Story: Vijaydan Detha
Director: Basudeb Hui
Group: Samatat Sanskriti, Uttarpara
Duration: 1 hr 55 mins
Charandas was a known thief with a razor sharp brain. He was famous for his unique modus operandi. He used to steal or snatch by talking people into his trap. Charandas also enjoyed deceiving the ‘habildar’ or the constable. One day he came across a Guru; that too while running from the constable. The Guru said that to be his disciple Charandas needs to make a vow and renounce something. Taking this to be fun, Charandas made four funny promises of renunciation. He took the vow of renouncing lie and falsehood. Strangely enough he followed the path of truthfulness without deviating from his ‘dharma’ of stealing. He became a truthful thief. Then in his life came the queen, the minister, the royalty and the crown. Can he stick to his truthfulness under the magnanimous pressure of power?
Lack of trustworthiness is the most grievous and outrageous social problem of our society. Everything which we try to plan and achieve for the sake of our country men, becomes unsuccessful due to falsehood and unfair means in every step of development. We need to be true to our inner self with the virtue of mankind. Charandas Chor is a thief who portrays truthfulness on the canvas of craftiness and deceit of the society. Though theft is evil, here it is merely an imagery. Charandas is loyal to his work and words. Huge temptations and enticement can’t deter Charandas from his oaths. This story can be a pathfinder to the present generation of people to lead a life with dignity and to stand with truthfulness in every situation. Our “Charandas Chor” is inspired by Vijaydan Detha’s story, which is based on the Rajasthani folktale. Based on these texts and folklores our play has been devised and adapted by the director and actors of Samatat Sanskriti. The text has also been contextualized in the perspective of Bengal. This play is a tribute to Habib Tanvir who made it a classic.
Basudeb Hui is a graduate from Birla Institute of Technology. He took a ten-week intensive theatre workshop conducted by the National School of Drama under Prasanna, Barry John, Badal Sircar, Shyamanand Jalan, B.M. Shah, Devendra Raj Ankur, Suresh Bharadwaj and Pankaj Saxena. He also attended the movement, body language and acting workshop of Badal Sircar organized by British Council in Kolkata. Basudeb was a performer in Calcutta Youth Choir under the leadership of Ruma Guha Thakurta. He formed Samatat Sanskriti, Uttarpara in the year 2000.
The Story Writer
Vijaydan Detha (1926 – 2013), also known as Bijji, was a noted writer from Rajasthan and a recipient of the Padmashri, Sahitya Akademi, and many other awards. Detha has more than 800 short stories to his credit, which have been translated into English and other languages. With Komal Kothari, he founded Rupayan Sansthan, an institute that documents Rajasthani folklore, art, and music.
Samatat Sanskriti started its journey in 2000 as a theatre and cultural organization. Well-known theatre groups Sudrak and Nandikar helped Samatat in its first eight years. Samatat’s theatre festival, Samatat Natyamela is dedicated to diseased and distressed theatre workers. Samatat is continuing its work in theatre-in-education, youth and children workshops, trainee-trainers workshops, and regular actor training classes. Samatat started producing its own plays independently since 2008 and has more than 25 productions and nearly 500 shows to its credit. Samatat has participated in collaboration programmes with Sweden, Bangladesh and Vietnam. Multiple students from Samatat have participated in intensive theatre workshops organised by NSD and Sangeet Natak Akademi.
Cast & Credits
|Charandas Chor||Soumyadeb Hui|
|Mohila||Hrithika Roy Chowdhury|
|Drunkard||Ashish Kumar Roy|
|Rajpurahit||Tarun Prasad Dutta|
|Chorus||Daita Chatterjee, Soumili Knarar, Anushka Roy, Trisha Bhoumik, Poushali Das|
|Singers, Musicians||Joy Thakur, Sucharita Hui|
|Light||Sadhan Parui, Chinmoy Ghosh, Samar Parui|
|Asst. Director||Soumyadeb Hui, Anuran Basuroy|
|Story Writer||Vijaydan Detha|
Director, Samatat Sanskriti, Uttarpara
209, Jay Krishna Street, P.O – Uttarpara
Distt. Hooghly West Bengal – 712258
M: +91 9831051262