Shaonli’s recent production, Bitata Bitangsha, which addressed a burning contemporary issue—the need to save our ecology—was a great hit.As was her magnum opus, Nathabati Anathabat, a stunning solo tour de force in which she explored the epic tragedy of Draupadi, from flaming birth to Himalayan end, and in the process added to our understanding of both the Mahabharata and the society which spawned that saga. Other projects include Katha Amrita Samaan, where she plays five women from the epic—Gandhari, Kunti, Ambika, Ambalika and Satyabati—besides donning the mantles of writer, director and narrator. Coming up is a new play that draws an analogy between environmental pollution and social corruption.
Shaonli began her creative life in Ritwik Ghatak’s film Jukti Takko O Goppo, portraying a child-woman in whom the drink-sodden protagonist finds the spirit of a ravaged nation. Over the years, in project after luminous project, she has been trying—relentlessly—to get us a better insight into that anguished core.