The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Saajaano Baagaan

This is the story of a haunted garden. The spirit of the late zamindar Chhakari Dutta, who died 30 years ago, wails in the garden cursing the “damned rustic Banchha Kapali” for owning the idyllic garden. Banchharam is now 95 years old, twisted and deformed with age and ailments. The present zamindar of the area, Chhakari’s son Nakari, strikes a deal with him — as long as he lives, Banchha will receive a monthly dole from Nakari and in lieu, Nakari will become the owner of the garden after Banchha’s death. However, Banchha is in no mood to die and gradually he rejuvenates. This twist of events destabilises Nakari, who falls seriously ill. Seeing his pathetic condition, Banchha pines for his own death in order to help Nakari achieve his goal. But now there are people who would not let Banchha die — his grandson and his wife, and a petty thief whose entire family survives on the fruits of the garden. Banchha is now a crest-fallen man, trying to come to terms with these conflicting forces as he sees his garden degenerating into a murky exhibition site of man’s base instincts, including greed, envy and jealousy. This Sundaram production, dramatised, directed and enacted by Monoj Mitra, will be staged as part of Nandikar’s 19th National Theatre Festival.

When: Today at 6.30 pm

Where: Academy of Fine Arts

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