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Light-Designing an attractive profession for the near future.

It is true that professionalism has not yet been introduced to theatre in our country. So, it is the conventional view of the pessimistic theatre workers that, like other branches of theatre, light designing is still a profession for the amateur. They think that, it is something like climbing to the top of the Chimbuk hill for which one has to struggle a lot, but after doing this what they get is simply the personal feelings, which cannot be compared to the other pleasures. It is in fact, the profession for those who have got, the indomitable energy to show his/her talent, and have an insatiable thirst for art.

But, in fact, time is changing now. Many renowned light designers are now working for the other groups whenever they get time and scope. They are amateur when they work for their own groups, but get remuneration when they work for the other groups. Some of them are contributing their talents along with the architects in interior and exterior designing. Doing this, they earn handsome amount of money. There are enough opportunities for the light designers to work in the theme parks like wonder land. They can work there as professionals. Nasirul Haque Khokon, a famous light designer, says, "I'm working with some artists in mural arts and getting money for that,'' he further continues, "a perfect light designing in mural arts gives them a new dimension, and people like it very much, and i think designers can also contribute their talents by beautifying the historical buildings which is, in fact, a part of exterior designing. They can work in virtual lighting which is used in TV.'' Moreover, day-by-day, fashion shows, concerts, are becoming more and more popular. So, a huge opportunity is waiting for the light designers. Corporate companies can also create some hopes for the designers, if they want to do something special.

Who are the suitable people for this profession? Light designing is the most technical part in theatre, but at the same time the interested people must have creativity. S/he should have imagination power to compose the sequences analyzing the script and seeing rehearsals. A light designer is the subordinate to the director. So, s/he has some limitations during composition. S/he has to discuss on various views with the director at the time of composition.

How to become a proficient light designer? In our country a theatre institute has not yet been established. Though, in some universities, the department of drama and dramatics has been introduced, but their syllabus is not properly designed to develop oneself to become a proficient light designer. They always keep their students busy with theoretical knowledge. Theoretical knowledge is important, but more than it, the practical application is needed for light designing. Some renowned theatres in Dhaka such as, Theatre, Prachchanut, sometimes arrange workshops on light designing. But as the procedure is so much technical, it is expensive to arrange a successful workshop on light designing. So, those workshops are not so much helpful for the interested people. Because, in those workshops, the trainee theatre workers get the scope to know the process of designing and giving the lay out of the design, but do not get enough chance to apply their plans or ideas practically.

Then, what to do to become a proficient light designer? The best solution to this question is going to N.S.D. (national school for drama) in India. In NSD, one gets enough chance to acquire boththeoretical and practical knowledge of designing and at the same time the students get the scope to do some experiments of the ideas. But, those who cannot afford to do so; the path is a little bit tough for them. They should, at first, join a theatre, and then should work under a proficient light designer to acquire the knowledge of practical application of designing. To enrich their theoretical knowledge, can collect books on lighting from Ekushe at Aziz super market and from Beauty book house at New Market.

Some renowned designers are trying to form a forum which will fight for the right of the designers named "Theatre Designers Forum'' in our country. If that is formed then the path for the interested people willing to become designers will be smoother. We hope for the better days, and at the same time encourage the talents to join us, to create a more competitive atmosphere, so that more proficient designers can be created in the near future.

Recommended books: Antoranga Alo by Tapas Sen. Alor Katha by Niranjan Sarker.


The Drinks and The Drunks III: "Rise of the Juices"

Terminator 3 is called "Rise of the machines" and it sucks, as people told me. This part 3 has a similar name so it should suck too. Anyway, as if writing two parts wasn't enough, I had to come up with a 3rd part to fill yet another Thursday with misery. To tell the truth, I actually had to recover the money I've been spending behind drinks during these hot summer days and so I had to resort to writing again. (This was the lamest excuse I could think of.)

The hottest new drink in town is "Mountain Dew". (Have U done the dew?) I've been "doing the dew" i.e. drinking it a lot lately. The drink is slightly stronger than Sprite and 7Up and has a somewhat different taste altogether. The taste is great, so is the bottle. The bottle highly resembles a beer bottle and people who'd like to show off like American cowboys and other siilar creatures can gladly have a go here! There are two things you may not like about Mountain Dew: one thing is the amount, the other is the colour. Mountain Dew comes in bottles of 200 ml, 50 ml less than all the other drinks. So there's less time to waste and loiter around while idly sipping and gulping the drink because the bottle will get emptier sooner. The other aspect is the colour. Once you take the stuff in a glass (make sure it's transparent), you'll see a bright neon liquid materialise (!) before your eyes. Now my brain's not working here and so I can't find something to compare the colour with; the only thing that's popping up in my mind is the toothpaste I use. Anyway, if you like the taste and not the colour, simply use the bottle and don't take the trouble of pouring it into a glass. (Besides, who needs a glass when you have such a cool bottle?) If you like the taste but not the amount of liquid, send in complaints to the manufacturers; don't pester me for advice. And if you like nothing at all, just don't DO THE DEW!

