Vol. 5 Num 116 Sat. September 18, 2004  

'Professionalism is must for the development of theatre'--Pijush Bandyopadhyay

Pijush is one of those intrepid TV performers who have acquired vast experience in theatre. The founder member of Dhaka Theatre, Pijush says, 'I started my theatre activities when I was just a schoolboy. After the Independence, I first joined theatrical group Bahubachan. Later, I shifted to Natyachakra. In 1973, I along with some freedom fighters like Nasiruddin Yousuff, Selim Al Deen and others established Dhaka Theatre. As a theatre activist, I have performed in most of the Dhaka Theatre productions. I am still active in the group work.'

After garnering adequate experience in theatre, Pijush has emerged as a theatre play director. Pijush says, 'Recently, I have directed a play on woman trafficking titled Meenkanya, which is the first residential camp- based production in Bangladesh. It is a Bangladesh-India joint venture production. Activists from different theatrical groups of Chittagong as well as Dhaka have performed in Meenkanya.

'Usually these types of sensitive issue-based plays become a kind of slogan because of poor direction. However, those who have watched Meenkanya have found aesthetic quality and have appreciated my directorial work as a successful theatre production.

'I want to direct more plays for different theatrical groups, as the job is really creative, interesting and challenging. Earlier, I directed Ekatturer Khudiram, a Samay production. Moreover, I am the director as well as the playwright of Ekatturer Galpo, which was staged in different states of USA. I think the theatre activists of the country, alongside working for their own groups, should be allowed to work freelance for the other groups as well. In fact, introduction of professionalism is a must for the development of theatre practice in Bangladesh.'

Pijush is not satisfied with the present scenario of our theatre. As he says, 'A few things are immediately needed for the improvement of the present condition. First of all government patronage is essential. Secondly, theatre activists, printing media and the intellectuals of the country should work together for the development of theatre.

'Moreover, as we are suffering from crisis of good scripts, Bangla Academy should take up the responsibility of publishing translations of the foreign classical plays. Many have so far translated foreign plays, but most of them lack adequate quality to be staged. If Bangla Academy successfully carries on the task then the major obstacle for standard theatre can be reduced considerably.

'If all the theatre professionals work with commitment, and not care about their personal interest, Bangladeshi theatre will go a long way.'

Pijush is an enlisted television actor since 1973. He has won the heart of the viewers with his diversified acting. The protagonist of the first television serial Shokal Shondhya, Pijush says, 'To be a bold TV actor one should maintain some basic requirements. Many artistes lack these because of their commercial tendency. Before acting one should mentally and physically prepare himself for the very character. But, most of the young artistes are not doing that. However, I am very impressed with the package drama programme. A large number of quality performers, directors, playwrights, technical crews are doing some remarkable jobs under package drama programme.'

Pijush has also directed some TV plays. Moreover, he is an enlisted Radio artiste.

Having performed in the cinema, he says, 'I have acted in mainstream films, alternative films and short films. I was the protagonist of the first alternative movie Aagami. I enjoyed my performance in the film Ekatturer Jishu. Moreover, I have acted in 12 mainstream films.'

Though Pijush is very happy with the alternative film movement, he is not pleased with the current situation of the mainstream movie. He says, 'The films like Matir Moyna and others are very encouraging sign for Bangladeshi films, but the condition of the mainstream films is disastrous.'

Along with his long acting career, Pijush is a good reciter. The theatre scene in Dhaka is much brighter with the presence of Pijush.

Pijush Bandyopadhyay in the TV drama serial Amar Kotha Likhun