Being Byomkesh

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By Anjan Dutt has found his Byomkesh Bakshi in TV actor Abir Chatterjee. t2 brings you the first look... Who do you think is a better Byomkesh - Abir or Prosenjit? Tell t2@abpmail.com
  • Published 14.03.09
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How did you bag the role?

Anjanda called and asked me to meet him. I was very excited at the prospect of working with him, as I am a great fan of his. When we met, he said he was thinking of casting me as Byomkesh Bakshi and he wanted to take my look test! He was satisfied with the look test and that’s how I got the role. We are yet to sit with the script and do workshops. I am too excited!

Prosenjit will play Byomkesh in Rituparno Ghosh’s film. Aren’t you scared?

See, Rituda and Bumbada (Prosenjit) are a jumbo combo. It’s a tremendous team. And Bumbada is such a senior actor that I don’t think there is any room for comparisons between him and me. Both Anjanda and Rituda are very good directors and I think there will be two different interpretations of Byomkesh. The stories they have chosen are different — Anjanda is working on Adim Ripu while Rituda is doing Arthomonortham — and the backdrops are also different to a certain extent.

Are you a Byomkesh fan?

I read Byomkesh all over again this time. I had first read the Byomkesh omnibus before I passed Madhyamik. My father had gifted me the book when I was in Class VII or VIII. I had also seen Satyajit Ray’s Chiriakhana and loved watching the Byomkesh Bakshi series on TV. I was a big fan of Rajit Kapur.

Will their portrayals influence your performance?

No, not at all. I am always awe-struck watching Uttam Kumar as Byomkesh in Chiriakhana, so there’s no chance of identifying with him. And I remember very little of Rajit Kapur as Byomkesh to be influenced by his performance. I will leave everything to Anjanda and do exactly what he asks me to.

How do you see Byomkesh?

Byomkesh, for me, is an out-and-out Bengali boy, who is very smart and very sharp. He is someone who sticks to his values. He is like any other Bengali boy and yet very different too. He is not a detective, he is a seeker of truth. So, he calls himself a satyanweshi. I think he is also the first successful detective who gets married after a proper courtship!

Do you identify with Byomkesh?

Yes I do, to a certain extent. He is tall like me; I am 6’2”. I am a quintessential Bengali boy like Byomkesh. I adhere to his values and if I were in his shoes I think I would do exactly what he does in certain situations.

Who’s Abir?

DoB: November 18, 1980

School: Laban Hrad Vidyapith

College: Goenka College of Commerce

First TV break: Lalaner Durga in the Shom Theke Shukro series on Aakaash

First major film: Sudeshna Roy-Abijit Guha’s Cross Connection, slated for a May release

Currently seen in: Khunje Berai Kachher Manush on Zee Bangla

FINDING BYOMKESH

I took Abir because his physical appearance goes very well with what Sharadindu Bandopadhyay has written. Abir is sharp and tall, and there is something very Bangali about him. I think it becomes very difficult for a popular actor to become a legendary character. You can, of course, do that. Like Soumitrada (Chatterjee) did Feluda. But I took the more troubled route of taking a not-so-known but talented actor, somebody with a lot of personality but not overpowering. I’ve found that in Abir.... I don’t know about a young Anjan Dutt, but you will definitely find a young Ajitesh Bandopadhyay in him!

— Anjan dutt