Kaushik Ganguly gets ready for C/O SIR with Saswata and Raima

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 5.09.12
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What better than Teachers’ Day to announce C/O Sir, Kaushik Ganguly’s next film that tells a layered tale of a visually challenged schoolteacher and his emotional battle with his physical disability.

Saswata Chatterjee plays the title role of ‘Sir’, a schoolteacher called Jayabrato Ray, visually impaired for three years after a sudden retinal disorder. Maladjusted and irritable with his condition — that is where the story begins.

“Jayabrato is not like someone who’s born blind. He has had vision all his life. Trouble starts with the selling of the school property. It results in serious complications between Jayabrato and the school administration,” says Kaushik, who describes C/O Sir as a romantic thriller where “love, faith and mistrust run parallel”.

Raima Sen plays Sushmita Gupta, a solicitor; Indraneil Sengupta is her boss and Saswata’s schoolfriend. Churni Ganguly is Meghna, Saswata’s colleague, and Sabyasachi Chakrabarty the “strict and ruthless” headmaster of the school.

As all the characters try to help Jayabrato in their own way, “looking for a pair of trustworthy eyes” becomes the crux of the story as he turns increasingly dependent on others with legal documents that he cannot read or trust anyone with. Through the “drama and conflict” that builds up, Kaushik tries to bring to light the difference between “what someone despite their vision may not see but a person without eyesight can, with their auditory and tactile senses.”

Kaushik, who was a schoolteacher for eight years and also played a visually challenged author in Laptop, draws from his personal connections and experiences with friends, family and school life. “I’ve had friends who have been visually impaired and I have seen them very closely. Also, I became a teacher at a very vulnerable age... when I was doing my Masters. Schoolteachers have consistently figured in my films, be it Waris, Ek Mutho Chhobi or Aarekti Premer Galpo. So I will fall back on some personal moments.... I had written the script a long time back but it never got made. When I decided to do it finally and started going through the old script, I hated it! I chucked the old one and rewrote it entirely,” adds the actor-director.

C/O Sir is being produced by 70mm, a production house formed by Jaspreet Kaur, “a Calcutta-based Punjabi girl who has just returned after completing a graphics and designing course in Vancouver and is taking a keen interest in Bengali film production”.

Raja Narayan Deb will score the music and Sirsha Ray will steer the camera for the film to be shot at the Victoria Boys’ School in Kurseong, plus the bungalows and pubs in Kalimpong. “Victoria Boys’ is an old British building spread over a vast area and the isolated cottages and trees create an ambience of mystery and loneliness, but this is not an art film. It’ll be very entertaining,” assures Kaushik, who begins shooting on September 20 and plans to wrap up before the Pujas.

Mohua Das