Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee: A Cultural Personality: Q & A

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 By A Correspondent

Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee is a much-acclaimed cultural personality from Kolkata who performs in different mediums of art with equal finesse.

Our Correspondent caught up with him in Toronto.

Q 1: The beginning of your journey was a lot like us, study-degree-job. How did you break this mould and find your calling?

I was always interested in arts and I never knew that I would pursue this as my calling. Precisely in 2003, when I returned to Kolkata after leaving a fat-pay job in Delhi and lost my father, my world kind of crumbled down. I also had a serious neurological disease and I had to be on medication and almost out of job for a year. I remember my mother taking me out for a vacation to Shantiniketan and that's where the germination of an artist in me began. Tagore's oeuvre of works have always fascinated me and my first tryst with arts had to be through him. 

Q 2: The art form of “words” is more difficult and less popular. What inspired you towards this art form? Any stories you can share with us?

Honestly speaking, I never knew that I would be a spoken word artist. In fact I am an interdisciplinary artist and spoken words is one important facet of my artistic trajectories. I think what inspired me towards this art form is my love for poetry. I have immense respect for Bijoylakshmi Barman in Kolkata. She is also one of my mentors in this art. I don't have any formal training with her but her sheer presence and artistry puts me on the learning curve all the time. Audio theatre is a very challenging art form and can never go out of fashion because stories never die, words do. Biplab Dasgupta has also inspired me enough to take up spoken words seriously.

Q 3. Now that you have also done movies, do you intend to shift your focus towards acting? 

Acting is an extension of what I do in spoken words. If movies come my way, which they seldom do because the whole world of films in Kolkata believe in boxes, I am game. I am very keen on directing films for sure and I do have two ready scripts with me.

Q 4. How helpful do you think your background in business communication is, while doing PR for yourself as an artist?

My background in business management has always helped me to pave my path in the world of arts. I still teach integrated marketing communication and I don't need a manager to market my work or strategize my portfolio. In fact we don't have agents for interdisciplinary artists in India and that still calls for a paradigm shift.

Q 5. You are multi-faceted. Acting, teaching, elocution, which do you relate to most?

I love teaching because that's how I learn the most.

Q 6. Do you have any projects planned for budding elocutionists?

I do. I need funding for such projects or grants. Our government back home is too homegrown on films as the only entertainment. In fact there are central government grants for everything except spoken words. I am only talking about India and West Bengal.

Q 7. Have you faced any challenges in your creative expressions? Does external factors limit you in any way in your pursuit? Any incidents that come to you mind?

There are broadly two challenges that I find in most creative expressions--resources and mind-set. I want to do an arts festival in India on erotica and I know there would be no takers. 

Q 8. Anything you would love to share about your life after work? How do you unwind?

After work, I unwind by watching artistic productions. It could be any form of art which appeals to my sensitivity. I love my own company and I prefer doing artistic tours on my own. I do hangout with friends and the number is few. 

Q 9: Any messages for people who are too scared to pursue art/passion/creativity?

Please wake up and smell the coffee dahlings. You need to take charge of your life and art. Leave your signature behind and if possible a legacy.

Sujoy Prosad will be presenting a solo performance on Monday, September 18th, at 8 pm at Glad Day Book Shop in Toronto, the oldest surviving LGBT bookstore in North America.

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12


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