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Remembering great actor Humayun Faridee

Mohammad Ali Sattar

The year was 1986 and the place, Dhanmondi, Road 11/A. I met Humayun Faridee in a food outlet that was located in one of the garages of my landlord. I felt a little excited having met a popular TV actor. We saw the likes of Humayun Faridee, Afzal Hossain, Asaduzzaman Noor, Raisul Islam Asad, Suborna Mustafa, Priscilla Parveen, Shampa Reza and others. They brought a revolution of sorts with their admirable performances. It was undoubtedly the golden age of our cultural history, especially in the history of theatre and television.
I was particularly lucky that I happened to meet these talents quite often as I went to read the news at ten at the BTV twice or thrice a week. I grew bonds with many and exchanged pleasantries.
Coming back to Faridee.  He wore a white shirt dangling over the waist and a black pant. I seldom saw him with shirts tucked in.  He was carefree from head to toe. His tongue was prickly and mind witty. He was much too straightforward and sometime not too gracious, but always carried the drollness in his speech.
We started meeting often at the German Cultural Center (GCI) (Goethe Institut) which was then located at Dhanmondi road number two. I started my career in1986 as a programme officer at the GCI. Cultural personalities and artistes from all walks of life would congregate there round the year attending this occasion or that festival.
S M Sultan would while his time away in my room either softly narrating his accounts on art or about his rural hamlet, Ahmed Sofa would advise me on Bengali poetry writing, Tark Masud would press me to get the training hall emptied or enquire about some German film.
GCI at that time had been the Mecca of creative minds. It was in 1987. Nagorik Theatre staged the famous play Galileo. I was involved in all the preparations, like the setting up of the stage and other effects. I met the whole team so many times at the institute when they would come for rehearsal. We had a great time, those were the golden times!
Faridee was probably not a member of the Nagorik family. On the day, he barged into my room and asked for two tickets. He was fast, outright and was rather demanding. I regretted. He retorted, “If I did not get a ticket how can Suborna and I watch the play?” Later, I arranged him the tickets.
Next I met him at Ramna on a warm morning of Pohela Baishakh. We stood close to the Batamul. A fan came up to him and dished out a flattering remark or it could be a genuine compliment.  Faridee laughed aloud and said ‘hey we are also like you…we eat, we sleep and we shit like you all do…”
We moved on. Days passed by. I left for London. Lost touch with many. I met a few young film makers in London whom I met at the GCI in Dhaka. They kept me informed about things back in Dhaka. I missed the cultivated community and imaginative minds.
In late nineties, I met Faridee once more. This time he fixed up a meeting at his Dhanomondi home at 10/A. We talked about a TV programme which I was planning for the BTV. I proposed him to be a guest in the first episode. He was convinced and agreed to take part in the show.
While having tea in the small living room of his apartment we went discussing about his gold-stdded career.
Just before I left, he asked me about his remuneration for the show that we just discussed. I told him that it was just not possible to pay him anything because of his high stature and the meekly budget of my programme.
The experts would comment on the technicalities of his performance and about the unending talent he possessed. They will discuss his gradual rise to stardom or the decline of his health. To those who take interest in performing art, to whom small things matters, to whom falling leaves create ripples in the heart , Faridee was theirs.
He was indeed amazing. His thirst for performances was simply matchless. He modernized the concept of acting. May be had the reservoir of acting talents in him even before his birth.
If one recalls his appearances on stages and films, one can only be awed by his sheer brilliance. His unbelievable confidence and power of performing left many wondering. The producers and directors would admit that he delivered more than what he was paid for. The extra that he gave to his directors and the audience was priceless.
In him we saw the romantic lover waiting for his beloved with smiles, the mourner with tears in his eyes. We witnessed the young angry man frustrated with life and poverty. We saw in him the devil that was out to destroy the good in society. We have seen him dancing with the naughty girls on the big screen.
To me he was a combination of Anthony Quinn, Uttam Kumar and Norman Wisdom and of course a great bit of himself. He made acting look so easy for the audience, but tough for his colleagues as they found it hard to match his talents.
To me he was simply one of the best among the lot. Hollywood directors have missed this actor who could win them countless Oscars.

