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Srijit Mukherji Quit The Corporate World To Pursue His Passion For Theatre And Films   |   Published 18.11.12, 12:00 AM

After graduating in economics from Presidency College Calcutta in 1999, I was wondering what to do next. Some of my friends were seeking admission to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the Delhi School of Economics, and I decided to do the same since I couldn’t bear the thought of being away from them! Having got through both, I chose JNU — and my life changed forever.

JNU gave me the first experience of a residential academic complex. It changed my worldview, political notions, ideas of love, music and the very philosophy of existence. After completing my M.A and M.Phil in economics in 2003, I emerged a different person.

The next milestone came in 2008. I was living the life of a high-flying business analyst and econometrician in Bangalore. Simultaneously, I was writing, directing and acting in the city’s English professional theatre circuit.

I staged a play called Pheluda Pherot for which the music was composed by Anupam Roy, Saptarshi Mukherjee and Priyam Mukherjee.

Barun Chanda and Parambrata Chatterjee acted in it. The play was a huge success, and I thought that if I could stage two or three such plays every year, I might be able to sustain myself. I thought that I may even graduate to making films someday.

So, in order to satiate the story-telling bug in me and my desire to do something different with my life, I took the plunge in late-2008 and quit my job after Pheluda Pherot. I shifted to Calcutta in early-2009, armed with about 10 fully-written films, tele-films and plays and innumerable concepts. And then, everything went like clockwork. I staged the play Checkmate, assisted Anjan Dutt in Madly Bangalee and Aparna Sen in Iti Mrinalini and finally got a break with Shree Venkatesh Films in 2010. Producer Madhu Mantena and actor Prosenjit Chatterjee decided to back my story of a young director, his live-in girlfriend and a matinee idol and how Satyajit Ray’s classic Nayak changes their lives forever.

(As told to Shreya Shukla)

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