The Films and Theatre Society launched their new play “Ballygunge 1990- Love is an endless mystery” at Bandra’s Rang Mandir this weekend. This premier red carpet show was a full house with various celebrities like Nadira Babbar and Ramesh Sippy in the audience. There was live music in the foyer of the auditorium, that added to the charm and set the mood for the play, the audience was about to see. This play has been written and directed by Atul Satya Koushik, who has come up with yet another original play for his audience; this time a spectacular suspense thriller in Hindi, “Ballygunge 1990 – Love is an endless mystery”.
Ballygunge 1990 is an eighty five minute play, which is set in the year 1990 and the story unfolds in Ballygunge, a famous residential area in Calcutta. Kartik and Vasuki had been in a very passionate relationship for more than 10 years, but suddenly Kartik left Vasuki behind and set out to chase his dreams in Bombay. He is a writer and wants to make it big as a screenwriter for Bollywood . Vasuki is now married to a famous and rich painter, Binoy Das, but is living a life full of regrets and frustration. She yearns for some sort of vendetta as she holds Kartik and their failed love responsible for her miserable life. Five years after her marriage, she bumps into Kartik in the market and invites him for tea, to her mansion on the evening of Durga Puja. Kartik is a bit confused but happily surprised to see the same passion and love in Vasuki’s eyes as was evident earlier. However, Vasuki notices a certain detachment in Kartik, and this triggers an unexpected reaction from her. The audience is then led through her well crafted plan that is going to change the course of their lives forever. It is the unfolding of this plan that keeps the audience on “its toes”, as events keep changing track and literally “turning on their head”! Nothing is what it looks like and there are constant twists in the tale, that have the audience at the edge of their seats!
Film, TV and Theatre actors Annup Sonii (of Dastaak fame), and Nishtha Paliwal Tomar, are the two main protagonists. Annup is very credible as Kartik and displays a very believable amount of agitation when Vasuki requests the impossible from him. Nishtha as Vasuki evolves with the play and gets better as the play progresses. Her tongue in cheek delivery of some outrageous lines is really quite endearing and contributes largely to making this play a Black Comedy as well as a suspense thriller!
The production bears the stamp of a typical Atul Satya Koushik production i.e. lavish sets, costumes, original music composition by Rajesh Das, and a spectacular holistic experience for the audience. Mr. Koushik says that there is a “challenge in writing a thriller with one mind because there are 600-700 minds in the audience trying to crack your suspense points. So you have to think ahead of them and try to fill all loopholes and make it a watertight script.” This play is a joint production of The Films and Theatre Society and Land of Culture. Further shows are scheduled on February 8th at the Kala Ghoda Festival and on February 10th at St. Andres Auditorium in Bandra.