We had some visitors from the homeland recently (who visits Toronto during the winter?) so had to go and do the usual stuff (CN Tower *yawn*, China Town, VicPark-Danforth Bengali mobtown, Gerrard, a semi-frozen Niagara Falls *super yawn*). The best comment, when visiting Niagara Falls, was by the mother of my aunt, a fiesty 70+ old lady:
"What, we drove all this way just to see some water falling?" Eto duur ailam shudhu pani porte dekhte?
Fortunately there was a couple of my all-time favourite TV mini-series on DVDs.
The first was the Pakistani drama Dhoop Kinaray. It's about two doctors. Dr. Amar (the male lead) is an older (40+), completely boring person who is disillusioned with life and going through the motions. Dr Zoya (the female) is a young, peppy, let's-have-masti(fun) doctor. Somehow she's a brilliant doctor by 25 but we'll ignore that for the moment. The story starts when Dr Zoya stars to work for Dr Amar and their on-again-off-again love story. There's also a delightful supporting cast that makes this mushy drama a laugh-out funny comedy at times.
They used to show this drama on a local Arab channel when I was a kid in the Middle East. I would come back from school on Tuesdays and my mom would be watching it, and my food ready on the table. I would pick up my lunch and sometimes watch it with her. Oh God, why did that Dr Amar not tell the other doctor he 'liked' her? Why did she not make 'dosti' with him? So this stupid drama can be over and I can watch Smurfs. Now I'm wiser, I get it.
The other is the Best Bangladeshi Drama Ever! If you have to watch one Bengali TV series, you have to watch Kothao Keu Nei (Nobody Anywhere). To give you an idea of how popular this classic was, a major character in the story dies. The day they aired that episode, there was a misil (rally) outside the TV studios, with people protesting at the 'death'. The next day, the Imam (priest) of a major mosque in Dhaka held a janazah (funeral service) for the dead person. This was a character from a TV show. Me thinks Bangladeshis have a lot of time.
It's the story of a street in Dhaka. There's the street hoodlum (the lead) with a heart of gold, and his gang. There's the working class girl (the female lead), who works as a secretary, is near 30 and is engaged to this college teacher. There's her mama (uncle), a bitter, middle aged man tired of fighting the system, and his wife, a forever sick woman. There's the rich lady across the street who supplies girls to high paying clients. There's the rival street gang, and the ever brilliant cranky lawyer. A complete out-and-out funny at times, but poignant when needed, it captures life on that street perfectly. It's not an art film, it's a drama for the masses - the brilliant writing of Humayun Ahmed switches tones perfectly. You know how some people watch Casablanca or DDLJ numerous times and it never gets old? This is one such piece. Be prepared to shed some tears though.
A marathon of all-night viewing later, I can say the weekend wasn't a total waste. They don't make them like they used to anymore.
Tags: Dhoop Kinaray Kothao Keu Nei