A FATEFUL BEGINNING
My journey in this arena began in my first year of education in Jagannath College in Chatmohar Upazila, Pabna, through the various cultural activities I partook in. I was involved in Pothnatok and several occasion-specific plays. Aside from that, I worked in theatre troupes in Bangladesh, under the supervision of Mamunur Rashid. I joined Aranyak Natyadal in 1993, and from then onwards, I worked regularly in theatre. In 2000, a drama written by me was first showcased in Ekushey Television, directed by Saidul Anam Tutul.
Truth be told, I hadn’t planned on following this career path, so there isn’t much of any inspiration that drove me to choose this. However, when my first written play’s script was praised by Tutul Bhai, I developed a liking towards my work. I also built my self-confidence from that. Tutul Bhai’s praise was what inspired me to pursue writing scripts for plays as a career.
I have no unfulfilled desires. I have honestly never given much thought into fulfilment or unfulfilment because there isn’t an end to desires. I wanted to associate myself with culture, and I have been able to do that. I’m happy with whatever I have achieved in life.
Tutul Bhai also directed my second drama, where Humayun Faridi Bhai acted. He was a film megastar back then, and did dramas sparingly, but agreed to work on my project nonetheless. This was the first and last time I was able to work with Faridi Bhai. We were all in a van, where the last scene was being shot. There wasn’t any dialogue in that scene, but the setting was that people were laughing in joy. After taking multiple shots, Tutul Bhai still wasn’t satisfied with the laughter. Faridi Bhai ensured that the next shot will go well. He started cracking jokes during the scene and the other co-actors genuinely couldn’t stop laughing. I still remember that scene, and whenever I think of it, I’m filled with happiness.
I don’t count reading or writing as leisure hobbies, since they are part of my profession. I spend my free time chatting with my family, drinking tea and having friendly banter.
From adolescence till now, I have been a huge fan of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. I wrote about him in my HSC essay about a favourite writer. I had read some books by him during that time, but I wrote a lot of the essay from my heart. I received a very high score in Bangla for that essay.
I love any playwright who makes good plays. I especially love the writing of Mamunur Rashid and Abdullah Al Mamun. Humayun Ahmed and Akhtar Ferdous Rana are also some of my favourites. From playwrights of my time, I like the works of Masum Reza, Pantha Shahriar and Hafiz Ridu, among others. I like the plays of many newcomers, but I don’t think there are many playwrights in the making now as there was in the past. Playwrights are going through a tough phase. Saidul Anam Tutul and Salauddin Lavlu are my favourite directors. I’ve worked with them on most of my projects. Other than that, I like the works of Animesh Aich, Golam Sohrab Dodul, Sagar Jahan, Masud Shezan, Shokal Ahmed and Dipu Hazra, among several others. My favourite actors include Humayun Faridi, Fazlur Rahman Babu, Nazma Anwar, Shomi Kaiser, Mosharraf Karim, Chanchal Chowdhury and Siam Ahmed. From the contemporary female actors, I think Mehzabien is full of potential. If directors give her good projects, she’s capable of going very far.
Interviewed by Akhand Jahid
Transcribed by Amina Hossain