Renowned TV playwright Masum Reza catapulted into the spotlight with his popular mega serial “Ronger Manush” several years ago. He also caught public attention with his scripts for theatre troupe Desh Natok and the film “Molla Barir Bou”. Now his hands are full with scripting many plays.
The talented playwright-screenplay writer spoke to The Daily Star on various facets of his professional life:
What was your first play?
Masum Reza: A documentary on Chand Ali. It came about when I went to watch the stage play “Khapa Pagler Peachal” at Bangla Academy. On my arrival in Kushtia, I wrote the script for the documentary, casting my close circle.
Since when have you been associated with Desh Natok?
Masum Reza: Since 1988, and I'm still going strong with the troupe.
What do you look to portray through your plays?
Masum Reza: Art. That is why actors should not confine to one medium of performance. I wrote several plays like “Nittapuran” for Desh Natok. Every play of mine is like a slice of life. I always try to portray powerful emotions through them.
What was your first major work for television?
Masum Reza: “Koitab”, directed by Salahuddin Lavlu. It cast great actors of that time Golam Mostafa, Aly Zaker, Khaled Khan and Shirin Khan Moni. Lavlu and I received many congratulatory phone calls after the play went on air.
Tell us how you conceived “Ronger Manush”.
Masum Reza: It was named “Ronger Manush” after I fell in love with the colourful picture of rural life. I tried to portray that in the play. I wrote a half portion of the song for the serial while the rest was written by accomplished playwright Selim Al Deen. To me, we could able to create a new stream through “Ronger Manush”.
“Ronger Manush” was followed by a number of plays in a similar genre; what do you think about that?
Masum Reza: This mega-serial transformed the contours of TV plays, much like a river which changes its course. I'm very proud of it. In fact, if “Ronger Manush” had been scripted by someone else, I too would have been inspired by it.
Is it tough for the viewer to focus on a TV play, interspersed between big volumes of TVCs?
Masum Reza: I don't want blame commercials or TV plays. For me, my art is like my child; other playwrights and directors should also approach a play with affection. It is a pity that plays are not done with more dedication.