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A script boiling in his pot
- Howrah tea man writes for Tollywood between cups

This story-writer could just be the story that Tollywood is looking for. He makes a living by stirring up the daily cuppa for those flocking to his tea-stall in a Howrah alley known to a few as Jaynarayan Santra Lane. But when he can afford to take a break from work, he is busy weaving dreams that might be lived out on silver screen.

Meet Amit Das, alias Laluda, known more as the neighbourhood tea man than Tollywood scriptwriter. For Das is struggling to make a mark in the movies, in between making pots of tea.

Amit has already scripted the story for a Bengali film, Sindur, released in 1991. Another of his scripts is now ready to hit the halls — Shubho Lagna, featuring Chiranjeet in the lead. Yet another is now the basis for a 52-episode serial (Piyasi) being beamed on the small screen.

He began penning both poetry and prose as a child. His first words in print appeared in a monthly, Bhorer Kuasha, published from Howrah. The story was later to be made into Sindur.

“When I write, I forget everything else, including my poverty and my struggle to make a living for my mother and siblings,” says Amit. “But writing has given me a lot of pain as well.”

The pain of promises not kept, the hopes unfulfilled. For example, the Rs 5,000 and a gold chain for scripting Sindur he was promised but never given.

But some have recognised his struggle. “Lalu’s achievement is praiseworthy. The boy is talented and his only handicap is that he is not technically sound. But I am sure he will overcome his weaknesses… I will always be there to help him out,” says Chiranjeet.

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