Cartoonist Mehedi Haque
Promiti Prova Chowdhury
COURTESY: Cartoonist Mehedi Haque
My life at Motijheel Model High School was really interesting as I had a great 'comic friend circle'! We used to live in the world of Tintin, Nonte Fonte, Superman, Batman, Feluda, Tin Goenda and so on, and dreamt of doing something similarly adventurous. The rules and disciplinary system was quite strict in our school. Probably that is what drove us more into planning such fantasies. Reading was the element that glued us together and I am still very attached to them. In class 9 we published a magazine for children and distributed it in our school which can be considered as my first publication.
Then right after the test examination before SSC, I joined the well-known magazine, 'Unmad' as a cartoonist. During college, at Uttara Town College, I had passionately drawn cartoons for newspapers like Bhorer Kagoj and Banglar Bani. It was around 2001 when this culture of cartoon page in newspapers was emerging rapidly.
After getting admitted to Urban and Regional Planning Department of Jahangirnagar University, I joined The New Age. So far, drawing cartoons was only a medium of getting sheer fun for me but after I joined The New Age, a deep sense of responsibility grew for the first time when my cartoon was published in the front page. I started realising the seriousness of it as the cartoons had to be on bold political and socio-economical issues. Ideas for cartoons can come from reading and staying observant to the happenings around us. I am done with my graduation on Urban Planning from Jahangirnagar University (JU), and currently doing my Masters from BUET. But the time spent at JU has always been unique.The atmosphere of JU is very homely and favourable for adda. Adda, I think, is very essential for any kind of creative work.
In my university, apart from my very close friends, no one knew that I am a cartoonist and the Executive Editor of Unmad. One day a guy came up to me and said that he knows couple of people at Unmad and can arrange a job for me. I was utterly amused and responded by saying that, “Yes please, look if you can do something!” Then another day someone came to me and explained a brilliant cartoon that he had seen somewhere. At the end I realised he was talking about a cartoon that I had drawn. These are among the many small but precious memories from campus life that I cherish.
Today drawing cartoon has become quite profitable as well. The pay scale is good and people from various educational backgrounds are choosing this line as a career. I feel the younger generation is a bit too restless. Life is short and there is no harm in being a multitasking person. But all I would like to say is that, realising where one's actual potential lies and nourishing it, is very important. Paying less heed to others' sayings and staying focused is the key to success!