‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ on the small screen in new avatar

‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ on the small screen in new avatar
Paying a tribute to Ritwik Ghatak, young director Shibangshu Bhattacharya has brought a television adaptation of the eminent filmmaker's classic "Meghe Dhaka Tara". Bhattacharya seeks to capture the sense of rootlessness as portrayed in the late director's film, which was based on Shaktipada Rajguru's novel, in a different narrative style. "We can't imagine repeating the celluloid magic of the original over two-hour long 'Meghe Dhaka Tara' on the small screen, where the episodes will be telecast for 25 days," the director said.

"My serial has stuck to the simple narrative style of the original novel, which gave a realistic portrayal of the rural Bengal shaken by partition in those days, the tale of poverty and hunger and yet the will to fight back," he added. The serial, which premiered on November 2, is being telecast from Monday-Saturday in the 'Sahityer Sera Samay' slot. The serial, he said, will be a departure from the usual lavishly mounted sets and tale of marital intrigues of mega sops.

Bhattacharya said he watched the movie "countless" times before taking up the show. "I was also struck by the imageries and script writing of Ritwik's work and had watched the film countless times before taking up this project." 

"Ritwik's film had brought forth the misery of the people in the post-partition era. In our scripting, we had tailored the sequences in tele-soap format retaining the essence of the original story which mainly talked about change in known relations on the face of adversity. Here partition comes as a trigger and its after-effect." 

Bhattacharya is confident the show will connect with the youth as much as it will click with the older generation, primarily due to curiosity.

"While the older generation of the audience will relive the experience of getting estranged from the old soil, negotiating the barbed wire and missing the boat ride of riverine east Bengal in the all new land, the present generation might watch the film out of curiosity and what they learnt from reports and veterans," he said.

Popular TV actor Piyali Basu will play parition-affected Nita, who has been immortalised by actress Supriya Devi "Who has not viewed 'Meghe Dhaka Tara' and Supriyadi's lines in the film! However, I have consciously tried to avoid the typical traits in her character, and did my own homework after going through the original literary work several times. 

"I also sought to follow the director's tips and how a person would react to such a situation. Our brief was to see the film but not imitate," she said. Made in 1960, "Meghe Dhaka Tara" boasted of yesteryear stalwarts like Gita Ghatak, Anil Chatterjee and Bijon Bhattacharya. Agencies


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