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Mansi Khandelwal

JWB Blogger

Rituparna Biswas Narrates The Story Of The ‘Ela Didi’ Our Parents Want Us To Become

  • JWB Post
  •  November 24, 2016


Is it true that most of the times in our urge of wanting to be someone else, we forget who we are? We seek perfection in the lives of others and in this process we slay our originality and curb our dreams.

Why as children are we often compared to one perfect child and pressurized to become the same? Why can’t our parents and the society understand that each one of us is born with a different talent, have different aspirations and this is how it is!

These were few of the many thoughts that were evoked while I watched Ela Didi at the third day of the ongoing Jairangam theater festival. Ela Didi was performed by solo artist Rituparna Biswas. The play was enacted in an intimate setup and despite the minimal usage of props (a chair, football, and a skipping rope); Rituparna could hold the audience like it was magic!

It was simply beautiful to see a solo performer singing, acting, dancing and making it look absolutely complete.

The story of ‘Ela Didi’ is based on the theme of emancipation. It talks about the life of ‘Mukti,’ an ordinary girl who is burdened with expectations and is constantly compared with her neighbor ‘an educated, pretty, sanskari and intelligent girl’ Ela.

Mukti has instilled in herself that she has to grow up to become like Ela one day. In this quest, she forgets who she is and how she wants to lead her life. Mukti’s life is overshadowed with the unachieved desires of her parents whose motto is to make her a replica of Ela.

Mukti’s elder brother is her best friend, peacekeeper, and confidanté. He always tries to guide Mukti in all spheres of life, helps her gain self-confidence and embraces the person she is instead of wanting her to be someone else. But Mukti who had grown up in a ‘be like Ela didi’ environment, has started acting like her too.

She has grown up watching Ela Didi and replicated her looks, activities, fashion, etc. But no matter how much we try copying others, we remain different as individuals. Mukti who was forced to be like Ela, always thinks that they differ on the basis of the financial condition. Little does she know that there are bigger things that separate the two of them. And that being their inner calling, their perception and thought process!

Also, do we understand that when we put the other person on that higher pedestal, we tend to forget that they are humans too and will not always act according to the society’s demands? This is what exactly happens with Ela didi. Later in the play, she elopes with her lover and Mukti’s parents suddenly realize how much better Mukti is as compared to Ela who they had always worshiped. Ela faced a lot of trouble in her married life and committed suicide towards the end.

In her journey, Mukti learns what fear is, how we are not born with fear but are made to grow old with it. She realizes how we are expected to adjust at almost all points in our lives.

But what happens when that patience towards adjustment breaks? Some can take it; some can’t and this is what makes us different from each other.

Amta Parichay’s ‘Eladidi,’ a highly intimate and soul-stirring play, has been performed for the 139th time at Jawahar Kala Kendra. Written and enacted by Rituparna Biswas, this ordinary story of an ordinary journey of an ordinary girl is directed by Subhendu Bhandari.

To know more about the artist and her next play, you can write at

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