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Immortal tales

Sahasika Zaman |

Stories by Rabindranath Tagore – series

Set in a politically volatile period of the twentieth century, the series Stories by Rabindranath Tagore revolves around the interwoven tales in the avalanche of memories consisting of lovely emotions, desires and endeavor. The characters forming the core of the tales constantly shift in the social word of undivided Bengal.

The show launched on 6 July 2015 which airs on the channel Epic is directed by the acclaimed filmmaker, Anurag Basu. Tagore’s characters intricately spring into life through the cinematic imagination of articulate feminism, reflected in almost every story and the indiscriminate, rebellious punch in the feminine characters carved out of a goal of eliminating social prejudices are preached to men, by the master himself.

The episodes instill in us a sensation of time travel; it takes us to the 1920s – to a world as complicated as this one but with far more appeal and beauty. Even the characters which have blossomed into our life all of a sudden, make us a part of their story.

Basu’s vision help us in delving deeper into the subtle narratives of Tagore in the form of a visual medium. Not only do we get to know the age-old rituals or the social inequalities prevalent in that period but also the love and unity in people who stood against all the odds.

In a conservative Indian society, where adultery and rebellion were  taboo, Tagore’s stories were progressive and brought a shift in the mindset of traditional Indian values.

The show has handpicked some of the notable stories by Tagore – Chokher Bali, Charulata, Kabuliwala, Detective, Samapti, Chutti, to name some. It covered over 14 stories in 26 episodes, each episode duration being 60 minutes. While the stories like Samapti, Aparichita and Tyaag deal with romanticism; Wafaadar, Monihara and Kankal deal with the concepts of liabilty and suspense accompanied by horror respectively.

One of the most acclaimed stories, Chutti focusses on the plight of a widowed mother who rears her two sons but life takes an unexpected turn when one of them, Photik is taken to Kolkata by his maternal uncle but falls prey to the diminishing standards of bitterness built in relationships and ultimately succumbs to death for being away from his mother, brother and life at the village. The intensity of emotions, and intriguing details is enough to make anyone delve into the sorrows of the characters and build empathy for them.

Nonetheless, the series is manifestation of humane attributes heightened by the master and allows the spectators to take a closer look at their lives or the lives of their forefathers who stood against all the odds in an orthodox culture. 

The soundtrack by renowned singers such as Arijit Singh, Shaan and Shalmali Kholgade and soothing background scores composed by the director himself add to the charm in Tagore’s magnificence.

 

(Sahasika Zaman, Coordinator, Class IX, St. Mary’s High School, Coochbehar)