HomeArts/BooksAn Attempt To Retell Tagore’s Characters From The Queer Perspective

An Attempt To Retell Tagore’s Characters From The Queer Perspective

An Attempt To Retell Tagore’s Characters From The Queer Perspective

KOLKATA, (IANS) – The evening of August 26 was special for Dr Tirthankar Guha Thakurta, a Kolkata- based medical teacher, whose post Covid-19 lockdown attempts for cinematic retelling of the iconic literary characters by Rabindranath Tagore and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay was for the first time screened for the public.

‘Ekka-dokka-tekka’, the 20-minute short trilogy depicts the characters of Mrinal in Tagore’s Streer Potro (A letter from a wife), Bolai, and another literary character by Tagore again and Srikanto, the iconic symbol of romanticism created by Chattopadhyay.

Thakurta explained his rationale for retelling these iconic literary characters from the queer perspective.

“In your study of certain dialogues in Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Srikanto, you will understand some distinct underlying Queer messages there, which the great Indian writer spelled out even at that point of time in high orthodox Bengali society. Interpreting that underlying message without hurting the root sentiment of that great novel was my task and I have made a humble attempt to do that by retelling the stories of Srikanto and his friend Chandranath,” Thakurta said.

Similarly, he said, Tagore in his iconic novel of ‘Streer Potro’ (A Letter from a Wife) had given some distinct but underlying queer messages while portraying the character of Mrinal. “So again, based on those underlying messages I made an attempt to retell Mrinal’s character in the queer perspective,” he said.

However, a similar retelling of Bolai, another iconic character by Tagore, was in a slightly different perspective. “Even asexual persons are included with the queer definition. When a person gets too close to nature and nature’s beauty, that person often, despite being highly romantic, gets asexual. This feature of ‘asexual romanticism” could be witnessed in the character of Bolai by Tagore which I tried to retell in my movie,” Thakurta added.

The added attraction of the short- movie was the thematic use of Tagore’s songs sung in Dhrupad style. The film unfolds at the bank of a river in Kolkata with the first meeting of Srikanto and his friend Indranath. It ends in the same venue where all the three characters of Bolai and Mrinal by Tagore and Srikanto by Chattopadhyay meet at the same melting point of people from different walks of society.

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