The Color Red

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The color red on the STAGE has a very strong impact. When we use the red color, be it in costume, props or set, we have to be very careful.

In a play by Shamsul Huq; “Nuroldeener Shara Jibon”, the color red was adorned by the rebels. In “Dewan Gazir Kissa”, the presence of Laily (Dewan Gazi’s daughter) in red marked the wedding. In “Khatta Tamasha” the forced marriage of Rupa could only be represented by red. In Brecht’s Galileo (where I was the costume designer), I put the Pope in red. This was to show the final authority. In a play I directed (Ariel Dorfmann’s Death and the Maiden adapted into Bangla by Syed Huq as Mukhosh), the only red I used on stage was the colour of the blouse of the raped victim in ’71. All other colors were  various shades of grey.

Red is always very special on stage. The other two colors are black and white.

Let’s come back to what is written in “black and white” in everyday life. In our everyday lives of today what’s written in black and white is that we are living in an age of intolerance, disrespect and extremism. We do not see the end. The end of the tunnel is Black. The burnt bodies are black. The charred buses are black. The only thing that is white is the LIE. The only thing that is white is the LIE. It’s a WHITE lie that policy makers “now” and “have been, will be”, care about the dark depth of abyss that we are falling into.

Just as the black is telling the truth of today, the RED too is screaming out loud till its blue in the face.

The last nail in the coffin has been the red blood pouring out of Avijit Roy. Who cares if you have been hacked and you have died till they have drained you of all the RED in your body! The red blood was washed away clean, leaving no evidence that any such crime had happened in that place. But let us not forget that Avijit was by birth a Bangladeshi. He was born in the months of blood bath in ’71 when hundreds and thousands of Bengalis were murdered in open streets, in slaughter houses and shot in their “secure” homes.

My heart cries out for Avijit’s father, who never left the soil of Bangladesh, as he believed this was his home. He could have been in UK after his Ph.D. degree or in India like his two brothers.

He made sure he went to receive his son every year when Avijit visited Bangladesh. He was a patriot. He did his duty, he sowed the seeds of patriotism in his son Avijit.

Now only the washed away RED BLOOD and the stories around it tell us tales of lost humanity, of insane extremism, here in Bangladesh.

Are we nothing but another Pakistan, who (knowingly or unknowingly) allowed extremism to rule?

Are we following the same path?