Television's Eid Treats
Trying and Tiring!
This time Eid started with a jolt. I had somehow convinced my Hindi-serial-addicted family to watch the Eid programmes of Bangladeshi channels at least for the three government-declared Eid holidays. With the TV remote in hand (after a long, long time), I was desperately trying to find a programme amidst the shoal of advertisements, when the news of a tremor appeared in red lines. We hardly knew then that a second one was making its way and would soon bring out the entire family on the street, straight from the living room.
Muna (Subarna Mustafa) and Baaker Bhai (Asaduzzaman Noor) make a come back through
Redwan Rony's script on Desh TV
As Saturday had been confirmed as the Eid day, I resolved to place myself in front of the magic box from Friday evening. Right after Iftar, all the channels started airing Eid programmes, among which was the mandatory song “O mon Romjaner o-e rojar sheshe elo khusir Eid. However, no channel could beat BTV (Bangladesh Television) at that; not only did they stick to the tradition of airing the song but the way of presenting had not changed much either. A whole bunch of people, starting from long-forgotten BTV enlisted singers to someone who knows someone who is a someone in our national channel or the ruling party, wearing their most glittery dresses stood in line swaying gleefully, some actually singing, others just trying their best not to mar the lipstick on their lips. Other channels mostly aired popular dramas or shows from previous Eids, which was good news for me, since amidst so many channels we usually end up missing a good number of programmes. One such old programme was RTV's children's drama “Bhooter Baccha Tooth” that I enjoyed in spite of the weak direction and casting. However, ATN Bangla's “Suicide” that started at 8:00 pm was a treat. Abul Hayat, playing the father, fed up with life and apathy of his family members, decides to kill himself. The drama shows the reaction of his family members about his decision. Except for Dolly Johur, who plays the wife, other members' reaction sometimes appeared a little over-acted. The director could have done without the apparently comical scenes with Apurba and the chaa-wala for the script had enough fun material; without the extra forced humour.
Before getting thrown out of the house by the sudden expression of joy by mother earth in the form of a tremor, I did manage to watch two other dramas: “Poltu Bhai Swagotom” and “Out of Focus” at ATN Bangla, none of which was out of the ordinary. However, the drama Mother Nature staged on the eve of Eid was extraordinary for we had quite a pre-Eid Purnamilani (get-togather) with our apartment dwellers and neighbours on the street in our nightgowns. Having enough of drama for one night I decided to soothe my mind with some songs and NTV's old Eid programme “Ontorotoro Aaj Ganer Bhubone” provided just that with Runa Laila and Sabina Yesmin delivering some hit numbers along with some new ones.
On Eid day it wasn't until 10:30 am that I could take a short peek at the television programmes and found Keka Choudhury, the popular chef, sitting with a whole lot of models at Channel i's “Purabi Eid Ananda”, some sort of game show. I find it difficult to understand why the game shows at such magazine programmes always have to be so lame. Why in the world would one enjoy looking at models trying to separate fifteen different spices from the tiniest bowl possible? A game show is either supposed to thrill or amuse people and give them a sense of participation. Programme designers need to keep in mind that people watching the show in TV are not present in the stage.
Mosharraf Karim and Apurba have acted in most of the Eid dramas this year.
An interesting drama named “Tonu nai…..” on the issue of accidents and untimely deaths caused by unfit vessels that escape the eye of law and overloading of passengers, was aired on the morning of Eid day on Channel i. The distress expressed by Mossharaf Karim, who lost his love Tisha on one such accident and his helplessness in the entire situation was portrayed quite effortlessly.
Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I am an avid fan of Humayun Ahmed's novels and drama characters, thus throughout Ramadan I was eagerly waiting for Redwan Rony's promise to bring “Baaker Bhai” back to life. The Eid programme schedule provided at the newspaper however printed the wrong title and timing for the drama and I had to digest hoards of advertisements before the yellow clad Mosharraf Karim appeared in the TV screen as “Himu”. I was disheartened; Mosharraf Karim although is a brilliant actor, just does not match my idea of Himu, especially not with his obviously fake beard and even more phony “Himu-smile”. The drama started a few minutes before 10 pm and then from 10:00 to 10:15 there was again a commercial break, which I thought I could take, until the second ad-break came after ten minutes and this time lasted for a whole twenty-five minutes. My only consolation was viewing “Baaker Bhai” at the last scene and that was what motivated me to watch the next episode. However, more disappointment awaited me on the next episode, as Redwan Rony, trying to recreate all the characters around Himu and other popular characters of Humayun Ahmed, forgot to develop a strong storyline. The drama appeared like pieces of scene somehow patched together in an hour's slot, whereas the actual airing was only for twenty minutes.
Since the advent of package programmes, complaints about 'too many ads' have been incessant, however this time advertisements went to the extent of cutting dramas short to accommodate ad time. One good example is Ekushey TV's “Amader Meherjaan” that ended abruptly, as if cut short to match the one-hour slot and include all the advertisements that sponsored the drama. For me the most interesting show on Eid day which was luckily not hindered by advertisements was “Bhalobashar Bangladesh”, where politicians and VIP's presented their “talents”. It was amusing to watch H M Ershad, in his gorgeous indigo panjabi, reciting one of his self- written poems and listening to Barrister Nazmul Huda singing “Yesterday my troubles were so far away…”; some words can ring so true. Amidst other hilarious and out-of the world delivery, Asaduzzaman Noor's recitation was definitely a rare treat. Fahmida Nabi's live programme at Boishahki was the last delicacy for Eid day, before I switched off the TV and went to sleep.
My plan to watch Eid programmes during the three government holidays had to be cut short on the second day because of family gatherings. Nevertheless I did manage to watch Humayun Ahmed's drama “Amra Jege Achi”, an intelligent and funny way of solving the hype about suicide that nowadays have become so common. I wish there truly were “Amra Jege Achi” teams in Bangladesh at least for all the women who are victims of eve-teasing and domestic-violence. That drama plus the usual Jabber Ali comedy this time named as “Jabber Alir Takar Khela” aired at Channel i, brought an end to my TV viewing and I had to return the remote to its previous owners and get back to work-life.
(R) thedailystar.net 2010