Tomalika Kormokar has over two decades experience in TV dramas and theatre. She has also bagged a National Film Award for her performance on the silver screen. Although she is a frequent face in all modes of media, Tomalika prefers to be more involved in theatre. She is still an active member of Arannyak Natya Dol.
After a long hiatus, Tomalika returns to the big screen with Humayun Ahmed's “Ghetu Putro Komola”.
The Daily Star recently had a tête-à-tête with Tomalika.
Tell us about your role in “Ghetu Putro Komola”.
Tomalika: I will play the mother of 'Ghetu Putro' in the movie. The eponymous role has been portrayed by a child actor named Mamun. Both the story of the film and my own character in the movie are brilliant. Most of all, it was a completely different experience to be working under the direction of Humayun Ahmed. The last time Humayun Ahmed returned to the country before his death, we all watched the film at Star Cineplex. I can still remember those times. Humayun Ahmed was very lively then.
Any special memory from the shooting sessions?
Tomalika: Definitely. There were many memorable moments. One day we were shooting near a pond at Nuhash Polli. Humayun Ahmed was sitting on the bank in front of the monitor. Mamun and I were doing a very emotional scene. I still remember Humayun Ahmed breaking into tears during the scene.
How did you get the role in “Ghetu Putro Komola”?
Tomalika: Many years ago, I worked in Humayun Ahmed's popular serial “Kothao Keu Nei”. Later, I also got the chance to work in another serial -- “Lilaboti” -- based on his own novel. Humayun Ahmed saw my performance in the serial and wanted me to work in his new movie. It was a great honour for me.
Contemporary artistes have a tendency to quit theatre after a while. What made you stick to your ideals?
Tomalika: If I have to point to any ideal, then I would say that the love for theatre kept me glued. Another reason may have been to receive instant audience feedback. Besides, I am not that busy with TV serials. I never drifted away from theatre. I'm ready to quit everything else for the stage.
Is a good artiste created purely by working in theatre?
Tomalika: No, I don't think that working in the theatre guarantees the creation of a great actor. An actor can be also created without association with theatre. But working on the stage keeps an artiste in regular practice. This paves the way for a variety in acting patterns and lets the artiste get better acquainted with changing trends.
How many theatre productions have you worked in?
Tomalika: Apart from two plays, I've performed in every production staged by Arannyak. My first stage experience was in “Pathor”. I also worked in “Rarang”, “Khela Khela”, “Joyjoyonti'” “Moyur Shinghashon”, “Ora Kodom Ali” and “Prakritojon”. I couldn't perform in “Shongkranti” and “Agunmukha” as I was out of the country at the time.
What do you hope to get out of life?
Tomalika: I want to die while working on the stage. This is what I want out of my life.
Were you also active in other branches of art?
Tomalika: I took lessons in dancing and singing. I was also a good painter. I also modelled. But I felt that I should concentrate on a single subject. So I dedicated myself to becoming an actress whom everyone would remember. To achieve that goal, I have had proper grooming in dancing and singing.
What makes you feel honoured?
Tomalika: I feel honoured when a director seeks my service for portraying a role that is extremely complex. It makes me happy to know that they consider me worthy of the challenge.
You've been acting for a long time. What do you miss most about the past?
Tomalika: I miss the rehearsals. We call it a director's media, but do not hold that mentality. Back then, there was a fair positive competition. I miss that. I also miss the times when everyone discussed the details of a drama. I miss the level of concentration put into a work. The actors also used to be friendly with each other then. I also miss working on just three cameras for BTV.