Vijaya Laxmi Tripura
In today’s Bangladesh entertainment world, Ferari Farhad is a leading story and screenplay writer with huge versatility. He is gradually emerging as the best storyteller and screenplay writer in Bangladesh and during the past few decades, Ferari Farhad has already succeeded in establishing his name as the most-sought-after name to the leading filmmakers and drama directors in Bangladesh.
In the mid-80s, a young Ferari Forhad left Feni, his ancestral district’s Rastarkhil ‘Talukdar Bari’, with his father Abdul Kader Talukdar in search for a modern lifestyle and better and education and settled in Chittagong’s Ispahani Colony.
Ferari Farhad developed strong passion for literature and education in his teenage years. Since he was born in an aristocratic Muslim family, he faced restrictions when pursuing anything other than his education. Unbeknownst to his family, he pursued to be a magician in the 90s and gained fame in his neighborhood. However, pursuing magic was expensive so he could only buy few instruments using up the pocket-money he saved. That is when he developed a new interest in stage drama. With the help of producer Dilip Barua, who taught him the ABCs of acting, Farhad marked his debut as an actor through the commercial stage drama ‘Shot Maa’ (Step-Mother).
He garnered praise from around because of his acting which made him fall in love with dramas. Together with his classmate Jamal Uddin, Abul Khayer, Joshim and Nasim they formed the ‘Theatre Podokkhep’ (Theater Initiative). He also wrote many poems and short stories during this period.
When Ferari Farhad was in the 8th grade, he wrote the novel ‘Jhoraful’. Later, when he asked his Bangla teacher Abul Bashar to read his writings, his teacher said: “There is no correction except for some spelling mistakes”. The manuscript was later destroyed by the tidal waves of Kornafuli River. At that time, in the streets and houses of Ispahani Colony, the tidal water would sometime rise to waist-level.
Despite his father’s disapproval, Ferari continued his activities in the theater.
His devout mother sat as a silent, helpless spectator. He sat for his graduation exam from Haji Mohammad Mohsin College. Although his family was dissatisfied with the results because of his theatre works, in 1997 Farhad received the honor of ‘Best Stage Actor in Chittagong’.
Shortly after receiving his award, he parted from his acting career because of some disagreements with his seniors due to their irregularities.
Meanwhile, Ferari Farhad began writing songs and a number of local artists started singing his songs at various events in Chittagong. At that time, music director Dolan Shah, Sweety, Purnima and Ratan had regular chats and sang songs at their house in Chawkbazar Khal Par. Towards the end of the 90s, filled with disdain and instability, Ferari Farhad came to Dhaka permanently after closing the Chittagong part completely. He wanted to be a director. He came to Dhaka many times, temporarily, before this.
In the meantime, he got acquainted with prominent popular lyricists, composers such as Ethun Babu, Pranab Ghosh, Bakiul Alam, and legendary band singer Ayub Bacchu and other famous artists of the Bangladesh music world. Ultimately, Ferari Farhad started his career as a lyricist, not becoming a director. Numerous songs written and composed by him in that era of audio cassettes gained immense popularity. Some stars gained their fame by singing songs written by him. All the hit songs of the artist Shohag at that time were written by him. He used to write songs for the series ‘Koinya’ and hence was known as the ‘Koinya lyricist’. Although the exact number of songs written by him is not known, the list of songs he has written for films and audio cassettes will not be less than two thousand.
Runa Laila, Asif Akbar, Andrew Kishore, Fakir Alamgir, Ferdous Wahid, Agoon, Monir Khan, Biplob, Hasan, Ayub Bachchu, Panth Kanai, Ankhi Alamgir, Prince Habib, Konak Chapa, Dolly Sayantani, Rizia Parveen, Baby Nazneen, Partha Barua, Rupam, Arif, Ujjal, Atiq Hasan, Sohag Hasan, Pratik Hasan, Puja, Nancy, Muhin, Rinku, Naisr, Tuly, JK, Ahmed Humayun, Anima D’ Costa, Prince have all sang songs written by Ferari Farhad.
When an instability began in the audio industry mostly because of the piracy issues, Ferari parted from his lyricist career completely in 2006. Being a popular lyricist, he could easily get involved in writing plays professionally as he had a strong connection with many people in the world of drama.
However, when he was still involved with songs, he wrote a few one-hour plays at the request of his junior producers. At that time, Mr. Minhaj, the program head of the private television channel RTV, often talked about writing plays. He really liked Ferari Farhad and his writings. However, Ferari could not write dramas since he was devoting most of his time to the world of songs. But Mr. Minhaj used to encourage him regularly.
In this regard, Ferari farhad said – “I used to write in my own rules because I had a habit of writing poetry. And composers would have no problem composing them, However, at that time I used to write without knowing the meter. Composer and music director Shawkat Ali Emon taught me to count the meters with my fingers. Shawkat Ali Emon gave birth to a new Ferari Farhad – a full-fledged lyricist. However, it was Minhaj bhai who gave birth to the playwright Ferari Farhad”.
Ferari Farhad left the world of songs and started writing drama and ultimately emerged as the most successful scriptwriter by writing a television serial named ‘Babui Pakhi’. Ferari said, “Almost 80 percent of the scripts of this drama serial was written right on the shooting spot”.
Ferari Farhad also wrote the script of a star-studded drama named ‘Warish’, where eminent actor Mamun Ur Rashid played one of the main characters. This serial war aired on GTV channel and was directed by Wazed Ali Babu.
