founder member and director of the company, Arya loses no time in gaining the confidence of his boss, Deblina Roy, who is the co-Director of the company and wife of Sagar Dabriwal. The play marks the challenging journey of growth of Arya from an ordinary corporate worker to a business tycoon. The narrative goes on to reflect the complex, moral conflict disturbing the simplicity and innocence of his mind throughout his professional journey. Arya's habit of conversing continuously with his dead mother who acts as his alter-ego is the director's unsettling ploy to unfold the mental dilemmas and anxiety regarding the young man's changing values of life. His desperation to succeed is reflected in the way Arya secretly sleeps with his boss Deblina nonchalantly and in a shocking climax ends marrying someone else. The protagonist who appeared to be immensely pained by seeing the plight of the poorest of the poor in a remote village of South India had succeeded in overcoming his emotional 'weakness' by the time he claimed a fortune for himself through marriage. While Deblina becomes hysterical with Arya's betrayal, Arya shows no sign of remorse. Bratya gradually knits every step of the young entrepreneur with the lavishness of corporate ideologies as the protagonist learns to prioritise his crude ambition over his 'silly' emotions.
Debasish with the help of D'moy does a wonderful job in constructing the stage with a look of a contemporary business establishment with a table, laptop and the front seats of a car in one end and a glimpse of middle-class household on the other. Actor, Sumit Roy as AryaDutta, in the middle takes the centre stage with his naked hunger to ascend to the top. His maturity in acting reminds us about the emergence as one of the most promising theatre artistes in Bengal. Sanjib Sarkar as Sagar Dabriwal looks brilliant with his acting and diction. Dishary Chakraborty's music and experienced Dinesh Poddar's lighting mingles well to enhance the quality of the production.
Paikpara Indraranga does not dishearten them by producing 'Banijye Basate Lakshmi. Indrajit Chakraborty, the 'entrepreneur' of this production and the director of the theatre group hails this as a unique intellectual and revolutionary effort in art and culture from Bratya Basu.
Playwright, Bratya Basu in his effort to expose the ruthless corporate world does not criticise it from outside. He enters into the 'capitalist world' with Arya and uses the philosophy of David Howe, David Crystal, Max Weber and Prof Barch in the play. Basu explains how he is inspired by the philosophy of economist James William who believed that the economic thoughts ignited strong emotions which did not rest till the cause of grief and its remedies were established. He also invites the theatre lovers to drift from its traditional anti-capital and anti-establishment stance and to call this satirically a 'Capitalistic Play', a new concept. When the middle-class Bengalis, after the era of Prince Dwarkanath Tagore and Acharya Prafulla
Chandra Roy are losing out in the race of emerging as successful entrepreneurs in the country, Bratya picks up a serious issue and his timing seems impeccable.