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More than a century after Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore wrote Gora in 1909, the novel with all its deep philosophies and political debate has still not lost its relevance. Now, it has been adapted for a television show on Doordarshan that started on October 29.
Producer Gargi Sen started work on it in 2002, when a series of violent attacks took place in the country. "At that point, I wanted to make it into a film. Later, Doordarshan asked us to make it into a television show," she recalls. While she was researching it along with its director Somnath Sen, she realised that Tagore, in fact, had written it episodically as it appeared in a magazine serially. "The original work has 24 parts. We, however, have made it into 26 episodes," says Gargi. Gaurav Dwivedi plays the role of Gora, Prabhat Raghunandan essays the role of his best friend Binoy and Swati Sen is his love interest. The cast includes Joyshree Arora as Gora's mother, Chandrahas Tiwari and Anuya Bhagwat.
The novel tells the story of Gourmohan, Gora to his friends, who is a staunch orthodox Hindu. He believes that change in 'his' Hindu society can only come once Indians throw off the British rule. In this quest, Gora gives up everything: friendship, relationships and love to single-mindedly pursue his idea of the ideal society. He has a clear perspective of religion and understands the need to save an old culture from being disintegrated in the name of politics and social reforms.
For director Somnath the biggest challenge was to adapt the celebrated text into a script. Adaptation has its own challenges and in novels there is a lot that happens inside the characters' heads. "My screenwriter, Sreejaya Radhakrishnan, helped by ploughing through the nearly 600-page tome, dense with ideas and cultural battles and made a coherent screenplay out of it. Once Jaya was done with her magic, I stepped in."
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