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When I was a hero

Nirmalendu  Goon

Nirmalendu Goon

Thu, 7 Dec 23

I once played the role of a hero in a play written by me. It would be correct to say that I was forced to do it.

The producer of that play told me, ‘I will produce the play if you agree to be the hero in it. And if you don't agree to be the hero, I won't go for this drama.’

Then I said, ‘I can't play such a complicated role. I have no experience in acting.’
In response to my words what Mominul Haque said with a smile, I will remember throughout my life, and it may remembered even after my death.
He smiled and said, ‘Don't I understand that you can't?’
I said, ‘Then, why do you tell me to do it?’
He said, ‘Everyone can do things. You couldn't either. That's it, it means that your inability will be my drama.’
Ultimately, I agreed to act as the hero in my drama due to my greed for money.

On 12 January 1971, the drama was telecasted live on the then PTV (now BTV). There was no pre-recording of plays then. Dramas, talk shows, musical programs, and news bulletins were all live. Today's TV and movie actors can't think of it except for stage plays.

The name of the play was 'Apan Daler Manush'. I had to transform a story (written by me) into a television drama script on the advice of Mominul Haque. Dolly Anwar was my heroine in that play.

Dolly Anwar was the daughter of Dr. Neelima Ibrahim, but she is better known as Dolly Ibrahim, the heartthrob heroine of that time.

Since then my public acquaintance and secret romance with Dolly continued.

I met the cameraman Anwar Hossain later. Anwar took my picture many times. After his first marriage broke up, Anwar married Dolly or Dolly Anwar. I was glad to know that Dolly finally had a good life partner.

One of Anwar’s younger brothers had been living in America. His name was Iqbal Hossain. I stayed at Iqbal's residence in Boston for a few days in 1991. First Dolly, later Anwar and recently Iqbal died.

The director and producer of my TV drama was Mominul Haque. He lives in America. Once we met in New York. Hopefully, he is alive and well.

Recently, seeing the photo of the actress Dolly next to cinematographer Anwar, I remembered Dolly, the heroine of the drama 'Apan Daler Manush'. I also remembered Anwar, but less than Dolly.

Once, though it was during the play, Dolly put her hand on my hand, and I looked at her face and eyes and forgot my dialogue. That was a memorable moment indeed.

Filmmaker Alamgir Kabir wrote in the then weekly 'Express' after watching that drama, “Last Sunday's Goon Show”. He wrote... ‘Goon acted well when he kept his mouth shut.’

Thanks to Syed Iqbal, the painter, for bringing the pictures that evoked joy and sadness at the same time.

Author: Poet

December 6, 2023

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