The students of the Department of Drama and Dramatics of Jahangirnagar University (JU) appeared in Lab-3 of Jahir Raihan Auditorium with their play ‘Jol Poloker Gaan’ last week.
The play portrays a dilemma of triangular love between Mansur, Chad Sultana and Feroz Dewan in the period of the Mughal Empire.
Mansur is a folk singer-songwriter who lives with his poor brother Haidar, a little obliged peasant of Mohobbat Jong - the zamindar of the land. Jong happens to be one landholder and zamindar among Baro Bhuyian, resisting Mughals strongly from his land.
Listening to Mansur’s extraordinary singings with remarkable Sarinda play, landlord Jong's sister Chad Sultana falls in love with him.
Hearing about this, grumpy Mohobbot Jong arranges Chad Sultana's marriage with his friend, Feroz Dewan who is also a free landlord adjacent to his land and one of the Baro Bhuyian.
Before the marriage, Mansur is brutally beaten by the infantryman of the landlord. Helpless Chad Sultana gives him syrup as medication. But Mansur loses his tongue as it turns out to be poisonous which Jong planned on purpose.
The play doesn’t end here, rather it turns towards another dilemma afterwards - the marriage of Chad Sultana and Feroz Dewan.
At the end of the play, a terrible pain for Chad, Mansur and Feroz Dewan would fill the minds of the audience. Towards the climax, tears glistened in the corners of the eyes of many viewers which testifies how successful Jol Poloker Gaan was as a tragedy.
Besides, the play questioned our present society through many components. Strong and meaningful remarks can be found in Mansur’s singing, such as - God created us equal, but we, the people, divide us as upper class and lower class and sink ourselves into fake materialism beyond the spiritual values.
Or the scene when Chad questions the masculinity pride of Mansur upon being denied by Mansur for ballad competition with her.
Soft-hearted Mansur didn’t argue but replied with singing - Women have two forms, women are mothers, and women are ladies. Mothers to stay top of the head, and wives to be chested diligently.
Having a passion for art with remarkable interests in playing the flute, Firoz Dewan was noteworthy throughout the whole play.
Overall, Jol Poloker Gaan is a good musical journey of tragedy. This musical romantic tragedy is based on Syed Shamsul Haq’s ‘Bukjhim Ek Valobasa,’ which was written in the light of the life story of medieval folk poet Mansur Bayati.
Yusuf Hassan Arko, Professor, Department of Drama and Dramatics, JU directed the play and music.