Al Deen’s widow urges completion of WCCCultural Correspondent
Selim Al Deen’s widow Begumzadi Meherunnesa observes that the iconic playwright’s dreams of establishing a ‘World Cultural Centre’ has not been fulfilled even after five years of his death, despite many promises made.
She also realises the limitations of establishing such an institute by private initiative in Bangladesh and urges the government’s support for the starting of a centre, which will offer research on global culture.
Begumzadi Meherunnesa talked on various issues regarding the playwright a few days before his fifth death anniversary today.
Trendsetter playwright Al Deen, a pioneer of neo-theatre movement in Bangladesh, a theoretician, an organiser and a teacher of department of drama and dramatics at Jahangirnagar University, died on January 14, 2008 at the age of 59.
‘I and a few of Al Deen’s friends like Nasiruddin Yousuff tried to make his dream come true. But, we could not do it, since establishing a world class cultural centre is too expensive. But, now it’s my dream that one day the centre starts its journey,’ she told New Age.
She, however, claimed that a few documentations have been done. ‘We published his writings in eight volumes. In the next Ekushey Granthamale we will launch an edition of all his plays.’
Begumzadi Meherunnesa also talked about the personal life of the iconic playwright. ‘Selim Al Deen was fond of eating and mingling with his friends. But, he felt disturbed if anybody interrupted him while writing,’ she said.
Al Deen’s widow further said that the playwright always wished to be a poet, not a dramatist. ‘He never thought of becoming a playwright rather he used to write poems. Martyr intellectual Munier Chowdhury and journalist cum poet Ahsan Habib encouraged him to write plays,’ she said.
‘His greatest inspiration, however, was his father Mofizuddin Ahmed,’ she added.
She also shared the pains she had to endure being a wife of bohemian Al Deen. ‘It was sometimes difficult for me to take all the family responsibility as he had less interest in family life. He dedicated his life for research and writing plays,’ Al Deen’s widow said.
‘I gave him all the freedom he needed to pursue his creativity. And I believe such support is needed for every creative person,’ she added.
Begumzadi Meherunnesa further reveals that Al Deen used to wander across the country in search of traditional forms of theatre and incorporated those while writing his plays. And he took elements of his plays from nature and very common people.
She also hopes Al Deen’s unique plays will be staged by the younger generations giving those diverse interpretations. ‘Till now, his plays are staged by only his friends and students,’ she added.
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