Jahangirnagar University’s drama and dramatics department will stage of its much-acclaimed production ‘Devdas’ at the Experimental Theatre Main Hall of Bangladesh Shilpikala Academy (BSA) in the capital at 07:00pm today.
Directed by department chair Professor Yusuf Hassan Arko, the play has been adaptation of ‘Devdas’, based on the 1917 Bengali romance novel by Sarat Chandra. Devdas is a main character of this novel.The story of the play revolves around a young man named Devdas from a wealthy Bengali Brahmin family in India in the early 1900s and his love with Paro, a young woman from a middle class Bengali merchant family. The two families live in a village called Taalshonapur in Bengal, and Devdas and Parvati are childhood friends.
Devdas goes away for a couple of years to live and study in the city of Calcutta (now Kolkata). During vacations, he returns to his village. Suddenly both realise that their easy comfort in each other's innocent comradeship has changed to something deeper. Devdas sees that Parvati is no longer the small girl he knew. Parvati looks forward to their childhood love blossoming into a happy lifelong journey in marriage. According to prevailing social custom, Parvati's parents would have to approach Devdas's parents and propose marriage of Parvati to Devdas as Parvati longs for.
Parvati's mother approaches Devdas's mother, Harimati, with a marriage proposal. Although Devdas's mother loves Parvati very much she isn't so keen on forming an alliance with the family next door. Besides, Parvati's family has a long-standing tradition of accepting dowry from the groom's family for marriage rather than sending dowry with the bride. The alternative family tradition of Parvati's family influences Devdas's mother's decision not to consider Parvati as Devdas' bride, especially as Parvati belongs to a trading (becha -kena chottoghor) lower family. The "trading" label is applied in context of the marriage custom followed by Parvati's family. Devdas's father, Narayan Mukherjee, who also loves Parvati, does not want Devdas to get married so early in life and isn't keen on the alliance. Parvati's father, Nilkantha Chakravarti, feeling insulted at the rejection, finds an even richer husband for Parvati.
When Parvati learns of her planned marriage, she stealthily meets Devdas at night, desperately believing that he will accept her hand in marriage. Devdas has never previously considered Parvati as his would-be wife. Surprised by Parvati's boldly visiting him alone at night, he also feels pained for her. Making up his mind, decides he tells his father he wants to marry Parvati. Devdas's father disagrees.
The novel has been adapted into film in many languages of the subcontinent including Bangla, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu, Assamese and Malayalam.