Baki Itihas by MIST; Quite a Pleasant Surprise!

Photos: Sushanta Bose

Photos: Sushanta Bose

By Sanchali Basu

HOUSTON: The Houston Bengali drama scene has come into its own after quite a few years of successful stagings of independent dramas and dramas at the drama festival held annually at the Durga Bari auditorium. So much was the enthusiasm among some of the ardent drama buffs that it led to the creation of the group MIST (Masks, Issues, & Stages Traversed). The members decided to kick it up a notch and graduate from the amateur level to a professional level.

Their current production, Badal Sircar’s Baki Itihas was enacted at the Katy Performing and Visual arts Center the past weekend Saturday, Sept 19 and 20 to sold out audiences. The audience was in for a surprise because this was the first of its kind to be ever held in Houston.

Beautiful ladies welcomed all at the ticket counter and arrangements were made for wine and cheese in the lobby before the show. Professional ushers guided everyone to their seats and the shows began at scheduled time in pin drop silence. The drama is about a couple; the wife, a homemaker/writer and the husband, a lecturer, who find out about the suicidal death of a chance acquaintance in the local obituaries. The story spins around the wild imaginative ideas of each as to what could have driven the man to commit suicide.


The two angles of thought gave the audience a chance to reflect on two of the various many possible perspectives, and the twists in the plot kept the audience riveted to their seats. The poignant ending typical of a Badal Sircar play, made one search deeper into the realm of truth eventually taking one back into the history of mankind. It brought out the stark reality of life and made us ask what do we live for!

The brilliant performances by the stellar cast consisting of the who’s who of the local Bengali drama scene left little to be desired. Of special note was Rahul Chakraborty’s characterization of the main character Sitanath, who made it very real and believable. The supporting cast of Manas Saha, Santasri Sen, Kousik Bhattacharya, Sampurna Kahali, Aurko Dutta, Udipta Mukherjee, Dilip Dutta, and Uddalak Bharadwaj were all very precisely effective in their own right. The rest of the production crew worked tirelessly to get the sound, light and stage to all work in seamless harmony. Thanks to the excellent teamwork, the production went off smoothly and ended up being a very fulfilling experience for all. The community will now look for such outstanding productions from MIST in future.