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Bashobhumi – The Hearthstone

(A play in Bengali by Indrashish Lahiri)

The play unfolds with Ananda Mohan, a traditional Hindu middle-class patriarch evoking the
blessings of his ancestors on the occasion of Mahalaya. A decaying household steeped in poverty
has not deterred the Purohit from his traditional beliefs and values. Jayanti, his bubbly teenage
daughter still sheltered from the big bad world and Rebati, his eldest child, a beautiful young
widow whose life had turned cold and frosty even before she could bask in the spring of life. And
Anima, his wife and perhaps the only person who could understand the haplessness and
helplessness of Anando Mohan.

The complacency of the family is shaken with the entry of Haimanti, the second daughter of
Anando Mohan on the evening of Maha Shasthi - the day that also marks the homecoming of Devi
Durga. This was the girl who, six years back was ostracized and banished by her parents for
unwittingly becoming a victim of a local goon's lust. The fear, shame and reluctance of own blood
to accept her in their fold brings out the hypocrisy of our society.

The play builds up as the erstwhile victim confronts her lover, Nikhilesh, her family and finally,
Ratan Samanta, the man who had brutally scarred her for life . She rips off the masks from each
one's face and brings out the ruthless and selfish face of hypocrisy.

The play ends with the victim emerging as the victor by exposing the two faces of our society -
one which worships the GODDESS in all her glory and the other which unflinchingly and
mercilessly disowns a widowed daughter or a wronged sister or a victimised lover.

On Stage (in order of appearance)


Anima Jhumi Nag
Rebati Ruma Ganguly
Jayanti Mrinmoyee Modak
Ananda Mohan Santanu Mukherjee
Baadla Partha Pratim Kumar
Haimanti Manisha Paul
Mr. Shukla Mainak Mitra
Dhali Didi Basudha Ghosh Mitra
Nikhilesh Aninda Ghosh
Nyapa Partha Ghosh
Kalicharan Shilajit Das Bhowmik
Mohan Asim Samanta
Ratan Samanta Ramesh Singh Modak

Back Stage:
Set Design: Gaurab Malakar, Sanjib Kalsi, Bharat Bhai
Music: Pratip Sengupta
Light: Devashish Chakravarty
Make up Sonu
Stage Assistance Basudha Ghosh Mitra
Stage Management: Partha Pratim Kumar

Concept, Design and Direction


DEVASHISH CHAKRAVARTY