Hindi black comedy on Sukumar Ray’s ‘literary nonsense’ soon

Kolkata: Making sense of celebrated playwright and children’s writer Sukumar Ray’s “literary nonsense”, a city-based filmmaker is set to helm a Hindi black comedy based on his writings.

Auteur Satyajit Ray’s father Sukumar, the founder of the ‘Nonsense Club’, is immortalised in children’s literature for his oeuvre of pun-riddled poetry and stories, including the cult collection of poems “Abol Tabol” (Rhymes without Reason) and novella “HaJaBaRaLa” (A Topsy Turvy Tale) and short story collection “Pagla Dashu” among others, set in colonial India.

He is often labelled India’s Lewis Carroll.

“The film will be a black comedy. It is a work of fiction and showcases the use of humour as a weapon. There are various layers and contemporary storyline and the narrative incorporates several of Ray’s poems,” Orpheus Mukhoty told IANS.

The film is expected to go on floors in March-April 2018 and will be shot in Europe, the US and other locations. The project is being backed by a major Bollywood production house, the filmmaker said.

“Abol Tabol” brims with fantastic creatures, including hybrid animals, and continues to be the staple of children’s literature in West Bengal.

It is believed that the genre of children’s writings spawned by Sukumar and his father Upendrakishore in the early 20th century exemplifies “anti-colonial texts that seek to empower Bengali children living under colonial rule”.