From the pages of a book to the drama of the stage

The thing about control is that it often controls you.

Published: 11th March 2018 08:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2018 08:12 AM   |  A+A-

stills from Char Adhyay

The thing about control is that it often controls you. It is never clearly evident, but it eventually sneaks into everything you do. Director Debasish Ray knows a thing or two about it. During the direction of Char Adhyay, a Bengali play that he’s staging as part of the 8th Theatre Olympics by National School of Drama, he has learnt to surrender. Pheww! What a relief felt. “I still do try and control. Guess it’s a habit, but I also understand that the best things happen when you surrender,” says Ray.

Relinquishing control has given him fruitful results time and again. As he basks in the awareness and acceptance that follows, he is able to direct the course of his play, as well as his life, better. “I think I am a confused director who looks at an empty stage and wants to govern every little action. I am surprised to learn that I do that repeatedly, but my intention is to only do complete justice to what I create,” he says.

Debasish Ray

Char Adhyay has been adapted from Rabindranath Tagore’s celebrated political novel by the same name. It based on a group of young intellectuals and revolutionaries involved with the Indian independence movement. How politics of the day impacts personal lives, is something that’s been spoken of through the play. It throws open the debate about how extreme nationalism leads to societal turbulence. “Situations like these, compel the leader to be hard on his people to bring about radical change. In the process, he has to compromise with honesty, ideals and other things,” he says.

At the time of directing the play, Ray has to keep something important in mind—blending harsh organising systems with unending emotions. He calls the subtext of the play as a sleeping volcano. Because certain things are personal, politics being one, conflict can easily artist two people with different points of view.
Having said that, the aforementioned point about personal freedom of thought can rarely bring about an ideal consensus over a matter. What is right for you may not be right for the other person, and that goes for that they consider ideal too.

This play has been produced by Sandarbha Theatre Group, a 40 years old theatre organisation. It’s part of a conglomerate of 450 shows being held in 17 cities with 25,000 artists. Running parallelly to the main event are seminars, workshops with academicians, scholars, authors, actors, designers and directors. 8th Theatre Olympics 2018 go on till April 8. Log on to for more

Stay up to date on all the latest The Sunday Standard news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp