The Masquerade

About This Project

The Masquerade is a short play translated and adapted from the Bengali version of Deecharini, authored by Narendranath Mitra. Mr. Mitra is known for his short stories, while several of his novels have been translated into film. One such novel, Mahanagar, was adapted by the world-renowned director Satyajit Ray.

Deecharini was written with the lives of refugees in mind who lost their homes and all personal property in Bangladesh (East Bengal or East Pakistan formerly) and had to be uprooted to come to West Bengal, India, from the period 1950s – 1970s. Traditional housewives had no other choice than looking for menial work as becoming part-time contract maids at people’s houses. The main character of the Masquerade, Tarongo, is just such a housewife. In this perceptive satire, Tarongo is an innocent maid who ends up being exploited by two very manipulative ladies.

As you watch the play, please take note of some of the words used to address the ladies of the various houses that have not been translated – words such as Bauthauren, Bohu, Boudi, etc. are used to show respect or a loving gesture for the Lady of the House or even one’s sister-in-law. In India, extended families (brothers living together with their wives) are quite common. Words such as Didi, Boudi mean big sister or big brother’s wife. The practice of calling people older than you or ‘older’ by relation by their first names is considered disrespectful.

Cast & Crew:

Ashima Saborna Roychowdhury
Illa Sharmila Bandyopadhyay
Mamata Rita Sengupta
Manada Anuradha Sanyal
Narrator Partha Ganguly
Nirmal Bharat Bhushan
Tarango Gouri Datta
Direction & Script Rita Sengupta
Light Management Ashish Brahma, Hirak Sengupta, Tanya Sengupta
Make up & Costume Rekha Basu, Gopa Kumar, Indranil Mitra
Music Direction Rita Sengupta, Tanya Sengupta
Sound Operation Gautam Bandyppadhyay, Atanu Sen
Stage Management Tanya Sengupta
Theatrical Adaptation Sharmila Bandyopadhyay, Rita Sengupta