Interview: Anjana Basu goes to Bangkok with door-to-door cookie salesman - Bye Bye Bangkok


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[Tollywood Bengali Actress Anjana Basu]Washington DC, Jan 14. 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Tollywood actress Anjana Basu is a lively guest we had in our studios and Arijit Chakraborty had a great time chatting with her, as you will hear in this interview that is guaranteed to lighten your heart and bring you a smile.

The story of Anjana's travel into drama on film is itself dramatic, as she quaintly puts it. A Howrah girl, Anjana studied at Howrah Girls' School and then Howrah Girls' College, obtaining a degree in Psychology, after which she signed up for graduate studies at Rajabazar Science College. She could not complete her graduate studies due to some unfortunate circumstances around her father's health, and subsequently she married and moved to Patna with her husband.

But Anjana had a dream from very early childhood of becoming an actress - so much so that even when she was writing essays on her ambition in composition classes at school, she would write about becoming a teacher as expected of a good student, but in the back of her mind she would keep thinking about what she really wanted to become. She also learned dancing and had a talent for recitation from a very young age.

Another interesting aspect of Anjana's upbringing is her growing up in a conservative joint family among a large number of family members - she describes how she was one of the youngest among her siblings and cousins and had nineteen brothers across her extended family with nineteen-hundred friends, and how she would invariably be on the watch-list of everyone trying to ensure she does not go astray! Anjana herself is not sure how she managed to become an actress in such an environment. She used to daydream about hopping from studio to studio performing her acting assignments, and urged her father, who was a member of an amateur theater group, to give her a role many times - but like most Bengali fathers, he would ask her to concentrate on her academics. Sadly, Anjana had lost her father by the time she turned her dream into reality and did become an actress - but, we are all sure that having been a person with a passion for acting and performing arts himself, Anjana's father would have been nothing less than ecstatic to see Anjana's work on the silver screen and her achievements.

Bye Bye Bangkok is Anjana's second film written and directed by Aniket Chattapadhyay (interview) - Anjana has also acted in Aniket's debut feature Cha-E-Chuti (BUY BENGALI MOVIE DVD IN USA). Anjana describes Bye Bye Bangkok as a glittering film that celebrates joy for over two hours, and it is remarkable that Aniket could establish and maintain the relationships across the characters given the big cast and complex web of relationships. Bye Bye Bangkok is a story of five couples, with Anjana and singer-actor Shilajit playing one couple [other couples are played by Sonali Chowdhury-Kharaj Mukherjee (interview), Kanchan-Kanchana Moitra (interview), Neil Mukherjee-Locket Chatterjee (interview)]. As Aniket said, all these couples are post honey and post moon, and they all happen to be present in Bangkok where a complex web of opportunities and extra-marital attractions result in hilarious circumstances. Shilajit hooks up with Sonali, Kanchana with Kharaj and so on ... Anjana describes the situation as spaghetti !

Anjana's character is that of a sophisticated idealistic lady with very strong ethics. Her husband, played by Silajit, works with an ad agency, and loves to party hard and lives in a world of models, and also the products that he is promoting are mostly items like condoms, women's lingerie and such things - and often times he and Anjana are surrounded with huge posters of sensuously clad women - something that Anjana's character cannot stand. Anjana has few friends and spends a lot of time trying her luck in lucky draws and contests. Kanchan is a salesman who sells cookies to Anjana - and during a particular promotion of the cookies, Anjana wins air tickets to Bangkok in a lucky draw. Not only that, the rules of the lucky draw enable the salesman (Kanchan) to a substantial amount of money if the winner does travel to Bangkok - so Kanchan starts to visit Anjana very ofter urging her to take the trip. Eventually Anjana goes to Bangkok taking Kanchan with her. Of course, Aniketda's story subtly exposes the erosion of propriety as well as touches upon the rebellious side of a frustrated wife who in a way sets out to prove that she can have fun on her own.

Bye Bye Bangkok is releasing on Jan 28, 2011 in theaters in Kolkata.