This image shows a street-play (potho nattay) called ‘Kheypa Paglar Paychal’ in front of Rokeya Hall probably in 1981. The main character was played by our renowned cinematographer and filmmaker Kawsar Chowdhury (e.g., ‘সেই রাতের কথা বলতে এসেছি’). This picture represents a segment of the ‘worry-free’ environment at the University of Dhaka in the 1980s. I just completed my honors (Political Sc.) in 1981 and was waiting for the master’s classes to commence. During those lazy days, the street play was a regular entertainment for many like me in the campus. The picture also frames how disciplined the audiences are. The audiences standing at the right are mostly female, whereas, the left-side standing audiences are male. A pattern of self-segregation is noticeable here. This arrangement was definitely not pre-planned. However, it demonstrates the natural disciplined behavior of the students at that time.
The poster on the wall depicts probably the Bhutto-Rana (?) panel, seeking votes for the DUCSU (Dhaka University Central Students’ Union) election. The Jannat-Mita panel for the Hall Shangsad election as written on the other side of the Rokeya Hall building is also visible. I am not sure if that big tree still exists. Interestingly, some kids are also seen enjoying the play.
Every face in this image tells us how ‘worry-free’ they are; and how thoroughly they are enjoying their time. This scene was quite common in the late 1970s and early 1980s at DU. I wish I have another chance to fly back to those days like a stringless drifting kite in many such places in Dhaka for one more time. Don’t you?