[WATCH NOW] Poramaati-- A tale from ’71
On a small stage a few people were arranging the set amid light and shadow with distant whispers among themselves. The audience was eagerly waiting in silence for the play to begin. There was no splendour, rather a silence of mourning filled the small auditorium. And then the event began with reverence in honour of the intellectual sons of this soil who became martyrs on this very day in 1971.
To inspire the people of Bangladesh to bear the spirit of our independence in 1971 in their minds, and to look forward to build a nation free for all and free of exploitation and repression, Podatik-Bangladesh, a theatre troupe, presented their 31st production "Poramaati" or scorched earth, at The Daily Star Center on December 14, 2015, to observe the Martyred Intellectuals Day.
The play, written by Babul Biswas, was set against the backdrop of a war time scene, with a few people stuck in a gloomy room, scared for their lives from a killer. It began with a crescendo of gunfire nearby. The characters were frozen with fear in a quagmire of conflicting opinions, suspicion, and identity crisis, leading to the deaths of one after another. There was no way to say why they were killed or who were their killers, until finally new dawn came to bring an end to it.
Powerful dialogues along with soundtracks of gunfire and montage of video clips of war scenes added to establish the intense ambience for the play that kept the audience thrilled, enchanted, and eager to know what happens next.
"We are living through a time of great confusion when people who want to destroy the brilliant minds of the nation are masked among us as intellectuals who say one thing and have something else as their intention, hiding the truth from the present generation. We don't know who is there left to trust and are asking what our role is in this moment of crisis. Yet, we believe, the true spirit of Liberation will enlighten us through those who hold on to them through thick and thin, and lead us to a new dawn," Dr Irene Parveen Lopa, director of the play, told The Daily Star.
Selim Shamsul Huda Chowdhury was the director of art and photography of the play.
President of International Theatre Institute (ITI) and noted theatre activist Ramendu Majumder was present in the event.