Interview: Director Debashish Raychaudhuri on Bengali Drama Audio Album RAJA feat. Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Chaitali Dasgupta

By Arijit Chakraborty

Click Play to listen to Debashish Ray Chaudhuri on Bangla Natok Raja

Washington DC, September 13, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Shri Debashish Raychaudhuri is a professor of English Literature in Ananda Mohan College in Kolkata, India (also known as City College, North). He is also a very well known and popular personality among lovers of Rabindra Sangeet in Kolkata. He has a long association with Dakshinee - one of the famous Rabindra Sangeet institutions of the city.

A scene from the stage drama RAJA
A scene from the stage drama (Bangla Natok) RAJA directed by Abhijit Sen with music direction by Debashish Ray Chaudhuri - A Natyam Production

A few weeks earlier we aired an interview with him (audio available on-demand here) regarding his music direction for the new album "Amar Jabar Belate" launched on the 70th death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. Today he was our guest in our Toronto studios where we chatted about the album launch featuring the first ever audio recording of the play RAJA written by Rabindranath Tagore. Incidentally, as mentioned by Debashish, this play was written a hundred years ago.

The title character of Raja is played by the renowned actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty, our beloved Benu-da. Chaitali Dasgupta (interview), whose remarkable concept, script, narration and direction in "Amar Jabar Belate" is widely appreciated, plays Sudarshana.

We found Debashish in a very eloquent mood and he described RAJA as a play written to describe the ideal ruler. He compared the two main female characters of the play - Sudarshana and Surangama - the former being a beautiful, but naive, woman expecting a handsome and beautiful man to be her husband, the king, but lacking maturity about life, while the latter is the voice of the writer in the play who is trying to guide the queen and was being refused.

Debashish then described the character of "thakurda" (the grandfather), played by himself, as the "shutradhar" of the drama. He analysed the character of the "villain" king Kanchiraj, who wanted to take over the kingdom and also steal the queen, but finally bowed down in front of "Raja", the ideal ruler.

This discussion with Shri Raychaudhuri was not only candid but also informationally revealing and analytical - within a short period of time he described the whole story as well as analyzed the characters.


Written by : Rabindranath Thakur
Direction : Debashish Ray Chaudhuri

Cast :

Raja : Sabyasachi Chakraborty
Sudarshana : Chaitali Dasgupta
Surangama : Rohini Raychaudhuri
Thakurda : Debashish Ray Chaudhuri
Kanchiraj : Arup Majumdar
Subarno : Sutirtha Bedajna
and others

Interview details:

Guest : Shri Debashish Raychaudhuri, Kolkata, Poshchim Bango, India
Host and article: Arijit Chakraborty, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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