Pepsi Blue was another Pepsi product that came to Bangladesh recently. It was sweeter than normal Pepsi. The colour attracted people, especially after they'd seen all the Shahrukh Khan ads on TV.

I once used to be a fan of the Virgin drinks but like almost every other thing in Bangladesh, they got bad over time. Then came the final nail in the coffin, when the new range of Virgin drinks got introduced. They were the pink Grape, the blue Tutti Frutti, the yellow Lemon and the ash coloured drink that I forgot since it wasn't worth remembering. I drank the first three and felt so bad that I regarded it would be wise not to try out the third one. It would've taken me ninety three years to figure out that the pink one had the flavour of grape unless the flavour had not been written on the bottle. As for the colour, Aerosmith definitely weren't thinking of the irritating pink bottle when they sang the song "Pink". Now let's come to the so-called Tutti Frutti, which is supposed to mean an assortment of flavours. To me, it tasted like an assortment of strong cough syrups that'll give your taste buds an extremely hard time. The drink looks blue as in blue when you think of Harpic Toilet Cleaner. Now this is a drink you definitely wouldn't wish to taste. I did since I'm always too curious and I've got this job. The yellow one is left now. Like the other ones, this too has a repulsive colour that'll instantly remind you of jaundice. Well, the colour isn't THAT yellow but still it reminded me of jaundice and other stuff that I'm not allowed to mention here. The taste is bad only if you think cough syrup tastes bad. The yellow drink-cum-cough-syrup isn't as strong as the blue one. So if you've got a slightly bad cold, take the yellow one; if you've caught a really bad cold, take the blue one. Consult the Virgin manufacturers (not the doctors) before starting medication.

An ad in the papers caught my eye one day, boasting about "Pran Cola", "Prothom Deshio Cola". "Now this must go in version 3.0," I said to myself. So I set off on a quest for Pran Cola, and believe me, I didn't enjoy it. It appeared as if the first deshi Cola isn't in the favourites' list of our deshi retailers. I went from store to store like a vagabond and the shopkeepers treated me like a vagabond (!). (Play Metallica's "Wherever I May Roam" in the background.) I could read the thoughts running through their minds: "Yes, yes, I knew the Roswell incident wasn't any bedtime fairy tale. Everyone else asks for usual stuff, this guy's asking for Pran Cola. He must be a creature from outer space. Wait till I get the press and Steven Spielberg!" Meanwhile, I could aslo read the thoughts running through my own mind (duh!): "No, no, I knew being a reporter was not meant for me. Me and my wretched luck!" Finally, I found Pran Cola in a store. I'm using the words "I found" because I'm the one who pointed out the bottle in the corner of the freezer the people in the store didn't even know it was there. (A reporter's eye IS a reporter's eye.) So I drank the drink I'd been searching for and instantly realised that it was truly the first deshi cola. It tasted just so bad just so deshi!

At this point, I've got to explain why this edition had to be named "Rise of the juices" in spite of our dear sub-editor the Mood Dude constantly telling me not to. Well, first of all, I had to show off and try to act like an over-smart know-it-all. Secondly, deshi juices have risen to great quality recently. There's this Starship juice that comes in three different flavours and appears to be really popular. Then there's Aarong milk with two different flavours chocolate and mango. There are also Aarong yoghurt drinks that are great too. Whoever said deshi stuff was bad? (I guess I did.)

That was all folks! That was all the drinks I had drunk recently and needed to review to fill up page space. I'll end up by writing a fable (which is actually a really dumb true story) and I'll tell you the moral of the story when I'm finished. Here it goes:

There were once upon a time, two guys: Hamdu Mia (that's me alright) and his spectacled friend (let's call him The Pantheist). We went to Helvetia one noon and had lunch. Then we went to Agora for no reason at all and we felt thirsty. So we stared at all the shiny beautiful cans (whcih were even reflecting our faces) that were assorted on the racks and decided to have soda. Now there were lots of cans of soda there and lots to choose from. My sharp eyes caught one brand that said it was part of the Coca-Cola group. So I went fro it because I trusted the name Coca-Cola. But The Pantheist suggested we take Coke too in case the soda turned out to be bad. So we took both the soda (with Coca-Cola written in small fonts behind it) and the Coke (with Coca-Cola written in big fonts in front of it). We went to Dhanmodni like many drunkards do and we opened the soda can first. The moment we'd each had a sip from the soda can, we felt like kicking each other's butts for reaching a mutual agreement on the soda. With nothing else to do, we borrowed a couple of glasses from a nearby shop and made a cocktail out of the soda and the previously untouched Coke. We sat down at the edge of the lake (like all drunkards do) and silently drank our cocktail, which looked like rum. People kept staring at us (here people sigifies the tokaais that were roaming aorund) while we drank our rum! What's the moral of this story? Never trust brand names (unless it's a guitar brand) and always have emergency backup to cover up for your previous follies. And don't get depressed if tokaais keep staring at you; life doesn't end where it seems to have ended.

Send in your feedback to hamdu_mia@hotmail.com.

By Hamdu Mia






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