On certain Friday nights, for the past couple of decades, Bangladesh used to turn into a giant living room.
In that room, every family sat cozy, praying for shorter Keya Beauty Soap commercials.
They waited for Hanif Sanket to appear on the screen. It was 'Ityadi' - the mythical magazine show they waited for.
Ityadi was the ultimate FOMO (fear of missing out) event for Bangladeshis. There was no way you could skip it as everyone you know was watching it; only power cuts could make an exception.
Rhetorically, the show was our own Superbowl, NBA playoff, or The Beatles playing live in their prime. It was magical and Hanif Sanket was 'The Greatest Showman' for us.
Ityadi is still around and people can even binge it on YouTube. But has it been as magnetic as it was just a few years back? Not quite.
Ityadi is a national treasure but it needs a facelift. If Hanif Sanket agrees, we can reboot it.
If 'Scarface' and 'The Godfather' can get a reboot, then nothing is sacred. Here is our pitch.
Before his Ityadi days, Hanif Sanket was a crew member of the show 'Jodi kichu mone na koren'. He started out as an assistant host of the show.
Decades later, he is standing on a mountain called 'Ityadi'. He made an untouchable empire of pop culture.
Remember that polished dude who used to hand over the microphone to the audience? Hanif Sanket would throw trivia questions and the live audience got to participate.
That dude walked between the aisles, reached out to the ecstatic men and women, and gave them the microphone. Winners of the trivia round got to perform on stage and win prizes.
Yes, we want that dude to be the new host of the show. How many hours did that dude hold onto that microphone? Give him the overdue promotion!
If he is the new host, then Hanif Sanket can fully concentrate on being the brains behind the content.
I will now stop calling the mic guy as 'the dude.' Let us call him 'Goriber Henry Cavill' (Henry Cavill of the poor).
When it comes to songs, Ityadi gave us some memorable tracks to remember. As a TV audience, we watched some beautifully shot music videos.
But think about the live audience who clapped along to a bunch of musicians while they strummed unplugged guitars and lip synced. That is not very 2020s-ish, right?
The reboot, however, will have live performances and we even have a track of choice for the pilot – Behula by Shunno. Yes, Shunno. What other band would be a better crowd pleaser?
Ityadi game rounds were quite a thrill back in the day. We used to cheer for the winners of the trivia round.
Goriber Henry Cavill used to take them to the stage and Hanif Sanket used to ask them to do harmless practical jokes.
In the end, everyone won books, tree saplings, even computers. This is where a segment for the reboot comes from.
Ityadi gave trees and books to hundreds of people over the decades. What happened to those trees? Were they planted properly or were just thrown away? The new and upgraded Ityadi team will investigate it.
Every winner will be held accountable for what they have done with the trees. Of course, it will be dramatised like a reality show.
Maybe a spin-off series could be created later called the 'Kashem TV Chronicles' - where a certain Kashem would lead the investigation.
One really 'laugh out loud' segment of Ityadi was the Bangla dubbed comedy sketches. Undoubtedly, Hanif Sanket is an incredibly talented voice artist.
He can do both male and female impressions and we could use his expertise in the reboot. Imagine his hilarious voice overs in Barishal/Noakhali/Chattogram dialects synced with stand-up comedy!
He could even mimic Lilly Singh sketches and make people laugh. Add Trevor Noah and Joe Rogan to the list. I bet a Joe Rogan impression would be a blast!
I am just a guy who was binging on old Ityadi episodes on YouTube and suddenly got the idea to write about an imaginary reboot pitch for the show.
What you read above is just some harmless banter; no disrespect meant to the legendary Hanif Sanket. We all know he is a treasure of this country.