Prominent jatra artiste Jyosna Chakraborty has a stage career that spans 52 years. The pity is that she is down and out financially despite her undeniable talent.
Jyosna started her career with the play “Shesh Rater Tara”, staged at Akua Morol Para in Mymensingh town in 1962. The play was directed by Abdur Razzaq.
Later, she bagged roles in plays and jatra palas. Jyosna remembers milestones in her career like “Kohinoor”, “Prodip Shikha”, “Kuashar Kanna”, “Paka Rasta”, “Ulka”, “Surya Mahal” and “Mastan Sundari O Jyosna”, among numerous others.
Says Jyosna, “I was introduced to Dr. Bhovesh Roy, a popular jatra artist of the town's Jubilee Ghat. I also took lessons in theatre and jatra pala for several years from Proddhot Sengupta, a prominent jatra figure in Mymensingh region.”
Jyosna is married to well-known jatra artiste Narayan Chakraborty, The couple has three daughters and three sons.
Jyosna worked with some jatra groups including Royal Opera of Nandail in Mymensingh and Bhaghya Laxmi of Khulna for several years before and after the Liberation War.
“I visited greater Mymensingh, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Dhaka, Pabna, Bogra, Sunamganj, Narsingdi as a popular jatra heroine and received much acclaim.” Jyosna also became associated with Bahurupi Natya Sangstha since its inception in 1975.
“M.A Alam Tota, founding member of Bahurupi and its play director contributed much to my acting career,” says Jyosna.
“We were mostly amateurs and never bargained with the organisation for a better financial deal,” says a nostalgic Jyosna.
Jyosna now suffers old age complications and visual impairment in addition to being laid low after a mild stroke on June 12 this year. “I am very feeble but cannot access medical care because of my poor financial situation,” laments Jyosna.
To make ends meet Jyosna along with her husband and daughter Durga Chokraborty make paper-bags at their rented house in Brahmapally.
The irony is that Mymensingh Zila Shilpakala Academy honoured five personalities including Jyosna with “Zila Shilpakala Academy Sammanona-2013” for contribution in their respective fields of art and culture on June 24 at its auditorium. Ramendu Majumder, internationally reputed theatre artiste and president of International Theatre Institute distributed crests and medals among the recipients.
Shahadat Hossain Khan Hilu, secretary of Bahurupi Natya Sangstha said that, cultural activists and artistes who are in dire straits like Jyosna should be financially assisted by the government for their immense contribution to our tradition and culture.