`Devdas`, now on small screen

Kolkata: The tragic love story of two childhood sweethearts torn apart by social differences, as depicted in Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay`s classic novel `Devdas`, will soon be serialised on a Bengali TV channel.

Giving a touch of modernity to the eternal love affair between Paro and Devdas, the serial will also keep the emotions and Bengali nuances of the novel intact.

"We are inspired by Sarat Chandra`s novel but our serial is not a period piece. Based in modern West Bengal, the story is contemporary but retains the original flavor of the novel," director Sayantan Mukherjee told reporters here.

`Devdas`, a story of love, passion and obsession of three main characters, Devdas, Parvati and Chandramukhi, has caught the fancy of filmmakers since the 1920`s.

Recent adaptations of the novel by Sanjay Leela Bhansali `Devdas` (2002) and Anurag Kashyap`s `Dev D` (2009) have tasted both critical and commercial success.

Following the path trodden by filmmakers, Mukherjee has also taken the liberty to deviate from the original storyline.

Two characters of the story, Chunnilal and Chandramukhi, have been given a broader platform in the TV serial, which will be broadcast soon on Zee Bangla.

"We are also showing their background in the film. Chandramukhi will meet both Paro and Devdas as a child," he said revealing that Chandramukhi is not a prostitute in the new version.

"She is the daughter of a famous `Jatra` (Bengali folk drama) queen, and has a larger than life background. But she is not a prostitute as in earlier versions," the director said.

The rural Bengal setting of the novel has, however, been retained in the story.

"But the village is a modern one in Bengal. Even Devdas wears jeans and T-shirt," he said.

"However, Devdas remains a tragic hero here. We have retained the original flavour of the novel, which is about the failure to get over from the pain of not being able to get one`s first love," he said.

On why he chose a story which has been portrayed in various ways umpteen number of times, Mukherjee said he has a fresh take on the novel.

"It is not a pure copy from literature to cinema. It has something fresh to offer even when you compare it with earlier films," he said.

Fed up of saas-bahu soaps and reality shows, Bengali television makers are now caught up with the trend of making serials from Bengali literature.

Recently, Rabindranath Tagore`s classic `Charulata` was adapted for the small screen.