Manoj Kumar Pramanik has been entertaining audiences for many years with his performances in television projects, films and web shows.
In a recent chat, he talked about his Durga Puja plans and upcoming ventures with The Daily Star.
"I am celebrating Durga Puja in Naogaon, as I usually do," says Manoj, "however, due to the pandemic, the celebrations will be limited this time."
Manoj misses the grand celebrations at his hometown that he grew up with.
"Celebrations in the village differs from the programmes in the city," shares Manoj. "We observe the festival at the Bazaar near the river, located close to our house," he adds.
The Barowari Puja, the aarti, beats of dhaak and colours of the festival are all special to Manoj.
"After the aarti, small competitions would take place where prizes were distributed," he shares. "We enjoyed the Jatra, which would take place from midnight till dawn."
However, due to religious fundamentalism, the practice has been discouraged since the last few years, mentioned Manoj.
Shorot (early autumn), is Manoj's favourite season of the year and incidentally, Durga Puja is a shorot festival.
"As children, we would wait for Dashami, and the day after," smiles Manoj. "Our Thakuma would pay us Pronami of BDT 2, and when we were a bit older, we got BDT 5. At that time, this amount was a lot for us. With that Pronami, we would buy our favourite things from the fair."
Manoj is spending time with his family on Durga Puja. "People outside the capital are not very aware of the risks of Covid-19," says Manoj. "But my family has been careful since the outbreak, and we will prioritise our health in all gatherings."
The actor also shared that an interesting ritual takes place at his home a day after Dashami. "From fishermen to betel leaf sellers, all kinds of small traders come to our home to offer their products to us," he explains.
"In exchange, we offer them traditional feasts, chira, muri and naru along with some amount of money as tokens of love. This is auspicious to us."
Manoj is fond of his mother's cooking. "She is an expert at keeping the authentic, traditional Bengali taste in the dishes she cooks," he explains. "Among the sweets, I like the motichur laddoo and coconut milk naru made by Maa the most."
Manoj recently worked in the Puja special tele-fiction Bhoirobi, directed by Goutam Koiri. "My co-star in this project is a Japanese woman. Her name is Mae Watanabe. She is settled in Bangladesh. She runs an organisation called Ekmartta HandiCraft Factory, that works for the underprivileged and vulnerable children since 2003."
On the other hand, the actor was featured in the Binge original series Nishiddho Bashor and will be seen in Twin Returns on the same platform. He also plays a part in the Hoichoi original, Taqdeer.
Manoj is further occupied with numerous TVCs and web originals. He will start shooting for his upcoming film Bhalobasha Pritilota, from the 29th of this month.