Calcutta, 1924. In the vibrant world of Bengali theatre, Sisirkumar Bhaduri, a young man of talent and vision, is king.
A brilliant performer, he is loved and respected by his peers, adored by spectators and acknowledged as a master by Rabindranath Tagore himself. Yet, Sisirkumar remains passionately committed to a singular dream: to steer his audience away from the raucous melodrama that has come to be called entertainment toward an evolved enjoyment of stage performance.
This searing novel brings to life Sisirkumar’s relentless efforts to free the stage of Western influences and mediocrity; his frustration and disillusionment with apathetic patrons and obdurate audiences; his ruinous weakness for alcohol; and the impossible ideals that alienated him from his closest friends and the women in his life. This translation of Sunil Gangopadhyay’s spirited recreation of the tumultuous life of a remarkable man and a defining era in the history of Indian theatre is a tribute to the might and resilience of the creative spirit.'