• Thursday, October 02, 2014

Television of a lifetime

A family affair & the king's crown

Faridur Reza Sagor

Continued from Vol 01 Issue 34

Mustafa Monowar
Mustafa Monowar

Mustafa Monowar was the main producer of the drama Roktokorobi. And his assistant producer was Mustafizur Rahman. Dilshad Khanom, younger sister of Dilara Hashem, played the character of Nandini. I must mention that nowadays many from the same family are working on TV, but this culture was prevalent even on the early days. Dilshad Khanom had three sisters: Suraiya Khanom, Dilshad Hashem and Dilara Hashem. All three were involved in many ways to television. Rini Reza, Shampa Reza, Nipa Reza, all performed in many television programmes. Now, even second and third generation of actors is on TV. Not only in TV dramas, mother-daughter anchoring news programmes or doing dance performances at the same time.  For example, Rumana Chowdhury and Fariha Chowdhury were news anchors. And Sultana Haider and Aruna Haider did dance performances. It happened behind the camera too. Therefore, it can be said that being a part of television can become a family profession.
Renowned set-designer Rezaul Karim's son Pantha Reza is now a cinematographer. There are many examples of a “TV family”. Everyone knows how Ramendra Majumder and Abul Hayat family is involved in TV. Even in TV commercials we see the trend of family involvement. Zahid-Mou, or Moushumi-Omar Sunny appeared on-screen with their children. This family affair is a big difference in television and film industry. Television is family friendly or can be enjoyed with the family – and this is probably the main reason behind its popularity.
Calling someone “Sir” came very late in television. It wasn't there during Pakistan period, not even in the early days of Bangladesh television. Then, any senior officers or artistes used to be called bhai (brother). The new organogram and the administrative structure has probably diminished some of the creativity of the television industry. Although Mustafa Monowar was the producer of Roktokorobi he was also the General Manager of BTV. As GM of BTV, he had many responsibilities yet he had no less dedication in making Roktokorobi. Therefore, he wasn't there only to see through the production to the end, he took immense care in making the production as perfectly as possible. All the staff working on the project poured out their utmost dedication as well. Recording of the drama was done at night – the whole night. One night, all the artistes were ready to shoot since the evening. Raja and Kishor were in front of the camera. Jamaluddin Hossain played the character Raja and Kishore was played by Saidul Anam Tutul. In front of the makeup room, Jamaluddin Hossain complained to Mustafa Monowar, “Montu Bhai, since you've become General Manager, I am getting less acting opportunities”. Mustafa Monowar replied, “Maybe you're getting less opportunities but getting better roles in bigger projects. By the way, who made the crown you are wearing”?
Everyone started looking for Mustafizur Rahman. Art director Anowar Hossain made the crown with much thought, but Mustafa Monowar didn't like it. He asked for a lot more intricate work on the crown. He sat in the makeup room and got busy with the crown. It was made of paper – more brushes and colours were brought. All the crew and artistes waiting, Mustafa Monowar's mind was only on the crown. Shooting started in the morning, after the morning prayers. All waited the whole night; no one uttered a word for food or when the shooting was to start. Some may have peeked at the makeup room only to see Mustafa Monowar busy redecorating the crown. No one was annoyed after seeing the “King's Crown”. All knew that the audience would say, “Wow! The King from the pages of the book has come alive on-screen”. Yes! Just for that comment and satisfaction from the audience everyone waited through the night.        

The writer is Managing Director, Channel i
To be continued...
(Translated by Zia Nazmul Islam)

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2014

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