Born in North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, Debesh has been working in the field of theatre for the last thirty three years. He is the founder and director of “Sansriti”. He has directed over 40 plays in Bengali. “Winkle Twinkle”, “Devi Sarpomasta”, “Phataru”, “Saudagorer Nouka” are milestone productions on the Bengali Stage directed by Debesh.

Not only proscenium, but he has also directed plays for intimate and site-specific theatre. He is a well acclaimed theatre academic and expert, and has completed a senior fellowship on “Cognitive Neuroscience and Theatre”. He has written several books on theatre. “The Week” magazine felicitated him as one of the ‘Fifty emerging stars of India’ in 2003. Debesh has been honoured by Paschimbanga Natya  Academy (Govt. of W.B.) as “Best Director” twice. Recipient  of many awards  Debesh directed his first feature film “Natoker Moto: like a play” in 2015. It was included in International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa in the Indian Panorama and, International Competition Section. Film Critic Circle of India (FCCI) honoured him as best debut director of 2015 for the film. Currently he is working on “Natyashastra”.

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Chand Manasar Kissa (2018)

 

Mangal Kavyas are  group of Bengali Hindu religious texts, composed more or less between 13th Centure and 18th Century, notably consisting of narratives of indigenous deities of rural Bengal in the social scenario of the Middle Ages.The Mangal Kavyas usually give prominence to a particular deity amalgamated with a Vedic or Hindu mythological god and the nattatives are usually written in form of verses. Manasa Mangal is one of the oldest Mangal-Kavya, which narrates how the snake-goddess Manasa established  her worship in Bengal by converting Chand Saudagor, a worshipper of Shiva to her own worship. 
In another layer of this Mangal-Kavya, we can recognize the confrontation between two different  strong powers, which causes mass destruction for common people. This conflict is between a stablised and a rising power about social status, gender discrimination etc. These scenarios are present loundly in these days also. Thus, here we find the relevence  of staging Manasa Mangal to the           audience with all  metaphors of middle ages society.

CHAND MANASAR KISSA :

Chand-Manasar Kissa  has long been a part of our popular culture.
Manasa seeks sanctification as goddess from one and all. Chand Sadagar refuses to acknowledge this claim of equality with other divine figures. He wants Manasa’s complete surrender and obedience.
Hence, both embark on two separate courses but on an identical quest: to establish the individualistic vision and version of religion.
Or the desh-dharma. But what is atma-dharma? Or desh-dharma?
Such queries are embedded in the narrative thread of Behula-Lakhinder. The journey does begin there but where does it lead to? To reach answers the play has to be watched/listened to intentively.
 

DIRECTOR'S NOTE :

In today’s world, it seems, destination will remain forever elusive unless we absorb the insults thrust upon us. As if the penumbra of failure, sinfulness and iniquity circumvents into the radiant sphere of success. 
Hence skepticism has become a dominant ideology of modernism. And also in the theatre of self-awakening. The traditionally-celebrated Chaitanyaesque precept – trinadapi sunicen that had been hermeneutically popularized as abiding faith has been swept away by the multipronged collision of egotism, power and politics between the subaltern Snake-goddess and the mercantile protagonist Chand Banik.
Nothing that is happening lies beyond the aegis of the sublime dictum of “bahujan hitaya bahujan sukhaya” – resonating the core principles of mangal (general weal), satya, (truth) and sundat (Beauty) – while each warring faction flaunts its own banner of reasons and unreasons.
Embodying various levels of awakening or jagaran, Manasa-pala has its potent synonym in jagaran-pala. Nathuram Godse, too, had his reasons for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi. Ahimsa or violence has its own way of claiming the holy portal of reason to justify its course. The path of hatred, it is claimed, leads to the attainment of love. Can it be so?
In the last few years, this nation has witnessed clashes and bloodshed on the issue of religion. In this thoughtless contest between religion and secularism, casualties have been from the sea of common mass and also from the pool of enlightened few. The demoniac upsurge of the nation at this hour seems to defy the present.
We remain helpless spectators in front of a stage on which neither the binaries of religion/iniquity, light/darkness, nor dependence on morality and justice prevail. Any attempt to comprehend life gets reduced to the poet Jibanananda Das’s thought “e jibaner nadir nam anuttaran” [Stagnation is the name of river of this life].