Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Bangladesh Television (BTV) has taken the initiative to broadcast two old-yet-widely popular drama series - "Kothao Keu Nei" and "Bohubrihi" for viewers stuck at home.
Written by Humayun Ahmed, the drama "Kothao Keu Nei" was directed by Borkot Ullah and aired during the years 1992-93. Asaduzzaman Noor played the role of "Baker Bhai" which has stayed popular through the decades.
The drama being aired again after almost 27 years excites Asaduzzaman. Shortly after the first episode was aired, the veteran actor spoke to The Business Standard.
He said, "My gratitude to BTV. Watching the drama brought back many old memories; it made me pretty nostalgic. But the screen looks quite dark. YouTube has better footage than this. So I hope they will be a bit more cautious with the next episodes."
While reminiscing old memories, he informed that the drama's shooting was mostly held inside the BTV studio. Very few scenes were shot outdoors; "Actually, at that time we did not have much opportunity to shoot out in the open. We rehearsed a number of times before shooting, it made the actual filming easier," remembers Asaduzzaman.
He further added, "I used to go to shooting in the afternoon after office. Shooting went on from 5 in the afternoon to 10 in the night."
The character - Baker Bhai became tremendously popular among the viewers at that time. At the end of the series, Baker Bhai was lynched. Mass people held processions to protest his fate, and the newspapers even wrote about this phenomenon. In the end, going against popular demand, the character was hung.
Recalling this memory made Asaduzzaman sentimental. "I have lived through an incredible time. I never could imagine people would love
Baker Bhai so much. This was only possible because of Humayun Ahmed. Only he could write such a story and screenplay," said the veteran actor.
Asaduzzaman remembers that the drama was made in the time of distress - people wanted to tell their own stories and rebel against injustice. "I think everyone viewed Baker Bhai as a force against darkness, that is why everyone protested against his death," he explains.
However, the actor thinks the drama will no longer make people as emotional as it did during the time of rebellion. "Back then, BTV was the only channel, and the drama had an amazing story and screenplay," says Asaduzzaman.
The actor gleefully remembers that the character Baker Bhai would possess the 90s youth when they watched the drama. Many followed his dress-up style, hairstyle, beard, and even carried a chain like him. A boy from Mymensingh even changed his name to Baker Bhai.
"One day, a man came to see me at the advertising agency - Asiatic. He introduced himself as Baker Bhai. I was completely astonished; he looked exactly like Baker Bhai. Then the man said that he named himself Baker Bhai through an affidavit. I no longer remember what his real name was," said Asaduzzaman.
Many such memories revolve around "Kothao Keu Nei". "Humayun Ahmed gave it everything a wholesome drama needed. Humour, social message, family-friendly plot, it had everything. That is why the drama was so popular," claimed the actor.
Many other cast members did exemplary acting in the drama, Asaduzzaman said. Suborna Mustafa as Muna, Abdul Kader as Bodi, Lutfor Rahman George as Mojnu, Mahfuz Ahmed as Moti, Afsana Mimi as Bokul, Humayun Foridi as the lawyer, they all did their best.