Comment

Mohammad Ali Sattar

The year was 1986 and the place, Dhanmondi, Road 11/A. I met Humayun Faridee in a food outlet that was located in one of the garages of my landlord. I felt a little excited having met a popular TV actor. We saw the likes of Humayun Faridee, Afzal Hossain, Asaduzzaman Noor, Raisul Islam Asad, Suborna Mustafa, Priscilla Parveen, Shampa Reza and others. They brought a revolution of sorts with their admirable performances. It was undoubtedly the golden age of our cultural history, especially in the history of theatre and television.
I was particularly lucky that I happened to meet these talents quite often as I went to read the news at ten at the BTV twice or thrice a week. I grew bonds with many and exchanged pleasantries.
Coming back to Faridee.  He wore a white shirt dangling over the waist and a black pant. I seldom saw him with shirts tucked in.  He was carefree from head to toe. His tongue was prickly and mind witty. He was much too straightforward and sometime not too gracious, but always carried the drollness in his speech.
We started meeting often at the German Cultural Center (GCI) (Goethe Institut) which was then located at Dhanmondi road number two. I started my career in1986 as a programme officer at the GCI. Cultural personalities and artistes from all walks of life would congregate there round the year attending this occasion or that festival.
S M Sultan would while his time away in my room either softly narrating his accounts on art or about his rural hamlet, Ahmed Sofa would advise me on Bengali poetry writing, Tark Masud would press me to get the training hall emptied or enquire about some German film.
GCI at that time had been the Mecca of creative minds. It was in 1987. Nagorik Theatre staged the famous play Galileo. I was involved in all the preparations, like the setting up of the stage and other effects. I met the whole team so many times at the institute when they would come for rehearsal. We had a great time, those were the golden times!
Faridee was probably not a member of the Nagorik family. On the day, he barged into my room and asked for two tickets. He was fast, outright and was rather demanding. I regretted. He retorted, “If I did not get a ticket how can Suborna and I watch the play?” Later, I arranged him the tickets.
Next I met him at Ramna on a warm morning of Pohela Baishakh. We stood close to the Batamul. A fan came up to him and dished out a flattering remark or it could be a genuine compliment.  Faridee laughed aloud and said ‘hey we are also like you…we eat, we sleep and we shit like you all do…”
We moved on. Days passed by. I left for London. Lost touch with many. I met a few young film makers in London whom I met at the GCI in Dhaka. They kept me informed about things back in Dhaka. I missed the cultivated community and imaginative minds.
In late nineties, I met Faridee once more. This time he fixed up a meeting at his Dhanomondi home at 10/A. We talked about a TV programme which I was planning for the BTV. I proposed him to be a guest in the first episode. He was convinced and agreed to take part in the show.
While having tea in the small living room of his apartment we went discussing about his gold-stdded career.
Just before I left, he asked me about his remuneration for the show that we just discussed. I told him that it was just not possible to pay him anything because of his high stature and the meekly budget of my programme.
The experts would comment on the technicalities of his performance and about the unending talent he possessed. They will discuss his gradual rise to stardom or the decline of his health. To those who take interest in performing art, to whom small things matters, to whom falling leaves create ripples in the heart , Faridee was theirs.
He was indeed amazing. His thirst for performances was simply matchless. He modernized the concept of acting. May be had the reservoir of acting talents in him even before his birth.
If one recalls his appearances on stages and films, one can only be awed by his sheer brilliance. His unbelievable confidence and power of performing left many wondering. The producers and directors would admit that he delivered more than what he was paid for. The extra that he gave to his directors and the audience was priceless.
In him we saw the romantic lover waiting for his beloved with smiles, the mourner with tears in his eyes. We witnessed the young angry man frustrated with life and poverty. We saw in him the devil that was out to destroy the good in society. We have seen him dancing with the naughty girls on the big screen.
To me he was a combination of Anthony Quinn, Uttam Kumar and Norman Wisdom and of course a great bit of himself. He made acting look so easy for the audience, but tough for his colleagues as they found it hard to match his talents.
To me he was simply one of the best among the lot. Hollywood directors have missed this actor who could win them countless Oscars.


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EU Parliamentary team meets Prof Yunus

Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus seen with Ms. Jean Lambert, (to the left of Professor Yunus), Thomas Mann, (to the right of Professor Yunus), and William Hanna.

