On stage now! Khoj’s new social satire Jishur Botol premieres at Tapan Theatre, Kolkata
Theatre group Khoj is back with a new production this week, called Jishur Botol. The play, written by Susovan Kanjilal and directed by Kaustav Bhattacharya, is a social satire, which takes an ironical look at the socio-political mindsets of people today.
The story has a crematorium as the backdrop where all the action takes place. The context- two dead bodies are awaiting their turn to be cremated. But different groups of people from political parties, media and NGOs join in, to take sides in a debate, which questions- “Whose body should get more primacy, when it comes to the funeral rites- the prostitute or the home minister?”
Although, each of them come to resolve the issue, they only add to the propaganda, their own agenda, using the farcical situation to their advantage.
“Our main aim was to denote that women, irrespective of which class of society they come from, are equal. We have used dark comedy to uplift the script, which deals with very sensitive, but relevant issues,” says Kaustav Bhattacharya, the director and co-founder of Khoj, who is also playing a pivotal role, called Botol in the play.
Botol is a drunkard who will be found philosophising about life’s greater truths, as the chaos begins to rise, all around him-as he is a friend to Jishu, the prostitute’s son. Jishu on the other hand is fighting for her mother’s rights; and unknowingly fighting against the supporters of the man, who had sired him.
“The idea came to me a few years back, when I had been to the crematorium after a death in my family. I realised that we all lead a different life when alive but after death, we become just a body which is removed. There is no difference between one and another,” says Susovan, the scriptwriter, who is also an engineer by profession. “I added social and political angle to the situation by including a lot of characters, hailing from different social backgrounds,” he adds.
The music has been co-ordinated by Mainak and Sujoy and the art decoration/stage has been done by Prosenjit Roy and Susovan. Judhajit Sarkar plays Jishu, Debarati Das plays Chameli, Pratik Neogi plays Rahul Saha and Sayan plays Pranab in the two-hour long play.
Khoj started in 2017, with the intent of bringing out productions with fresh perspectives and giving a platform to new talents from the city. The five-member group which has grown to 30 members now, has staged as many as seven plays in a short span of two years. Life of Pao, The Nude Flute, Bomb from Byomkesh are some of their other productions.
Jishur Botol will premiere at Tapan Theatre on February 19 at 7 pm.