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Synopsis of

Jalsaghar  (1958 - Bengali)

story of Jalsaghar, Jalsaghar plot

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Jalsaghar story, synopsis, plot

    Divya Solgama

    By Divya Solgama(22 May 2008)

    This film is based on a paritcular period - the end of 19th century , when the permanent settlement Act, had already changed the socio economic condition of the entire country . On one hand the decline of the landlords and on the other hand, a new era of businessman and industrialists who are gradually reaching the top of the society .At the very begining we find a famous landlord Bishwambhar Roy relaxing in his arm-chair on the roof of his old wretched palace (Roybari) .He is reminiscing about his first meeting with Mahim Chouwdhury , the rich businessman of this village. It was an auspecious day, day of Bishwambhar 's son Khokha 's Upanayan '('The sacred thread ceromony ). Bishwambhar returned and heard about the bank's refusal to lend him loan for the occassion . His naib 'Taraprasanna ' informed him that Mahim is waiting for an appointment . Bishwambhar was in his 'Jalsaghar '(The music hall) when he first met him. When he come to know that he is the son of local userer Janardan, he immidiately refused to borrow money from him. He is reminded about the limit of the rate of interest he could take from the villagers . Mahim promised to obey him & left the house . Bishwambhar ordered his Naib to sell the old ornaments . Durgabai' , a famous classical vocalist come to perform . Bishwambhar in his unique style, with gargara (Tobaco ) & alcohols , enjoyed her splended performance with his friends . He still recollects those colourful days (and nights ) in his 'jalsaghar' . According to Bishwambhar's wife, her husband's passion for music was dangerous. Indeed, he was in every sense ,a real music lover. He never hesitated to spend money for good music. He used to arrange 'Mehfils' of 'Soiree' in his jalsaghar and had heard several classical mentor's inside his hall . Music apart , his other passions was riding his horse'Toofan' & elephant 'Moti' .No surprises when we see his own son Khokha also inheritated a passion for classical music and liked to ride on Toofan & Moti rather then studying his room . Bishwambhar still recollects the summer day when his wife got a letter from her mother informing her that her father was serious & a request to come as early as possible . His wife departed for her anscestral house in Narayanpur with Khokha. Bishwambhar heard the ugly noises of the electrical generator & saw the well lighted new house of Mahim. Few days later, when Mahim invited him for his 'Grihaprobesh' (a warm reception ceremony in the new house) on palia baisakh. He had also arranged a 'Mehfil ' and invited famous vocalist Uzir Khan to perform in his Jalsaghar . Thus, Bishwambhar's vanity & showmanship clashed with this rich businessman Mahim's show. He challenged this young fellow & wrote a letter to his wife to arrive before the Palia Baisakh '(first day of summer). Bishwambahr could never imagine that the episode would turn out into such a tragedy . On the auspecious night when Uzir khan, a reknowned vocalist was performing in his 'Jalsa ' ,he come outside and got the news of his wife's and son's death who were drowned in a whirlpool while returning . All the showmanship were washed out from his life forever . A few days later, privy councils had delivered its Judgement and the duties were gone. The furnitures were auctioned . Now ,after four years have passed since his wifes death , nothing is left for this old landlord except few sweet memories & colorial styled broken status inside his house . So when he hears the sound of Sehnai , he turns very nostalgic . He is informed that Mahim has arranged the Nehbat to celebrate his son's 'Upanayan. Bishwambhar after a long gap ,comes outside the house, see's his own house 'Toofan' & elephant 'Moti he decides to gift the old elephant to Mahim. Few days later ,Mahim visits this house with his brand new car . He meets the old lord and invites him for the opening of his music hall '(Jalsaghar') . Bishwambhar , seating in the his old chair ,rejected as usual and decides to challenge this youngman once again .He ordered his Naib 'Taraprasanna and servant 'Ananta ' to repet his 'jalsaghar ' and arranged a mehfil with Lucknow 's famous Kathak dancer 'Krishnabai' and her troupe . Krishnabai performed and after years Bishwambhar enjoyed good music once agsin . At the end of the dance recital ,he even stopped Mahim and reminded him that house owner alone reserves the right to pay the Inam . At the end of the Mehfil ,we find drunk Bishwambhar alone in his music room, looking at his anscestors and making 'cheers ' to them with his peg .He is rather disturbed, talking to himself and showing pride over his family & their showmanship . He takes his servant Ananta inside the hall and shows him the takes portraits of his ancestors . Finally, he forced him to arrange the horse for a ride . Ananta tried to stop him, but all in vain . He finally rides on it , he falls and dies at the spot . Only the 'Pagri' lies on the riverside as a symbol of sovreignity