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Exclusive! Raj Chakraborty on Habji Gabji: Subhashree and I try to find alternatives to mobile phones for Yuvaan

The film that also stars Parambrata Chatterjee in the lead will release this Friday

  • Shamayita Chakraborty

Last Updated: 07.42 AM, May 30, 2022

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Exclusive! Raj Chakraborty on Habji Gabji: Subhashree and I try to find alternatives to mobile phones for Yuvaan
Raj Chakraborty and Parambrata Chatterjee

Raj Chakraborty’s Habji Gabji which features Parambrata Chatterjee and Subhashree Ganguly in lead is set to release in theatres on Friday. The film talks about how mobile phone addiction affects a child. According to the director, gaming disorder is a dark reality that no one can escape these days. In an exclusive chat with OTTPlay, Raj talked about how he took a cue from his life to make the film and how he and Subhashree plan to keep their son Yuvaan away from gaming addiction.

Talking about Yuvaan, Raj said that he tries to come up with new ideas to engage his son. “Yuvaan, our son, is still too young to play games on the phone. But he is genuinely attracted to it. We know that we cannot keep him away from mobile phones forever but we can delay it. What we try to do is to give him alternatives. We encourage him to watch moving images on big screens like TV. He goes to a nearby park to play. He loves cars and we take him out on drives. Essentially, we try to innovate new ways of keeping him busy,” he told us.

By the time Raj and Subhashree got to know about her pregnancy, they were aware of the concept of gaming disorder. “We shot this film at the beginning of 2019. Before that, we did extensive research. By the time we got to know that we were going to be parents, we were well aware of this problem. While we did not make any parenting decisions then, we learnt a lot,” Raj said, adding, “It is not just Subhashree and I. there are other people at home and they have mobile phones. Yuvaan will have access to a mobile phone anyway. We’ll try to keep him away from the dangerous games. That’s the plan.”

It was Raj’s real-life experience that encouraged him to pick this topic. “I decided to work on Habji Gabji soon after I made Parineeta in 2019. I have been seeing people with gaming disorders in my family. My niece Srishti stays with us. I have seen the way her behaviour pattern changed. There was a time when she used to engage with us. She used to be excited about seeing her favourite food. Then came the game. She started sitting in a corner of our sofa and kept on playing some games. Her communication went down drastically during that time. She stopped participating in our family engagements and got isolated. She was about 19 then. She then decided to leave my house because she thought she wasn’t getting enough time for herself. She wasn’t alone. During that period, I encountered several people whose family members were obsessively getting hooked on online gaming,” the director said.

Gaming disorder is a worldwide reality that is keeping doctors and scientists busy all over the world. Raj finds it disturbing. “We hardly know the cure for it. But when I think about the inception of this habit, I realise it is the parents who are to be blamed. Using a mobile phone is not just necessary for us. It has become a habit, so much so that we check our phones even when we meet people socially. We don’t even care about social etiquette. It is the parents who offer their mobile phones to the children to calm them down. When a child sees their parents constantly using their mobile phone, they learn that. The colour, movement and screen light of mobile phones attract children. They often calm down when they get hold of a mobile screen and most parents see this as momentary relief. We need to find parenting ways to give more time to children and keep them engaged,” he said.

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