Tapan Sinha’s Harmonium to Return

RBN Web Desk: Tapan Sinha’s 1976 film Harmonium, which told an interesting story of the musical instrument passing hands through various sections of the society, is all set to return albeit in a new avatar. The film has been adapted as a play by amateur theatre group Dhakuria Jeetendra Smriti Chakra and the premiere was recently staged in the city.

Harmonium was probably the only hyperlink film directed by Sinha in his nearly 50-year career as a filmmaker. In the film, the harmonium is first bought by a landlord to impart music lessons to his young daughter. The instrument is soon auctioned off following his untimely death. It changes hands, finding its place in a middle class home, a red light area, and is finally bought by a government officer to teach music to his child, where the landlord’s daughter now worked as a governess. All through its journey, the harmonium is branded as a catalyst of several tragic incidents, including a murder.


Harmonium has been widely appreciated by critics as a layered cynical commentary on the social system and taboos present in these parts of the world. The film had a large ensemble cast that included Arundhati Devi, Anil Chatterjee, Asitbaran, Kali Banerjee, Samit Bhanja, Kumar Roy, Chhaya Devi, Kamal Mitra, Arati Bhattacharya, Santosh Dutta, and others.

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Binayak Bandyopadhyay, who is directing the stage adaptation of the film, said that the play is a tribute to the filmmaker. That aside, it will also introduce the present generation to the musical instrument which was once omnipresent in all Bengali homes, he added.

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