Today is the 78th birth anniversary of late Ekushey Padak winning iconic playwright-actor-director Abdullah Al Mamun, who made huge contribution to the country’s theatre scene, small and silver screens.
This correspondent talked to a number of his peers, including thespians Ferdousi Majumder, Mamunur Rashid and Lucky Enam, who shared their thoughts on Abdullah Al Mamun and recalled his contribution.
Ferdousi Majumder said, ‘Abdullah Al Mamun was one of the most powerful directors this country ever produced. He left his mark in theatre scene, small and silver screens. I acted in many productions under his direction including theatre productions namely “Payer Awaz Paoya Jay”, “Subachan Nirbashane”, “Kokilara” and a number of small screen productions. Abdullah Al Mamun taught me acting. He taught me many things including postures, dialogue delivery and others.’
‘The play “Kokilara”, a monodrama which was directed by Mamun bhai, gave me the courage to move forward as an actress. He directed Syed Shamsul Haq’s “Payer Awaz Paoya Jay”. He did an amazing job when he developed the dialogues for it. He was indeed the king of dialogues. Besides, he left a mark in the film scene with the film “Sareng Bou”,’ added Ferdousi Majumder.
Mamunur Rashid, who had worked in many projects alongside Abdullah Al Mamun, pointed out that Mamun always created plays based on contemporary issues.
Mamunur Rashid said, ‘I had worked with him for a long time and we were very close. We spent many sleepless nights writing plays. He worked as a playwright, actor and director. I acted in his drama series “Sangsaptak” which was first shot in 1970. During a shooting session on a cold day, he fainted. We rushed to his aid. He felt better after he had a cup of coffee.’
‘There aren’t many multifaceted people like him these days. We are yet to get another director like him. He will live on in the hearts of thousands of theatre and teleplay lovers. His passing away left a huge void in the country’s theatre, film and television arenas. He always tried to portray contemporary issues through his works,’ added Mamunur Rashid.
Lucky Enam informed that Abdullah Al Mamun brought her into acting. He was the producer of the last play aired on the then Pakistan Television and the first play aired on Bangladesh Television before and after the war of independence.
Lucky Enam mentioned, ‘I met Mamun bhai in 1972. He was a friend of my husband Dr Enamul Huq. I was working in theatre arena as a dancer and singer and Mamun bhai asked me to attend an audition at Bangladesh Television. I applied for the audition at Bangladesh Television and after two days of my audition, I was selected as an enlisted actress at BTV. My acting career took off thanks to Mamun bhai and afterwards I acted in many small screen productions and even became a playwright. My first work for BTV titled ‘‘Chirakumar Sabha’’ was produced by Mamun bhai where I got a chance to act with veteran actors like Bulbul Ahmed, Ramendu Majumdar, Ferdousi Majumder and others.’
‘Mamun bhai was a multitalented person, who started writing plays while studying at Dhaka University. He was the producer of the last teleplay aired on the then Pakistan Televison named “Abar Asibo Phire”, which was aired on March 23, 1971. He was the producer of the first teleplay aired on Bangladesh Television, which was aired on January 10, 1972 and its name was “Bangla Amar Bangla”. My husband Enamul Huq was the playwright of both the teleplays. Abdullah Al Mamun will be remembered through his works,’ added Lucky Enam.
Abdullah Al Mamun, born on July 13, 1942, in Jamalpur District, graduated in history from Dhaka University.
He wrote his first stage play, “Niyotir Parihas”, in 1950. In his kaleidoscopic journey of over five decades Mamun wrote 25 dramas and seven novels. “Ekhono Kritadas”, “Tomari”, “Kokilara” are few of his popular plays.
He was a founder member of renowned theatre troupe Theatre.
As a teleplay director Mamun produced plays and series like “Sangsaptak”, “Pathar Samay”, “Jibon Chhobi” and “Baba”. He made his debut as a filmmaker in 1972 through “Angikar”.
He also directed critically acclaimed films like “Sareng Bou”, “Dui Jiban” and “Sakhi Tumi Kar”.
Mamun won many awards, including the prestigious Ekushey Padak, National Film Award and Bangla Academy Award.
He passed away on August 21, 2008.
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