Vol. 4 Num 273 Fri. March 05, 2004  

Celebrity couple
A dedicated couple in drama lane
An evening with M Hamid and Falguni Hamid

The Hamid duo, especially M Hamid, holds a special place in the theatre movement of the country. Professionally, director (training) of NIMCO, M Hamid is currently the president of the popular theatrical group Natyachakra. When he was the DUCSU cultural secretary, he introduced stage shows at the campus to entertain the students.

Hamid says, 'As a student of Jagannath College, I appeared for the first time on stage in the play Shurjamahal by Kalyan Mitra in the main character. I also participated in the drama competition of the Mohsin Hall. When I was the DUCSU cultural secretary, I along with my friends, established the campus-based group Natyachakra in September 1972. I was the conveynor of the fifteen-member committee. In those days, we staged regular shows on the campus. Later on, Natyachakra was modified like other traditional theatrical groups.'

Although Falguni started as a journalist in The Banglar Bani, she had a deep passion for art and literature, particularly for acting. She passed the television audition in 1978 and joined Natyachakra.

Since then she has been working as a playwright, director and producer. She also has a great knack for dress designing. 'In fact, at present I pay more attention on designing and making of plays than acting.'

Falguni is the owner of 'Tele Real LTD.', the first production house in the country. As a regular member of Natyachakra, she has acted in 12 plays. She says, 'The role that I have enjoyed most is that of Kajoli in the play Protikkhar Prohor. In theatre, my favourite performers are Aly Zaker, Ferdousi Majumdar, Momtazuddin Ahmed and Shimul Yousuff.'

As a theatrical activist, M Hamid likes Rabindranath Tagore, Brecht and Shakespeare. He admires Nasiruddin Yousuff, Peter Brook, Ajitesh Bandopadhyay and Shombhu Mitra as directors. He says, 'So far I have directed eight plays for Natyachakra and have also performed in eight plays. I have adapted Protikkhar Prohor from Sartre's A Man Without Shadow and have written a patha natok (street drama)-Remote Control. I have worked with Bangladesh Television since 1980 but theatre is my greatest passion.'

Hamid was the Director (programme) in BTV. He considers BTV as a dying horse. He says, 'During Pakistan time the only government channel started with a few half-professional officials. Till 1982, the recruitment was satisfactory. After that, the whole system has collapsed because of the impact of extra political pressure. There can be two reasons for itBureaucracy and lack of evaluation of the creative work of the employees.' He adds, 'Conceptually, in an institution, when there is a lack of monitoring system of the works of the employees and at the same time if they are not paid well, there must be corruption in that institute.

'In BTV, budget system for making of a programme is very critical because of the influence of the Ministry. If the talented people are not evaluated for the outstanding performance they will lose the motivation for creation. Moreover, promotion and remuneration should be readjusted according to the merit not necessarily seniority. All these have happened in BTV. Though, individually, a few people are trying to maintain transparency, it is not sufficient enough to reach the goal if the whole system is not changed. If the system is changed in BTV, it can offer better services than any other private channels in Bangladesh, as it has got sufficient resources.'

The busy couple does not get enough time together. Narrating an interesting story from their family life Falguni says, 'Hamid is very strict when he directs a play. When I worked in the play Let There be Light by Zahir Raihan under his direction, I could not respond to the instruction as I was very young then. Once, Hamid became very angry with me and pushed my hand with such a blow that my hand sprained.'

Falguni has acted in serials for BTV during 80s. As a performer she has won Sher-E-Bangla Smrity Award, BACHSAS Award, and Drama Personality Award of Bangladesh for her play Dorrah as well. About her performance on screen, she says, 'I consider my best performances on TV --Shomoy Ashomoy by Mamunur Rashid and Fera by Aktar Ferdaus Rana. In both the plays I performed in the role of a widow.' She admires Asaduzzaman Noor, Abul Hayat, Suborna Mustafa, Tania, Tarin, Tonima, Ishita, Taukir, Joy and Toni Dias in acting.

M Hamid and Falguni Hamid