First of all, it is better to clarify that I am not from the theater world. My academic studies are in cinematography. Still, I have an endless interest in and understanding of other visual media.
The play – “Khoabnama” is being performed by Prachyanat Natyadal. This is the team’s 37th production. As a result, this is not a new drama group. For good reason, there is a different enthusiasm and enthusiasm for their plays among the audience. In this case too, he did not fail.
First, let’s talk a little about the novel’s structure. The novel is not at all a linear narrative style and can only be guessed by an astute reader when the name “Akhtaruzzaman Ilyas” flashes in place of the author of the novel. Although the place of occurrence of the novel is limited (referring to the Bogra region), the period or extent or spread starts from Manwantar of forty-three, partition, Tevaga movement, participation of farmers in it, abolition of zamindari and then Pakistan movement and reaches the very recent past. It should be noted that the story was written in 1996.
The contribution of creative writers who contributed to the origin of Surrealist novels in Bengal; Akhtaruzzaman Ilyas, Shahidul Zaheer, Syed Waliullah are the main among them. Although less in number than the latter two, he wrote Chilekothar Sepai (novel), Khowabnama (novel), Dojkher Om, Dudhbhate Utpat, Other House Other Swar, Khowari, Jaal Swapna, Sanjat Jaal (storybook) and a collection of essays called Sanskar Bhavanga Setu. It is difficult to translate any literary language from the writings of this author. That feat has been accomplished – “Oriental Drama”. Best wishes and congratulations to those who made this daunting task a reality.
I feel that in the discussion of drama, things like stage decoration, lighting, use of music, choreography, clothes and props ideas come up like unwritten rules. Just like the language of the camera in the film, the mood of the screenplay and the style of editing! Scenery, that is, using the stage to bring out the flow of events by dividing them into foreground, midground, background or right-left segments. Since the novel is 350 pages long and covers a huge period of time, the skilful way in which the stage has been used to capture the dramatic time frame of a little over an hour and a half is undoubtedly commendable. The use of focused light to ensure the attention of the viewer’s mental world is fascinating. After the fluent dialogues in the vernacular, the chimes and characterization in sophisticated language make the play easy to understand and readable. Where there is a need to compress time or time, the use of music or lighting to pass day and night is unprecedented, even in some cases cinematic! Choreography refers to dance performed to music; It is important to remember that, for medium reasons, stage plays demand high performance. As a result, here, the exuberance expressed through the dance, is perfectly blended with the mood of the narrative. A bit of humor is kept in, which enlivens the play, turning the audience from passive consumer to active participant. Costumes and props are one of the best elements to understand the period of any narrative. Even in drama. If there was a flaw, there would have been an opportunity to be thrown out of the story, but nothing happened. On the contrary, because of being with them for a long time, I felt like a resident of Nijgiridanga, rarely!
A phrase called “literary stage tour” is common in the field of drama reviews. Although I’m not exactly sure, what does this phrase mean? Filmmaker Andrey Tarkovsky said about poetry – “Poetry is not translatable, rather poetry loses its meaning in translation.” As a result, the saying that literature can only be staged in the form of stage play is correct? Sahityaras and dramatists are the same thing? Then the literary film literature camera travel(!) but in fact that is not the point at all, it is not even possible. Every artistic expression presents its own language by mixing and disassembling its own elements, at least the novel and drama “Khwabnama” expresses that. Much of the Khoabnama has been adapted for the stage play, shortening and inserting many scenes, and presenting the subject matter with an emphasis on events that are easily understood.
In the last line of Zaheer Raihan’s novel “Hajar Laar Dare” – “The night is growing, the night is getting older” comes back at the end of this play as well. People of dreams, nightmares, hunger and thirst become the core of this narrative. Tamiz, the father of Tamil, Kulsoom, Fuljan, Hurmatullah appeared as a sample and gave an embodiment to the whole society.
Huge thanks and appreciation to both the playwright and the director; To work on such an adventurous narrative. To introduce Akhtaruzzaman Ilyas to our growing generation of literate readers.
Author of the novel: Akhtaruzzaman Ilyas
Drama: Md. Shaukat Hossain Sajib
লেখক: শৈবাল সারোয়ার, চলচ্চিত্র সমালোচক ও নির্মাতা