Keramat Moula's lifelong theatrical journey yields recognition
Eminent actor, teacher, media and cultural personality Keramat Moula's acting career spans 57 years. Yesterday, the artiste received the highest civilian award “Ekushey Padak” from the Prime Minister in a programme held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium of the capital. He shared his contributions to theatre and acting and expressed his feelings with The Daily Star after he was nominated for the award.
“Getting the state's recognition is a matter of unattained joy. I express my gratitude to the state authority, my friends and fellow theatre activists who have made me who I am today. We have many unfinished theatrical and cultural works to carry forward,” said Keramat Moula.
Moula was a student of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin and eminent artist Mustafa Monwar. When he was a student at the department of Drawing and Painting of Dhaka Art College (Presently Faculty of Fine Arts), he actively took part in the glorious students' movements of 1960s. As a member of Bangladesh Chhatra Union, he along with eminent personalities including Saifuddin Manik, Rashed Khan Menon and Haider Akbar Khan Rono adorned the Shaheed Minar, which was under the supervision of Dhaka Medical College (DMC) back then.
“I, with eminent artist Rafiqunnabi, filmmakers Mahiuddin Faruk and SAQ Mainuddin, Anwar Hossain, Hasan Ahmed, Kazi Qaiyum, Firoz Mahmud and Shamsul Islam would adorn the streets stretching from Shaheed Minar to Azimpur Graveyard, where tombs of several Language martyrs are located. I was also rusticated from Dhaka Art College, for my involvement in 1962's Education Movement. We would secretly publicise posters and banners marking Ekushey February. Mustafa Monwar sir inspired and emboldened us in doing the activities. He also designed big sized banners on Ekushey,” said Keramat Moula.
He was also actively involved with the glorious theatre movement, of the country, before and after independence.
“Centering on Shaheed Minar, a Bangalee conscience formed on our psyches. At that time, we staged a Tagore Play 'Daakghar' at Dhaka Art College. Prior to that, I directed and acted in a drama 'Bharatey Chai' in 1956. The play, written by Narayan Gangopadhyay, was staged at Shantinagar Club premises. Later, I was involved with the theatre troupes 'Shilpa O Shyamoli', 'Drama Circle', 'Chaturanga Natya Goshthi' and 'Charonik Shilpa Goshthi'. After independence, 'Charonik Shilpa Goshthi' first took a Bangladeshi production “Buro Shaliker Ghar-e Ro” (Written by Michael Madhusudan Datta) to Calcutta (now Kolkata), India. Directed by Laila Samad, we staged the production at Garh-er Math, Calcutta,” added the artiste.
In 1974, Keramat Moula joined noted troupe “Theatre” with urge from legendary theatre personality Abdullah Al Mamun. He witnessed the division of the troupe and found himself in Theatre Arambag where he enacted many roles in “Jamidar Darpan”, “Khoto Bikkhoto”, “Rakkhushi” and “Mahapurush”. Keramat Moula directed and acted in “Mahapurush”.
Now, with request from eminent theatre personality Ramendu Majumdar, Keramat Moula is involved with Theatre. Moula still enacts a role of an elderly person in the Theatre production “Payer Aowaj Pawa Jaye”. The seasoned actor was also the first art director of BTV in 1965.
Keramat Moula's prominence in the field of acting ranges from theatre, TV plays and serials, feature and short films. He received widespread fame donning many negative roles, in famous films including “Surjadighal Bari”, “Mahanayak”, “Rajlokkhi Srikanta”, “Onno Jibon”, “Ekhon-i Shomoy”, “Padma Nodir Majhi”, “Dipu Number-2”, “Dukhai”, “Nandito Norokey” and “Molla Barir Bou”.
He acted in a much popular TV plays-- “”Mukhora Romoni Boshikoron”, “Apon Bhubon”, “Abar Ashibo Phirey”, “Jibon Jemon” “Ek Mukti Joddhar Kahini”, “Ebong Bikel Chartaye Apni Mara Jaben” and Neemphul” (written and directed by Humayun Ahmed). Amongst the popular TV serials, he enacted in “Jonaki Jwole”, “Bohubrihi” and “Gohor Gachhii”.
For his contributions to theatre and films, Keramat Moula received many awards and honours. He received award for the best acting in “Payer Awaj Pawa Jaye” in the second International Theatre Festival, held in Seoul, South Korea. His other awards include the First National Television Award in the category “Best Art Direction” (1975), Shilpakala Academy Award for acting (1978), Utpal Datta Shammanona, Kolkata (2006).
Born to Abdul Kader and Kaniz Fatema on November 15, 1942 in Jessore, Keramat Moula is the sixth of his parents' seven offspring. He was married to Nazma Begum.
Moula is a part-time teacher at the Television, Film and Media Department of Stamford University. Apart from that, he is a presidium member of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation; an executive member of International Theatre Institute (ITI)- Bangladesh Kendra.
About theatre and culture, Keramat Moula thinks “Politics is closely involved with theatre. If culture does not flourish properly, politics of a country will not grow in healthy manner. If the core of culture flourished, politics would be more consolidated. I believe, the way the theatre activists incessantly work for the culture and society as a whole and even without payment, it is their solemnest expression of patriotism. The conscience of Ekushey is strongly held in my heart. I always inspire people to buy and read books. We have yet to go a long way to diffuse pure culture and to tread on its atmosphere.”