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Chandan Sen. Photo: Mumit M.

Renowned Indian playwright-director Chandan Sen is in Dhaka to attend the theatre festival by Bahubachan at the National Theatre Stage. This is his second time in Dhaka along with his troupe HaZaBaRaLa. Earlier HaZaBaRaLa participated in another theatre festival organised by Nagorik Natyangan.

Of the four plays included at the Bahubachan Theatre Festival, Chandan Sen is the playwright of three. Bahubachan staged his play Daibaddho on the opening day of the festival. HaZaBaRaLa staged the 296th show of Aniket Shondhya last Thursday and its sequel Phire Esho Prem yesterday at the festival. In an interview with The Daily Star, Chandan Sen shared his views on several subjects.

Chandan Sen has been active in theatre for 40 years. Initially he was an actor, however, he has achieved popularity as a playwright. He also directs HaZaBaRaLa's productions.

So far he has written 27 plays, of which 15 are original and the rest are translations and adaptations of international classics.

Most of the plays written by Sen have attracted audiences in India and abroad. Sen informed that his play Daibaddho has had over 700 shows in India. Twenty-two plays by Sen are available as books. These plays are popular literature in Indian, informed the playwright.

What's the secret to this popularity? Sen's response: "Most of my plays feature a contemporary issue: Solitude and suffering of the elderly in a materialistic social structure, which touches the heart of the viewers."

"People these days are losing values, forgetting the traditions. Everyone is becoming self-centred like the westerners. I focus on these issues in my plays," said Sen.

"My plays have become so popular among the Bengali communities all over the world that two essays have been published on my dialogue dictions. Even youngsters use dialogues from my plays in their text messages."

Chandan Sen said that following his footsteps, many contemporary Indian playwrights are also writing these types of family drama.

As a playwright Chandan Sen has received many awards such as Natya Academy Padak and State Academy of Art Award.

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