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TallTales &Trouble


The cast of Ferdaus Hasan's mega-serial "Shompurhno Rongeen" (Absolutely Colourful) includes Shahed Sharif Khan, Rumana, Litu Anam, Farah Ruma, Shumi Islam, Arunav Anjan, Sumaiya Shimu, Scissor, Farzana Chhobi, Prabal, BulBul Ahmed, Dilara Zaman, Ahsanul Haq Minu, Jatri and Ashraf Kabir. The story in brief:
Selim has failed in his B.A. exams. Babul is an émigré from the village. He has come to his favourite city Dhaka. To him the great city is oh! so-beeoootifool, oh-so-colourful, oof! so-crowded, aye! so-noisy, ooh! so filthy, akh-thu! the smell, the stink, the stench.
But sometimes it doesn't seem so colourful. In fact it seems to be colourless, grey. Much of the times however it is unfamiliar and yes, scary. In other words, this sprawling, heaving, hissing, leaking, puking mega-polis is sad, bad and mad, dad.
In the city when the moneyed are running half crazed after, what else, money, the little people, the have-nots, are ecstatic to have found a bit of shelter in this crazy town. Their need is very little actually: some food to eat, somewhere to park their backsides and just about any place to defecate.
In fact, the poor are better off than the middle class, also called 'muddled' for a myriad of reasons not least because they are neither here nor there. The middle class can neither hold on to their values nor consign them to the dustbin of history. This is why, the poet says (in this case the writer of the serial) that they are becoming alone, detached, that alienation is setting in, that if they understood the definition they would well be on their way to further decline by calling themselves existentialists. Their kids, many of them anyway have the makings of true anarchists but they just don't know it, that's all.
At the same time, the lowest in the social order, the have-nots, do not despair and instead string along each day to the next in a new way, helping help each other out of situations and those who need succour. Sometimes the poor also cannibalise each other but that is all right and falls under the Darwinian dog-eat-dog theory, only Darwin said it nicely, survival of the fittest or some such thing.
But all your sense and sensibilities will tell you that there are no survivors on this earth. The fact that you may be rich or poor or the confused, depressed and disgusted middle class, fat or thin, sick or in good health, here, in the US, Iraq or in a subway tunnel in London, or Sheraton, Sonargaon, Gulshan, Banani or Baridhara, nothing prepares you for your inevitable appointment with infinity. Some think that Dhaka Club is the only place in this universe where you may be able to put off that appointment indefinitely and there may be some truth in it. I would just say 'almost indefinitely'.
Anyway, the poor unlike the rich and the muddles have little time to think of mortality, perhaps because subconsciously they live with the sense of that constantly. Then again perhaps that is not what their subconscious is like at all. But they do live life to a full, sometimes here sometimes there, fighting most of the time to make a living with which they can survive along with their families if any. And they fight thus and dream of a better life that perhaps one day they too can become rich and acquire all that the rich have and flout and dream they can make the jump without having to wade through a middle class life. Some make it, the rest don't. And at the end of the day they all die, but we are not shown that. — A Cine Viewer