Holiday Report

A delegation from the European Parliament paid a courtesy visit to Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus at his office at Yunus Centre on Sunday indicating EU’s intention of closely cooperating with Professor Yunus through EU’s technologies and funds.
Both sides exchanged views about the inclusion of social businesses in the development sector and discussed the initiative launched by the EU Commissioner Micheal Barnier, in consultation with Professor Yunus, for passing a law in the EU Parliament for introducing social business as an important component of EU’s social policies and actions last year. They also inquired about the status of Grameen Bank and updates on other Grameen companies.
 Ms. Jean Lambert, Chair of the South Asia Delegation of EU, Thomas Mann, Vice Chair of the South Asia Delegation, William Hanna, EU Ambassador in Dhaka and other EU parliament and EU Delegation officials participated. During the meeting, Jean Lambert extended her gratitude to Professor Yunus for his assistance to the financial reforms through microcredit and social business. Professor Yunus also expressed strong expectations for EU’s support in expanding social business by involving the youth in solving social ills. Professor Yunus outlined the activities of the Yunus Centre to the delegation members, which is the hub of all social businesses, including microcredit, healthcare and environment.

Comment

Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus seen with Ms. Jean Lambert, (to the left of Professor Yunus), Thomas Mann, (to the right of Professor Yunus), and William Hanna.

Holiday Report

A delegation from the European Parliament paid a courtesy visit to Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus at his office at Yunus Centre on Sunday indicating EU’s intention of closely cooperating with Professor Yunus through EU’s technologies and funds.
Both sides exchanged views about the inclusion of social businesses in the development sector and discussed the initiative launched by the EU Commissioner Micheal Barnier, in consultation with Professor Yunus, for passing a law in the EU Parliament for introducing social business as an important component of EU’s social policies and actions last year. They also inquired about the status of Grameen Bank and updates on other Grameen companies.
 Ms. Jean Lambert, Chair of the South Asia Delegation of EU, Thomas Mann, Vice Chair of the South Asia Delegation, William Hanna, EU Ambassador in Dhaka and other EU parliament and EU Delegation officials participated. During the meeting, Jean Lambert extended her gratitude to Professor Yunus for his assistance to the financial reforms through microcredit and social business. Professor Yunus also expressed strong expectations for EU’s support in expanding social business by involving the youth in solving social ills. Professor Yunus outlined the activities of the Yunus Centre to the delegation members, which is the hub of all social businesses, including microcredit, healthcare and environment.


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A future Bill Gates lives in Noakhali

 A Correspondent

 
Anti-corporal punishment crusader Sir Frank Peters made an impromptu visit to a primary school in Kabirhat in the district of Noakhali last week, and was given an enthusiastic reception by the pupils, the majority of which had never seen a white-skinned person in real-life before.
Pupils at NoorSonapur Primary School stood and applauded his entry into their classroom and many arms were raised skywards when he asked if one would sing him a song. Through his interpreter Aaquib Tanveer, Sir Frank thanked them for the “warmth of their smiles, the sincerity in their hearts and the joy in their voices” and wished them the blessings of Almighty Allah, long, successful, and healthy lives. He also thanked teacher NurunNahar Begum Fensi for inviting him and told her he would not have accepted her invitation if corporal punishment had been practiced there.
Before departing he took pictures and shook hands with all the children, teasing many in a game-like manner by initially pulling away his hand if they were not quick enough to catch it. This generated smiles, laughter and cheers, but then not to be outwitted the future Bill Gates, Muhammad Professor Yunus and movers and shakers of the world surprised Sir Frank by grabbing his hand using both of theirs!

Comment

 A Correspondent

 
Anti-corporal punishment crusader Sir Frank Peters made an impromptu visit to a primary school in Kabirhat in the district of Noakhali last week, and was given an enthusiastic reception by the pupils, the majority of which had never seen a white-skinned person in real-life before.
Pupils at NoorSonapur Primary School stood and applauded his entry into their classroom and many arms were raised skywards when he asked if one would sing him a song. Through his interpreter Aaquib Tanveer, Sir Frank thanked them for the “warmth of their smiles, the sincerity in their hearts and the joy in their voices” and wished them the blessings of Almighty Allah, long, successful, and healthy lives. He also thanked teacher NurunNahar Begum Fensi for inviting him and told her he would not have accepted her invitation if corporal punishment had been practiced there.
Before departing he took pictures and shook hands with all the children, teasing many in a game-like manner by initially pulling away his hand if they were not quick enough to catch it. This generated smiles, laughter and cheers, but then not to be outwitted the future Bill Gates, Muhammad Professor Yunus and movers and shakers of the world surprised Sir Frank by grabbing his hand using both of theirs!

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