Monday 18 February 2019

Unrequited Love, Unrelenting bigotry - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Cyrano de Bergerac, the famous 1897 play by the dramatist-poet Edmond Rostand, is cast in the mould of the proverbial parable of 'Beauty and the Beast', except that the Beast here uses the vision of a handsome, yet dumb male upfront - as a friend to support -- to entice the incurably romantically-minded Beauty through recitations and verses. Only at the very end, the Beauty realises that the Beast was her destined lover, Cyrano. Rostand's memorable dialogue alludes to the final recognition: The Beauty says: I love you. And the Beast's ugliness falls like a magic veil...

Syed Waliullah (1922 - 1971) was a Bangladeshi novelist, short-story writer and playwright, whose 1948 award-winning debut novel, Lal Salu (translated by the author, calling his English version as 'Tree without Roots'), castigated fundamentalism and religious bigotry in Islam - as perpetuated by orthodox self-seekers - with whiplash sarcasm. Made into a memorable film, Lal Salu -- by Bangladesh's prime cineaste, Tanvil Mokammel -- went on to win many laurels.

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