In the variegated schema of life, there is seldom any certainty which qualities one is going to encounter over the entire range of urban society and its deep entrails. Can there be a wide enough canvas to draw one’s urgent attention to the prevailing ills and can there be a flicker of light that may just per chance lurk at the end of the tunnel of darkness?
The veteran playwright Manoj Mitra can wield an acerbic pen if he chooses and still retain his sympathy unerringly with the underdog. In his pen-portrait on the melting pot of the rampant ills in the emerging middle class of Bengal’s metropolis, he uncannily lists them as the old parents’ solitude with the generation next emigrating to greener pastures; the rape as an unmitigated evil and its devastating effect on the survivors; the menace of promoters out to grab the available urban property; the vicious nexus of the political and the business class; the oppression of women belonging to the marginalised community; and the one-way push nudging the hapless aged towards the lonely old-age homes. And, yet behold, the downtrodden can unite and rise, literally like a Phoenix, from the ashes!
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