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Mon, 26 Aug 2019

Northeast Today

Tete-e-Tete with a Storyteller

Tete-e-Tete with a Storyteller
May 01
11:01 2019

A storyteller, a product of National School of Drama (NSD), a director, and a son of Majuli, Anupam Kaushik Borah is all set with his opus ‘Bordodi Bhotiai’ scheduled to be released on 3rd May. In a conversation with Chirasmrita Devi, this multi-talented personality reveals more about his journey, experience and the film.

Majuli

 

NET: Tell us about yourself and the movie.

Anupam: I grew up in Majuli among artists -actors, singers, musicians, dancers, sculptors, mask makers – who were also farmers, carpenters, government office clerks or teachers. The practice of art in Majuli is an integral part of life and it is no special affair. May be multitasking was in my upbringing itself.

If I talk about the film, Bornodi Bhotiai is a celebration of life in Majuli with a tinge of satire and humour. It’s about a group of youth who have dreams and never take a right step to fulfill those. Miscalculations lead to hilarious mishappenings. And some magically real things get added to it. The result is collectively funny but a soul stirring story.

NET: It has been said that ‘Bornodi Bhotiai’ tells the story of a Majuli that no one knows of. Kindly elaborate on this.

Anupam: The Majulials definitely know the story of Majuli that I’m trying to portray in my film, for they live it. I mean I want to tell a more grounded, more real, true to life story of the Majuli where I was born and as I have known the island for the three odd decades of my life. The story that was portrayed earlier in different media and art is but the ‘single’ story of a curious mix of  the glorious xatras, beautiful land, world’s biggest river island which is dogged by flood and erosion and which is vanishing fast. My film acknowledges this single story but tries to go ‘plural’ showing the complexity of the society, the people who live in it. The single story just blatantly ignores the inhabitants but they are protagonists of my story. And it’s new.

NET: You too have played a role in the movie. Tell us something about your character.

Anupam: My character is called ‘Luit’, a life insurance agent who is suffering from a strangely prolonged cold. He most certainly realizes that the common cold is not a big deal but not something which you can ignore. Maybe, his namesake ‘Bor- Luit’ the river too has a cold problem. May be!

NET: What should the audience of Assam or Northeast expect from the movie?

Anupam: I can’t actually point that out right now. Maybe I’m so much engrossed in the film that I’m losing perspective. But the reactions of audience in two film festivals have given me enough evidence that the audience can expect fun and humour. Also, I can say this for sure that – expect good….really good acting.

NET: A lot of writing, research, documentation has already been done on Majuli. What kind of innovation have you added in the movie?

Anupam: Like I said I’m telling a story of the people who live in Majuli rather than the concept of Majuli which exists in popular narratives. That itself is new. Also, magical realism and dark comedy, I think, are novel concepts in Assamese cinema. Then trying to portray the reality of the people of Majuli through magical realism and dark humour may be called an innovations.

NET: What are the challenges that you faced during the making of the movie?

Mostly financial. However, I feel lucky that my family and friends bailed me out. Apart from that, my crew is highly efficient and dedicated. I got Kenny Basumatary, Tarali Sarma on board. I had whole hearted support from Majulial locals. It was not that hard to create the film. But releasing the film, well it’s hard. A tale for another day maybe.
NET: Any future projects?

Anupam: Nothing locked yet. However, some potent and unique images of a psychological thriller are in my eyes these days.

NET: The movie is going to hit the theatres on 3rd May. What kind of impact do you think the movie shall cast on the society?

Anupam: I would like to keep it open by not guessing anything about it. However, I sincerely hope that people laugh in theatres seeing my film and I succeed in conveying the story as I want to.

 

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