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A chilling session with Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay at The Bengal Club

Actor Arindam Sil was present on behalf of Bengal Club, in conversation with the author along with an address by Monojit Dasgupta

Sudarshana Ganguly (t2 Intern) | Published 06.05.22, 01:07 AM

The Bengal Club recently hosted “Ghost Stories in Candlelight” with novelist Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, in association with The Telegraph. The session was as exciting as the title suggests and an informative one too. Actor Arindam Sil was present on behalf of Bengal Club, in conversation with the author along with an address by Monojit Dasgupta of Bengal Club.

Arindam Sil started the session by welcoming the celebrated author and talking of days of old, right from Mukhopadhyay’s birthplace in Bangladesh to his many journeys across his lifetime. The actor recalled the time when he had read Mukhopadhyay’s Kagojer Bou, and had been completely floored by its brilliance. The finesse of Mukhopadhyay’s stories, which we have all grown up reading and still do, thanks to his boundless enthusiasm and hard work in producing stories even now, also lies in his ingenious characterisation. When asked how he has always made such precise portrayals of the various layers of society, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay said: “My life is a little different because I had to move around a lot owing to my father’s job and this also made me see different people. I have also been to gram Bangla quite a lot which also led to the same. But it is also true that writing just after an experience is more like a reportage whereas, if the memory is left to marinate like in cooking, it can produce something much more palatable.”

Speaking of his upcoming release, Tirandaj Shabor, based around the fictional detective Shabor Dasgupta by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay and on an unpublished story, Sil spoke of a unique encounter: “To find the slum in the story, I had started my search all the way from Dumdum. I went all over Kolkata but could not find it… I was exhausted at the end of the day when I went to the last slum near Jodhpur Park and felt a spark…. I was waiting there, happy that I had found my location when a man suddenly came and asked whether I was working on something with Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, and said: “Oh! He used to live in that house behind there.” This was absolutely strange, and quite supernatural! I called Shirshendu da then and there and he said that indeed he had lived there for eight and a half years and his story is about the people there!”

And then, as the lights dimmed, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay indulged the audience in a series of chilling ghost stories based on experiences of the author himself. “There are many people who try to provide me with explanations about the experiences but I say, ‘Let some things remain unexplained!’”

Last updated on 06.05.22, 11:26 AM
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