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Chokher Bali
Directed by Rituparno Ghosh
Produced by Shree Venkatesh Films,
Shrikant Mohta, Mahendra Soni
Written by Rituparno Ghosh (screenplay)
Rabindranath Tagore (novel)
Starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Prasenjit Chatterjee
Raima Sen
Tota Roy Chowdhury
Music by Debajyoti Mishra
Release date(s) 9 August 2003 (Locarno Film Festival)
Running time 167 min
Language Bengali

Chokher Bali (literally translated to "sand in the eye", figuratively to "constant irritant") (Bengali: চোখের বালি) is a Bengali film based on the novel Chokher Bali by Rabindranath Tagore. It was directed by Rituparno Ghosh in 2003 and stars Prasenjit as Mahendra, Aishwarya Rai as Binodini and Raima Sen as Ashalata. Ashalata and Binodini refer to each other as Chokher Bali. The other major characters are played by Lily Chakravarty (as Rajlakshmi, Mahendra's mother) and Tota Roy Chowdhury (as Behari, Rajlakshmi's adopted son). The film was later dubbed into Hindi and was released internationally under that language.



The book, Binodini, is the story of a young woman, who is left to her own devices when her sickly husband dies soon after they are married. She returns to her village and lives there for a couple of months until she sees one of her relations passing by there on her way to somewhere else. Binodini hails the woman and the two soon agree that it would be best if Binodini came to live with the woman and her son, Mahendra (who, by the way, was one of the first to see Binodini's photo when she was unwed and up for grabs yet refused her on account of his being "unready for marriage"). Now, when the two arrive the woman's son and his new bride are in the throes of passion, constantly sneaking off to be alone together; this infatuation does not last long, however, when Mahendra begins to see that his wife's friend, Binodini, is more his type. The story details the lives of these three and Mahendra's best friend as they deal with certain issues as distrust, adultery, lies, and numerous fallings-out between them. The movie correctly depicts what Tagore so skillfully wrote and is a sad, stirring tale of the deceit and sorrow that come from being unsatisfied and unhappy.


The film's background score by Debajyoti Mishra is suitable to the tone of the film, and contains no playback singing. Sreela Majumdar dubbed for Aishwarya Rai in this Bengali film and Sudipta Chakraborty dubbed for Raima Sen.


In olden days in Bengal, women and young girls who were best friends would often set a common code-name for themselves and address each other by that name. In this story, two friends, Binodini and Ashalata call each other 'Chokher Bali.'


Other titles

  • Choker Bali: A Passion Play (International: English title)
  • Sand in the Eye (India: English title)
  • Binodini (India: English title)

Award Nomination

Chokher Bali was nominated for the Golden Leopard (Best Film) award at the Locarno International Film Festival [1] in 2003.

External links



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