Shahana Sumi Versatility and verve
Shahana Sumi was known as Koinna in the theatre world for quite a while for her female lead role in a Prachyanat production of the same name alongside Azad Abul Kalam. She also played the lead role in the film “Nacholer Rani” -- directed by Wahiduzzaman Diamond -- that encircles the life and times of legendary Communist leader Ila Mitra, and of the Santal revolution she had spearheaded in Rajshahi in pre-Partition Bengal. On the small screen, she was familiar for her role in Giasuddin Selim's popular serial “Labonyoprobha”. She earned repute over a short period, due to her penchant for diverse, powerful roles.
However, there was a hiatus of about three years beginning in 2009, during which time she was seen neither on stage nor camera. Meanwhile, she got married to Tanim Mahmud, an IT executive by profession. Was it family restraints that kept her away from the audience?
“No. I kept working after my wedding. My baby boy Shanan was born and I got really busy with him, and that is when I drifted apart a little,” Sumi explained.
Sumi is well placed to be a powerful actor. She completed her Honours and Masters in Dramatics at the University of Dhaka. Academically trained in all branches of drama, she shifted her attention to scriptwriting during this time, and it did not take her long to succeed. As a scriptwriter, she debuted with the television play “Nakshi Kantha”, directed by Matia Banu Shuku.
“It was not easy at the beginning since I had to constantly attend to my child. Yet, my passion for writing helped me overcome it,” said Sumi.
From 2013 onwards, she has begun to appear on TV as well as on stage. A multi-faceted Sumi continues with script-writing as well. “It's been about five months since I started again. But from now on, I'll be flitting between acting and scripting, I guess,” she informed.
About her present assignments, she said, “At present, I'm busy with two scripts for the upcoming Eid. Besides, I'm appearing in 'Double Portrait', a drama serial on Boishakhi TV and I'll also be appearing in 'Bonophuler Gaan' by Abul Hayat to be aired on BTV.”