Epic Channel’s Stories by Rabindranath Tagore are now showcasing short stories written by the great legend. Although, these are different stories set in different times and towns, Anurag Basu’s unique presentation has merged the stories at its ends. Without giving a break at the end of each story, the new story emerges as the characters of the new story are introduced while the characters of the previous story are left pondering with their thoughts.

This became evident when the characters of Atithi came in, even before Chokher Bali’s Binodini left the scene. In fact, if we reminisce clearly, Atithi’s Tarapada and his wandering elder friends could be seen singing a song at the start of Chokher Bali, even before Binodini and Bihari babu could enter the scene to recall their story.

At the end of Chokher Bali, as Binodini looks out of the running train window, preparing herself to live a life of solitariness; the focus shifts to the singing group along with Tarapada who are in the same train. And from there, begins the story of Atithi. The rest of the stories too flow in, in a similar manner. A huge applause to Anurag Basu for bridging the gaps between the varied stories.

The second story in the series, Atithi, is about a young boy, who chooses to be a wanderer, in an urge to learn more about the world as he does not want to be tied down at one place. A thirst for knowledge and a penchant for music makes this boy special and unique. A chance meeting with the local zamindar results in him staying back at his huge palatial house where manages to impress everyone with his pleasing and helping nature. The zamindar’s young daughter, Charushashi too is smitten, but initially hides her feeling and acts shrewd. But it does not take long for Tara to remove the veil of stubbornness on Charu and the two bond well. Soon enough, Charu’s parents decide to get them married. But for Tara’s inquisitive nature, this bond, though amusing and much to his liking, seemed to be a hindrance towards his goal to visit many places and gather more knowledge. Soon he comes across a musical play group and joins them, leaving Charu shattered. In the end, proving that Tara was just an Atithi, a guest, who was here to stay for just a few days, not forever.

Brilliant job by the young actors. The song ‘Mera man bulaya re …’ is soulful and apt.

The musical play group that Tara joins as a flutist leads us to the next story Maanbhanjan. 

Maanbhanjan is a popular song in Bengali describing the act of Krishna trying to appease an angry Radha. Maanbhanjan could be also derived to mean quashing of ego, where the abhimaan, ahankar of a person has been broken down. It is the story of a young, married zamindar, Gopinath, who falls in love with a drama artiste, Latika. Latika is a popular artiste who excels in the singing, dancing and acting capabilities and is boastful that she is the most beautiful and best in her field of work. Gopinath’s wife Giribala, upon learning about the other woman in her husband’s life, ventures out to see for herself, why Latika has mesmerised her husband so. And that’s how she gets introduced to the theatre, its music, playacts and the whole aura that a theatre compromises of. She is in awe of the popular Latika who is surrounded by her many fans.  Soon, problems surface in Latika’s professional life and Gopinath leaves town with her, leaving Giribala shattered. After sometime, a gloomy Latika, desperate to get back to her glamorous life filled with applauses and praises, eager to know who had taken her place in the theatre, returns to town with Gopinath. It is nothing short of a shock when Gopinath and Latika find that the artiste who has replaced Latika and is now garnering all the applauses and praises is none other than Giribala. In a sort of a role reversal, it is Latika who is now in awe, watching Giribala surrounded by her fans, taking in all the fame. Latika’s ego has thus been quashed.

Maanbhanjan’s plus point has been its music. The classical songs from ‘Ghar aaja ghir aaye …’ to ‘Mere to Giridhar Gopal …’ are a delight to hear. The episode also gives an insight into the stories such as ‘Shakuntala’, ‘Laila Majnu’, ‘Meerabai’, that were staged in theatre during that era. The background music used in this story is worth hearing again and again.

Gopinath raises an uproar upon seeing his wife on the stage. Soon, he is packed off to the police station where we meet the characters from the next story, Detective. 

A humorous light story, Detective takes us into the life of a police detective, Mahimchandra who is on the lookout of a complicated case where he could use his detective capabilities and get to solve a complex situation. Tired of catching culprits who, according to him, would easily surrender, his inquisitive nature yearns for an adventure. Soon, he decides find out more about a student whom he suspects to be involved in illegal activities. Mahimchandra befriends the student, Manmoth, talks to him about his secret affair with a colleague so that Manmoth would open up more about himself. Mahim’s whole plan backfires when his beloved wife gets to know about his alleged affair through Manmoth, who happens to be her childhood friend. Mahim’s quest for a mysterious case falls hard on his secured, happy family life.

The story of Detective, though projected in a lighter way, reveals few hidden meaning about our lives. Although Mahim was blessed with a secured, safe police job and a lovely, understanding wife; his thirst for adventures brings him on the verge of losing his priceless gem of all. A reminder, that our inordinate greed might make us lose something that we already have. Another meaning that could also be derived is about our suspicions towards an individual. Mahim thought that Manmoth was a criminal, but he turned out to be an innocent childhood friend of his wife. A person might seem suspicious, acting weirdly. But that doesn’t always mean that he means to harm. His reasons for his weird behaviour might be something totally different. Instead of taking decisions based on our suspicions, it is better to confront directly and wait till the person opens up himself.


Each of these stories are completely different from one another, but all impart the lessons of life.


Other write-ups on the series: 

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