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Walking down Apur Sansar Park; talking to architect Saibal Kar

8 December, 2022 16:57:26
Walking down Apur Sansar Park; talking to architect Saibal Kar

How about a park that mixes one of the best literary works of Bengal with generations of emotions? Apur Sansar Park of New Town’s Action Area IB is one such wonder. The park is situated on a 1.5-acre land behind Snehodiya and is an initiative by the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA). There was a competition held for the best idea for the park and finally, the contract was given to Saibal Kar, the architect, and his team. What strikes one when you enter, is that the park is minimalistic. It has murals on the walls that resemble some memorable stills from Apu Trilogy. They are not exact replicas of the scenes, rather they are faceless figures that provide a nostalgic reminiscence of them. The Park has been dedicated to paying tribute to one of Bengali’s pride, the very legend, Soumitra Chatterjee. Apur Sansar was Soumitra Chatterjee’s debut film, the third part of the Apu trilogy, released in 1959.


The park shows a blend of modern and yesteryears. There are two archives- Archive 1 and Archive 2. Archive 1 has pictures of Ray and some snippets from the Apu Trilogy. Archive 2 has pictures of Soumitra Chatterjee with Ray and multiple moods of Soumitra. Food kiosks will be opened at the entrance of the park soon. The park will also have a library where both English and Bengali books will be available related to Soumitra Chatterjee and his works throughout his life.

Architect Saibal Kar


On asking architect Saibal Kar about his concept of work, he said, “The delineation of a human with that of a park was not easy. The concept is very new. As Soumitra Chatterjee’s debut film was ‘Apur Sansar’, I thought of it as the birth of Soumitra Chatterjee’s journey from there. Apu became a sensation in our minds, he was so relatable that people considered him to be more than just fiction. The synchronization between the modern generation and the generations before that, and depicting that through architecture was an arduous task. I tried to take some glimpses and made it seem like Apu lived here. The main purpose of giving shape to the park is for the people to roam around, sit and relax and seep in the literary and movie geniuses.” 

On asking what is the aim behind making the park, he said, “The government thought there was a need to enlighten youths about our legends, hence such theme parks are necessary so that the present generation does not forget such artists and their work.” True, as Kar added, when the youths discover such a place, their curiosity will increase. They will be interested in knowing more about these personalities and why they are considered milestones in their field of work. Curiosity cannot be forced; the youths need to discover these in their way. “To rekindle the thoughts in their minds is the first step in introducing them to our past. The youths who have watched the movies can come here and relate to the park and its love for legends.” 

Other world of Soumitra

He added to the concept, “As you will see in the movie, Apu’s life was incomplete. So, we took that essence and have tried to symbolically depict that through our work, such as the windows here are incomplete. When the movie starts, Apu is seen entering with his wife, so I have put stairs to resemble that essence. The house has been named “Apur Bari.” The room above has been named A. K. Roy. The park will also have graphic projections of Soumitra Chatterjee walking down the balcony- a 3D experience with light and sound. The park will also have a library from where the books cannot be borrowed, rather one can sit and read in the park for as long as one wants.”

A common question might arise: if Soumitra Chatterjee was not a part of the first two movies, why has he only been included? Saibal Kar said: “Whenever we talk about Soumitra Chatterjee, automatically Ray comes forward as he played a huge role in Chatterjee’s life. So, the park also depicts how Soumitra Chatterjee was moulded by Ray and the masterpieces that they made together. Apu’s trilogy was one such masterpiece. And to consider a work a masterpiece, both its beginning and end should be perfect. Soumitra Chatterjee was the perfect ending to the Apu Trilogy.”

The park is a new concept and has an aesthetic touch. The park aims to attract teenagers and youths, it is family-friendly and open to all. This is the third theme park after the “Professor Shanku” theme park and “Sonar Kella” theme park. 

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