At the beginning of the play, Salma is seen praying to God for incarnating love, forgiveness, patience, serenity and unity in human beings. Wearing a white robe, she denotes how purity of love can triumph over all the darkness inside us. Her transition from white, tells the audience about her captivity in a land where a group of extremists are creating violence, rejecting peoples’ own way of living and killing who are against them to establish their beliefs. After freeing her, she comes to know her closest ones are brutally killed by the extremists including Bahar, Maisha and her lover Arian, a violin player. Here, she is seen to be talking continuously with her inner self. She does not listen to her inner self and goes to see the dead body of Arian, where she is raped and killed by the extremists.
Salma not only represents every human against political invasion, oppression, violent coercion and extremism but is also a victim. She portrays her grief-stricken soul and the struggles she had to face where she converses with her inner self and performs her worldly duties.
About the execution of this role she added, “I am honoured to have the opportunity to act as a single performer in such a thought-provoking drama. By playing the character (Salma), who is the victim of the situation (social and political unrest) apart from my immediate self or experience, I have been able to concentrate and entirely project into the thoughts of the character. Even though it took a long time to become skilled with the dialogues and be prepared to act out the story unaccompanied.”
Beautiful choreography with incidental music and the innovative use of lights added a special flair to the staging of the play. Several masks have been used to demonstrate other characters in the play. While talking about it the artist added, “In this hour-long monodrama, timing is more important as there is a synchronisation of dialogue, music, choreography and lights as well.”
Sayka is successful in portraying the boldness, fearlessness, and purposefulness of this role. The artist here is keenly aware of her role in society and implies art to promote thinking and stimulate dialogue. Sayka embraces the opportunity to use her voice to call attention to the social and political problems of our times. She embodies talent, optimism, and a sense of personal responsibility that is admirable. Her acting is appreciable as she wonderfully grabs the attention of the audience in her hour long performance.
The actress has been working in the theatre scene since 1986. In 1988, she played a character in Chondrabati. Later on, she played a lead role in Sojon Badiyar Ghaat. Sayka received the best actress award from Bangladesh Sangbadik Somiti in 2008 for performing in Mouse Trap. Her famous plays include the likes of Macbeth, Kaler Jatra, Kaalratri and Khet Mojur Khoimuddi. She has worked as a dance trainer in Bangladesh Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA) for almost sixteen years.
Gohonjatra is the 39th theatre production of Padatik Nattya Sangsad (TSC). The play has been written by Rubayat Ahmed and directed by Sudip Chakroborty. The play was last staged on August 27.