Thursday, July 18, 2024

In Conversation with Nabajyoti Bora- well-known Assamese dramatist, actor and director

The Assamese drama industry has produced several skilled directors who have excelled in the world of drama. Directing is not an easy task, be it for a long or short film, documentary, drama, soap opera, etc. It requires a lot of insight, leadership, continuous research, perseverance, and hard work. One such well-known director from the industry is Mr. Nabajyoti Bora. Recently, Enigmatic Horizon had a discussion with him, where he was very candid about his overall experiences as a drama director for all these years.

EH: Why did you choose directing as your career?

NB: Since childhood, I was associated with drama and theatre. We were brought up in a good drama environment. There was a time when I was not getting any good offers for a role in drama or film, and therefore I started to write scripts for dramas, hoping that I would act in my own plays. My first drama was in the year 2000 titled “Fota Jalor Mass”. I performed in that drama as well. The drama was well received by the audiences.

EH: Are you associated with any Drama/Theatre group?

NB: At present, I am associated with a Drama/Theatre Group named Jyoti Xilpo. But my first association was with a theatre group named Abinaswar after which I got involved with a theatre group named Sundaram. I feel that regular association with theatre groups helps to enhance skills in filmmaking as well. I was offered to write a film script by renowned director and actor Upakul Bordoloi named “AJANITE MONE MONE” after he had witnessed one of our dramas, A bhawa gahana Bano. He had loved it while I was performing in a competition where he was the judge. Later on, he gave permission to do a screenplay of our drama at more prestigious events held in different places, be it in the city or town. We also kept on conducting shows from our theatre group all over Assam to gain better exposure. Gradually, I started to focus more on screenplays. For about a decade, I worked as a scriptwriter and director for the satellite channel named Rang. Also, side by side, I was thinking of producing a film and then within three years, I developed a good story to initiate my dream project at the earliest. Eventually, I left the job at the channel and shifted my full focus on direction. The name of my first dream project was “MOJOLI”- ‘An Island of a Broken Heart.’

EH: So, was your Dream Project released?

NB: No, it’s not yet released. But our film was shown in “The North East Film Festival 2023” held in Mumbai. I was awarded as the “Best Director” for my work MOJOLI. Out of 150 other regional films, only 8 were selected, out of which “MOJOLI” was titled as the best. The story of the project is similar to the story of an actual man who is living a secluded life on an island, far away from society. We got a good response and received a lot of praise and appreciation for our work.

EH: What are your plans for the future? Do you wish to continue with drama or you have some future plans for filmmaking?

NB: For many years, I have been associated with drama. On the other hand, I am also passionate about filmmaking. So, this is overall a very tough call for me. I wish to maintain a balance between both of them.

EH: Please let us know about some of your works in detail.

NB: As I mentioned before, my first drama was “Fota Jalor Mass.” Then my next work was “Deutar Poduli Udoli Moduli.” Popular Assamese actor K.K. (Siddhartha Sarma) acted in this and was a part of our team. “Deutar Poduli Udoli Moduli” became very popular among the masses in Assam. Another work of mine is a drama named “A Bhawa Gahano Bono.” It was even aired as a serial by Door Darshan Kendra.

EH: Did you work only as a director or have you also worked as a writer?

NB: I have worked as both a director and a writer, along with working as an actor as well. “A bhawa gahana Bano” and “Mahakavyar Alikhito Pristha” were some of my works that instantly connected with the audience, although most of the incidents were fictional. We have also received many awards in All Assam Competitions and performed many shows. Another popular drama written by me is “Bhupali Gadhuli Rupali Banhi,” which is based on loneliness during old age and it gained immense popularity within a short period of time.

EH: How many awards have you received for your work? Please name them.

NB: I have been awarded for Best Director, Best Script Writer, and Best Actor throughout my career. Competitions like “Xurjo Bora Xuworani Ekankho Naat Protijogita,” “Khirudh Barua Memorial Protijogita,” and “Jyotirupa Ekanko Naat Protijogita” are among those where I have been awarded and appreciated for most of my works.

EH: How do you maintain your work-life balance?

NB: I had an inclination towards Bhaona since my childhood. Gradually, I started writing and then focused my attention on direction and acting. Sundaram and Abhineshwar, as I mentioned before, were the theatre groups where I acted in dramas to fit into the roles. I have seen many young girls and boys in Assam not getting sufficiently paid for drama, despite working hard and being passionate about it. Based on a song, I also wrote a script for the drama “Hoyera Jetuki Bai,” directed by Momi Bordoloi. I believe that even in drama, we deserve respect that will help us live and get motivated each day. As a part of the theatre group, we believe our audiences should love our work and actually come to visit us again and again by paying for us. I have also participated in festivals and shows conducted not only in Assam but also in different parts of the country.

EH: Does your career affect your personal life?

NB: I strive to balance my personal and professional life. It is not easy to earn a living solely through drama. I have few expectations, and I am not highly ambitious, but I love drama, art, and culture, and it is this passion that keeps me going. It has become more like an addiction to me. At one point, I joined a channel to learn more about this profession. I also had an inclination towards acting since childhood. My first main role was in the year 1996 for a film called “Santur,” directed by eminent director Chandra Mudoi. I was studying in higher secondary at that time. I am happy and satisfied with whatever I am doing to date. It gives me inner peace of mind that can’t be explained. Currently, I am playing a role in a TV serial called “Bauli Fagun,” and the audiences have loved my performance.

EH: Are your awards mostly monetary or non-monetary?

NB: The awards are a mix of both monetary and non-monetary rewards. In a legitimate drama competition, the approximate pay should be closer to 25k, but it can range from 5-10k in some cases. So, it depends on the budget of the drama as well as the competition.

EH: What are your thoughts on the new generation of OTT platforms?

NB: I feel that it depends on the audience and the content. Yes, the new generation OTT platforms have had a significant impact, but the popularity of drama still remains. It won’t easily fade away. Most people love to watch live shows, and that is only possible through drama. So, drama will continue to exist with its own identity.

EH: According to you, how can we revive interest in drama among the new generation and make them prefer it over OTT?

NB: There is a significant difference between reel life and real life. Drama provides an overall learning experience. As I said, it’s all about preferences. Even the new generation, who loves to watch everything live, will always prefer drama over OTT by default. However, I believe some promotion is also required from the media.

EH: Any message for aspiring drama directors, actors, and scriptwriters?

NB: First of all, discipline and sincerity are required. There should also be a balance between dreams, expectations, and actions. It depends on an individual’s own skills to perfectly balance their life and excel in their career. Good leadership qualities are also important. Additionally, we should recognize our talents, nurture ourselves, and work towards a bright future.



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