December 10, 2009
Today is the 81st birth anniversary of multi-faceted talent Khan Ataur Rahman, an acclaimed actor, filmmaker, playwright, lyricist, producer, music director and singer.
An icon of the silver screen and music in the country, Ataur was born on this day in 1928 at Ramkantapur village in Singair upazila of Manikganj district.
In 1949, he fled home for Bombay but after a few months of hard work and almost starving he moved in 1950 to Karachi where he found the job of a Bengali news reader in Radio Pakistan.
In 1952, Rahman went to London and got enrolled in the theatre department of City Literary Institute. In 1954 he went to the Netherlands with a UNESCO scholarship.
He returned to London in 1955 and started working with local theatre groups including Theatre Royal, Unity Theatre and Irving Theatre. For a short time he also worked for the BBC.
Rahman came back to Dhaka and got enlisted in the radio as a lyricist, music director, recitation artist and actor in 1957. The next year he played the lead role in the film âJaga Hua Saveraâ.
In 1959, Rahman emerged as a music director and lyricist with Ehteshamâs film âEi Desh Tomar Amarâ in which he also played the character of a family head.
In 1960, together with Zahir Raihan, Rahman founded Little Cine Circle.
Khan Ata had directed music for a good number of popular films in his long career of five decades.
He wrote the lyrics and directed music for number of films including âJey Nadi Moru Patheyâ, âKokhono Asheniâ, âSurjasnanâ, âSonar Kajolâ, âKancher Dewalâ, âSangamâ, âDui Digantaâ, âAbaar Tora Manush Hoâ, âSujan Shakhiâ and âDin Jai Kotha Thakeyâ.
Rahman had also directed music for Urdu films âSoey Nadia Jagey Paniâ âBahanaâ, âSaagarâ, âAakhri Stationâ, âMalaâ and many more.
He had directed 19 films and always had a preference for folk, historical and simple stories for his films that include âSaat Bhai Champaâ, âNawab Sirajuddoulaâ, âAbaar Tora Manus Hoâ, âSujan Shakhiâ, âMoner Moto Bauâ, âJowar Bhataâ, âDin Jai Katha Thakeyâ and Lottery.
Khan Ata had received many awards for music direction in the films Surjasnan and Kancher Dewal. He received Pakistan Film Festival Award-1965. For his film Nawab Sirajuddowla he received Nigar Award Pakistan-1968 and Certificate of Merit at Tashkhand International Film Festival-1968. In 1980 he received best music directorâs award for Sujan Shakhi.
Khan Ataur Rahman has to his credit a number of short films and documentaries for which he also won awards.
During the war of liberation, Rahman wrote and composed patriotic songs and took initiatives to supply the freedom fighters with food and medical supplies.
During the immediate post-war period, his film Abar Tora Manush Ho moved the audience with an accurate depiction of the changed reality in the ravaged country. The legend died on December 1, 1997.