Vol. 5 Num 250 Mon. February 07, 2005  

Shomi Kaiser: In search of excellence

If I hadn't become an actress, I definitely would have been a singer...or maybe an architect," says Shomi Kaiser, a celebrated actress of our theatre and electronic media. Indeed, the initial interest of the popular heroine of many TV plays was in music and hardly in acting.

"Director Atiqul Haque Chowdhury once spotted me at a musical programme," recalls Shomi. "He was looking for a girl who could speak the native Noakhali dialect for his play titled Keba Apon Keba Por. And as I am from Noakhali, he asked me to do the role." After a little hesitation, Shomi finally agreed to perform. And the audience response showed that they liked the new girl on the block.

However, Shomi at that stage did not have any plans to enter the acting arena. She was rather planning to study at a foreign university. It was at that time that Abdullah Al Mamun sent producer Fakhrul Abedin Dulal to Shomi asking her to do another role.

It was the three-episode play Joto Durey Jai based on a novel of Imdadul Haque Milon. Shomi's acting in the role of a cancer-affected girl won the audience's hearts.

"It also altered my decision," says Shomi. She stayed back home and went on performing scores of different kinds of roles in many popular TV plays and serials such as Nakkhotrer Raat, Chhoto Chhoto Dheu, Sparsho, Ekjona, Ariyana, Akashey Anek Raat, Mukti, Antorey Nirantor, Swapno, Thikana and many more.

Besides the electronic medium, Shomi Kaiser has also been a successful name on stage. A member of Dhaka Theatre, Shomi's creditable stage plays include mainly Haat Hodai in which she acted against Shahiduzzaman Selim. "Theatre is the place where one actually develops their talent," asserts Shomi adding, "Most of the young generation performers lack acting skills."

At present, Shomi is busy with her production house Dhansiri Production. Initially, after my mother's suggestion we decided to make plays and telefilms on our Liberation War. We have made Mukti and Antorey Nirantor--written by my mother, Panna Kaiser." Later, however, the house changed its policy. "At present, we are more into ad films. I'm also making a 26-episode drama serial from my house," says Shomi. Titled Tomay Dilam Prithibi, the serial is based on Shomi's story of two companies.

Shomi's talents are evident on the silver screen. She has performed in two films: Lalon and Hason Raja. "I was not expecting much from Hason Raja as it was made completely from a commercial point of view. But Lalon has really been one of my favourite works," says Shomi. She has featured in another film, The Name of a River, based on the biography of eminent filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak. "Unfortunately, the film hasn't been shown in Bangladesh," says Shomi.

One of Shomi's dreams is to make a film of Shangshaptak, the novel by her martyred father Shahidullah Kaiser. "The drama serial based on the novel was a super hit. So, I believe, the film should equally be great." However, Shomi has not yet decided when she is going to undertake that enterprise.

Shomi in a relaxed moment