'Bhoy' – The manifested fear
A play by ‘Thealight’, ‘Bhoy’ showcases convolutions of self-contradictions of human selves triggered by changing social, political and ideological environments
Amelie Rorty, a renowned philosopher, established that the change of layers of personhood we adopt are assertive to different powers and politics, success and failure, freedoms and liabilities, and expectations in the intellectual and social spaces we inhabit. So the individuals make their own narratives of their lives that are best fitted in their own patterns of thought.
The theatre group 'Thealight', has produced a play 'Bhoy' that showcases convolutions of self-contradictions of human selves triggered by changing social, political and ideological environments. The 'contradiction' generates different psychological layers in a human mind that creates innumerable dispersed identities in an individual. The 'identities' fight with each other to establish one's relevance with time and fade away giving birth to a new self that ultimately overpowers the other.
Written in 2008, playwright Bratya Basu creates multiple identities within two characters (husband and wife) in the play and questions the morality and responsibilities in a relationship, situating them in the complex dynamics of contemporary political discourse.
Basu uses the genre of a thriller and characters of 'ghosts' to traumatise Shuvankar as he discovers his contradictory and elapsed identities. The narrative thereby argues on the vicious gap between ideology and reality of Left politics in West Bengal along with issues of marriage, intimacy, and philosophy called life.
While 'one' Shuvankar criticises the changing nature of constitutional democracy and opportunism in politics, the 'second' Shuvankar finally admits to his unconscious desires in realms of sexuality and economic success. Even his wife Seema is forced to rethink about many unsaid and unrealised stains of relationships with her colleagues and friends besides her marital relationship with her husband. Later the opportunist 'middle-class' comes to the fore as a conglomeration of pretentious intellect and sticky inertness when both Shuvankar and Seema shrug off their ambiguous, controversial pasts nonchalantly and embrace their present selves in fear of being exposed further.
Rajeshwari Nandy's acting as one of the spirits draws a special mention. Blending her husky voice with a mannerism, she creates a ghost on stage with a passionate mind who dreams of an ideal world. Sandipan Chatterjee as Shuvankar, Sampa Das Sarkar as Seema and Pulak Roy as the manager contribute well to the production. Director Atanu Sarkar intelligently keeps it simple on stage as intense dialogues progressively elicit the essence of the play. The beginning of second half is done with style and precision. On a couple of occasions, the eerie feeling has sent shivers down the spines for sure. Sudip Sanyal with his reputable expertise makes the projection of light relevant and artistic. Prithwis Rana does fairly well in stage designing.
The bearing of the playwright's exploration of a phobophobia makes it so inescapable that the audience will inevitably take a plunge into it and will hanker to come out of it in the next instance.