At a discussion on the “Filmmaker Humayun” at Dhaka Lit Fest premises, noted author and film director Humayun Ahmed’s wife Meher Afroz Shaon stated that the author’s magnum opus, the enchanting vagabond character “Himu” is inspired from the author’s own father.
Responding to a question from one of the audiences, gathered at the Bangla Academy lawn for listening to the stories of the notable author, director and songwriter, Shaon said that Humayun found Himu in his father.
“He loved his father so much and was obsessed with him. The fictional character Himu is inspired by his understanding of his father.”
Recounting her memories with Humayun as a director, Shaon said:
“He did not have any academic degree on films but he had surely known how to deal with his crew. He believed in equality and implemented his belief in sets.”
“Every single member of his crew, regardless of their positions, used to eat the same food he ate.”
For his strong faith in the teamwork, Humayun used to discourage the crew members to call the actors as Sir and Madam, Shaon added.
Cherishing the memory of working with the director, Shaon preferred “Sharaban Megher Din” as her most memorable work with Humayun. To the 36-year-old actor, memories collected from the set of the second film of Humayun are evergreen.
Shaon said: “Sharaban Megher Din is always the most favourite and eventful film for me. Firstly, it was the first film of my adult life. Secondly, it was only during the shooting of the film, when I and Humayun built up a better understanding between us than ever before.”
“Thirdly, the film is so memorable because we had to shoot it three times. There was an actress, portraying one of the important characters in the film, all on a sudden, decided to desert the film, leaving us bamboozled in the middle of the shoot. We had to find a replacement and do it all over again,” she added.
Humayun, according to Shaon, who had a belief in supernatural powers, also witnessed some eerie events during the filming of the film as a few days after the actor’s leave, things started to take a spooky new crunch.
“Despite having the fully functional filming logistics, we found out that all the footage we previously took is shaky and after a thorough investigation, we found no fault in the system. Meanwhile, some of the members of the production team also started to complain about several supernatural events they experienced.”
“The shooting is paused and we became more concerned with exorcism than we were with film. Humayun eventually hired an exorcist. Many of the extras had already left the set in fear. It was a total disaster. On top of everything, Humayun suddenly declared that the film is cancelled. Apologising to all of the crew members, he said that under the circumstances it was impossible for him to complete the film,” Shaon went on narrating.
“But seeing the total breakdown in the director’s confidence, the crew came to his rescue saying that they want to complete the film by any means and they will not take any further payment to do the rest of the work.”
Moderated by actor Riaz, two of the close acquaintances of the demised author, filmmakers Mahfooz-ur Rahman Khan and Matin Rahman, were also present in the discussion session.