Though Kolkata is a historical city, the preservation of colonial heritage is definitely not in the list of priorities of its politicians and administrators. Consequently, unscrupulous developers manage to get hold of old, often disputed and decrepit properties, tear them down for new apartments or shopping malls. This satirical play, based on a recent very successful film, highlights this issue in a novel way by invoking the resident spirits of the Choudhury Mansion.
Recently, Choudhury Mansion had acquired ill repute when a popular film actress was reported to have been knocked unconscious after seeing a ghost during a film shoot. In steps an upcoming director, Ayan to shoot an ad-film in the mansion. Waiting for his camera man to arrive, Ayan dozes off and is drawn into the quirky world of spirits trying to retain a foothold in a city fast losing its historic character.
A man walks into the scene with the most amazing story and begs Ayan to consider it for his next film script. He talks about a group of ghost or spirits from various phases of history, right from the infamous battle of Plassey in 1757 onwards, who had made Choudhury Mansion their refuge,. Many were driven here as other such buildings were knocked down in the name of development. There is the landlord and owner of the house, Darpanarayan and his aide both murdered by dacoits, British India official Ramsey assassinated by freedom fighters, a royal cook killed at Plassey, a courtesan Kadalibala who had been driven to suicide, a film actress who had died young, a Brigadier from recent times martyred at Kargil, a young musician who had overdosed and a myriad other characters whose stories, narrated by the mysterious stranger, are humorously enacted in front of Ayanís eyes.
As long as the mansion stays disputed, the spirits have free run of the place. It buzzes with lighthearted banter, quarrels, festivities, fun and laughter as the resident spirits try to bridge the cultural divide stretching across generations. They turn away an applicant from Alaska, whose igloo has melted due to by global warming, as he stinks. The spirits celebrate the peace but it proves to be short lived. They manage to stop a film shoot by scaring the actress. But the crisis reaches its climax when a shady developer barges in with a plan to knock down the building. The spirits brainstorm for ideas to stop the destruction of their last place of refuge and come up with an audacious plan. They recruit the services of a recently killed hoodlum and the developerís murdered wife to put a scare in the developer that heís not likely to forget in a hurry. How do they do it? Who is the mysterious stranger narrating the story to Ayan? What is his motive? What is the spiritsí grand plan? Is it all for real?
Interesting perspective, strange ghostly characters, satirical puns, witty dialogues and a stunning climax will glue you to your seats. Ladies and Gentlemen, sit back, relax and enjoy the play!