Team Montu Pilot come together to discuss its alluring premise
There’s a saying that hoichoi never disappoints when it comes to their unique content – and yet again, the leading Bengali entertainment platform has started streaming ‘Montu Pilot’. It is a powerful web series by Debaloy Bhattacharya highli ghting the largest and most popular ‘red light’ district of Kolkata (in Sonagachi) about the daily life of the sex workers in a fictionalised manner. Montu Pilot points out the discrimination faced by the sex workers of Sonagachi and how it is turning out to be an eye-opener for the audience.
To bring forth the multi-faceted issues prevalent in Sonagachi, or red-light areas in general, team Montu Pilot comprising of Saurav Das, Solanki, Chandrayee Ghosh, Sub rat Dutta and Debaloy Bhattacharya, got together to talk to the media professionals and at the same time, discuss the premise of the web show. This initiative was a joint effort by hoichoi and Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Commit tee or simply, Durbar. Established in 1992, Durbar has a collective of 65,000 sex workers in the state of West Bengal alone. They focus on women’s rights, others rights advocacy, anti-human trafficking, HIV/AIDS prevention and more such pivotal issues by running more than 50 free clinics with support from various organisations to create an alternative livelihood for sex workers in West Bengal.
The story of Montu Pilot begins with a kid who aspired to become a pilot. Instead he grew up to be a pimp, a courier of sex workers in the red-light area of the city called ‘NeelKuthi’. Thus, he became “Montu Pilot” (Saurav Das) to everyone.
Supervised by Bibi Jaan (Chandrayee Ghosh), Taufik (Kanchan Mullick) and The Doctor (Subrat Dutta), NeelKut hi is a ruthless place filled with lonely souls. Here comes Bhromor (Solanki). She is a simple village girl who is being smuggled and sold here. Montu Pilot unknowingly starts protecting her from the miseries of this place. It brings them closer. For Bhromor now destined to be a sex worker against her will, Montu is the only ray of hope. For Montu, he is in a state of denial. He is doomed, he can’t leave this place. Montu Pilot is a tragic story of a pimp who dreamt of being a pilot and a prostitute who dreamt of marrying her partner and starting a family. What will happen if they fall in love? Can a pimp and a prostitute be together? Will the horrors of NeelKuthi allow that?
Director Debaloy Bhattacharya said, “When I wrote this story, I had to do ample amount of research to get all the facts correct and showcase the ambience in its truest form for the audience to experience the plight of our lead characters. Montu Pilot, all in all, primarily is a tragic love story of two souls who were pushed by fate to meet in unforeseen circumstances and fall in love. I sincerely thank Durbar team to give us a platform here in Sonagachi to express our views and throw light at the issues being mitigated by them.”