Remembering Abdullah Al Mamun on his 79th birth anniversary
Abdullah Al Mamun was a stalwart in the fields of theatre, television, and cinema in Bangladesh. The celebrated personality left behind a dynamic collection of works to his credit. The brilliant plays he wrote in his time are being staged to this day by his theatre troupe, Theatre, and other theatre companies.
The playwright-actor-director virtuoso passed away on August 21, 2008, at the age of 66. Today marks the stalwart's 79th Birth anniversary.
He got involved in the then Pakistan Television (PTV), later renamed Bangladesh Television (BTV), from its very start in 1965.
The telefiction "Shongshoptok", adapted and produced by Abdullah Al Mamun from Shahidullah Kaiser's novel, marked a pivotal point for the Bangladeshi television drama industry in the 80s. Abdullah Al Mamun was also responsible for ushering many stalwart actors into the fraternity.
Abdullah Al Mamun was one of the founding members of the theatre troupe, Theatre. The plays, "Meraj Fokirer Maa", "Meherjaan Arekbar", "Aynay Bondhur Mukh", "Tomrai", "Senapoti", "Subochon Nirbashone", "Kokilara", "Bibisaab", and "Dyasher Manush" are some of his most famous works, which continues to be staged till date.
He made his first movie "Angikar" in 1972, his other directorial works for the silver screen, "Sareng Bou", "Dui Jibon", "Akhoni Somoy" and "Dui Beyaier Kirti" were all commercial as well as critical successes. He won the National Film Award for best direction for both "Dui Jibon" and "Akhoni Somoy".
In his long performing-arts career, Mamun won many awards including the prestigious Ekushey Padak, Bangla Academy Literature Award, Alakta Sahitya Purashkar, and Tarokalok Padak.
"Mamun was a multidimensional mastermind. Bangladesh's television drama industry gained its initial momentum under his leadership while he made tremendous contributions to Bangladesh's theatre industry as well," expressed theatre personality Ramendu Majumdar. "I once asked him in which role he wants to be known the most, he said in the role of a playwright."
"Though he was used to multi-tasking, Mamun had the rare quality to maintain a fine balance," adds Ramendu Majumdar. "He was a hard-working person, at a time when technology wasn't much developed, he created a timeless creation as "Shongshoptok" and it will remain one of his biggest achievements ever."
"Mamun wrote plays keeping the limitation of the troupe in mind," shares virtuoso actor Ferdousi Majumder. "He created every character keeping in mind the actor best suited for the role; I consider myself extremely fortunate that he allowed me to get into the skin of such powerful characters."
In many of his notable works, Ferdousi Majumder helmed the lead role, inspired and motivated by her mentor, Abdullah Al Mamun. "He always motivated me, gave me the courage to overcome challenges as an actor," shares Ferdousi. "Whenever I had doubts about portraying a character, the way he used to encourage me and motivate me by saying, 'you must do this, you have to do this'- it was immensely helpful each time."
"Many people have talent, but only a few get a mentor who can help them hone that talent. Mamun provided an actor with that opportunity," adds Ferdousi Majumder. "There are so many talented directors, playwrights at present, yet no can ever fill the void Abdullah Al Mamun left; he is incomparable, irreplaceable."
"Abdullah Al Mamun was an exceptionally versatile artiste. He was successful in every path he pursued," reminisced theatre exponent Mamunur Rashid.
"He was a courageous person, never afraid to take on daunting productions. He came into the world of television, at a time when lack of modernism was eminent, and through his masterful creations, the golden era of television came into being and that is why he was a unique persona."
"We cannot celebrate his birth anniversary due to the ongoing lockdown, but today we remember him silently, he lives on in our hearts," expresses Ramendu Majumdar.