With the success of these drama serials, Ferari Farhad also continued writing a few more series at the same time. He wrote the serial drama ‘Lulu Pagla’ for Anwar Hossain Bulu, in which popular actor Zahid Hasan starred.
When asked, a number of celebrities in the Bangladesh entertainment world have spoken about Ferari Farhad:
Tariq Anam Khan – Popular actor
Although my relations with Ferari is like a father and the son, his writing greatly touch me. He has mastered the skill of depicting the rural characters in each of his plays. I have worked in a film named ‘Nolok’, story and screenplay of this movie was written by Ferari. I have also worked in his screenplay of poet Jashim Uddin’s famous ‘Kobor’ poem. It was truly magnificent. I always say, Ferari was born to be a story and screenplay writer of films.
Salauddin Lavlu – Popular actor, director and writer
Ferari is a simple, courageous an excellent human being. My dearest one. I admire his style of storytelling, dialogues, and characterizing. He always gives space for acting in his scripts. There is satisfaction of making. What I like most about him is – he tries to direct the director. Although I love all of his writings, but I had a different level of satisfaction in his story named ‘Commitment’.
Masum Reza – Popular director and writer
To me, Ferari Farhad is like a dear and loving younger brother. His writings and boldness mesmerize me. He respects the respected people. Whatever he does, he never misses to inform me. He has received the award as the best storyteller in the India-Bangladesh Film Award 2019. This had made be extremely delighted.
Asif Akbar – Popular singer
This man has the capability of taking you a thousand years back just within a second. Out relationship is friendly. During the cassette age in the audio industry, Ferari Farhad was a lyricist of a large number of hit songs. He left the career of a lyricist in 2007 due to the prevalent situation. But almost after one decade, he wrote a song title ‘Shitol Pati’ for me. This song represents the culture and tradition of the rural Bangladesh. I also have acted in two of his marvelous story and screenplays. As a friend, I really had great wishes of seeing his name as a director. He has written the story and screenplay for my musical film named ‘Amar Bishyash’, where he also has debuted being the director.
Anwar Hossain Bulu – Eminent cinematographer
I call Ferari as Ferari Boshonto (Fugitive Spring). I discover the fragrance of my favorite write Humayun Ahmed in his writings.
Raisul Islam Asad – Eminent actor
In this life, I have worked in the stories of a large number of storytellers. Everyone writes in their own style. Ferari’s pattern of storytelling is excellent. He deserves appreciation for nicely portraying the life of the people. Few days ago, I have worked in a film named ‘Puthikor’, which is directed by Apurba Rana. Although the shooting was scheduled to take place last year, my schedule with Apurba Rana was not matching. At this stage, Ferari told the director “If we don’t get brother Asad, let’s move for another story. We should not wait for him”. One needs the guts and courage for saying things this way!
Amin Khan – Actor
Possibly I have worked in the highest number of dramas written by Ferari Farhad. Amongst those, a television drama serial named ‘Jamai’ was a popular content, which was aired on Channel-i. Most importantly, I am amazed at his skill or writing the screen mostly on the shooting floors.
Rawnak Hassan – Actor
For quite a while I haven’t worked in any television drama written by my friend (Ferari Farhad). He is now mostly occupied with his writing engagements related to the films. Working in a story and screenplay by Ferari Farhad always fulfills the thirst and expectation of an actor.
Eamin Haque Bobby – Film Producer and actor
In my opinion, the best movie amongst all of my movies is ‘Nolok’, and the story and screenplay of this film was written by Ferari Farhad. He has received appreciation and award for this work. He doe not only just write the screenplay, but wholeheartedly cooperates with the entire process of the making of the film. Most importantly, I have never seen this talented individual lying. In my opinion, he has established himself as one of the best storytellers and screenplay writers in Bangladesh.
Moutushi Biswas – Actor
Ferari Farhad is a kind of Nawaabi writer. If things will match with the director and producer, he will write. Otherwise he won’t. But in my opinion, he should write more.
Although we have to cope with many people and work, just because it is our profession, but we really don’t enjoy the work. But, Ferari’s story and screenplay creates lots of energy and environment for the actors. We don’t feel tired.
Ferari is also a very good actor. He is a dear friend of mine. I think he should resume as an actor in addition to his writing profession.
Ferari Farhad has been associated with Crown Entertainment, Bangladesh’s leading production company and content provider and has already written the screenplay and dialogue of a special length film titled ‘Jonok O Shontan’ (Father and the Child), which was directed by filmmaker Noor Mohammed Moni. Currently this popular storyteller and screenplay written is busy with a number of Crown Entertainment projects.
Commenting on the importance of a company like Crown Entertainment in today’s entertainment industry in Bangladesh, Ferari Farhad said: “I know the entire team of this company, especially its founder and CEO Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury for many years. From the very zero hour, Shoaib Choudhury has discussed every pros and cons of this project and I do believe, they truly have the capabilities of not only offering quality contents to the Bangladesh television channels and the video streaming platforms, this company has the spirit and capacities of introducing Bangladeshi film and drama to the international audience.”
He said, “I am aware, few contents produced by Crown Entertainment, including a feature film will be soon available on a few internationally known video streaming platforms. As my relations with Shoaib Choudhury is for years – more precisely, for over 19 years, I know, this man can really do a lot for the Bangladeshi entertainment industry and our culture.”
Upcoming works of Ferari Farhad
Currently this popular Bangladeshi writer and storyteller is busy with the scripts of a number of television dramas, serials as well as films and web-films. He also has received offer for a story and screenplay for a web series, which will be released on a global video streaming platform.
Vijaya Laxmi Tripura is a research-scholar and Special Correspondent of Blitz