The season 3 of the popular satirical comedy series 'Shondha with Shamol Da' is all set to premiere soon on the official social media handles of Cachar Chronicles, as informed by the prime cast of 'Shondha with Shamol Da', Hrijoy Das Kanungo on Tuesday. The first poster of the series is out now on the official facebook page of Cachar Chronicles, with a set of two catchy slogans as usual, "তৃতীয় পর্ব আবার ধরবো" and "Kudal is again real".
Hrijoy Das Kanungo, popularly known by his on screen name, Shamol Da said that the show has always been "natural". "It was a random idea to suddenly throw me in front of the camera with my silly comedy cameo ideas, with no scratched out scriptures during the initial stage of the show, that resulted into a character, that the city of Silchar and beyond knows today as Shamol Da", stated Hrijoy.
"During those days, I was preparing for NEET, and could not crack it. I dropped a year for a second try and eventually, somewhere started feeling that all my mates are leaving the city for higher studies and I am yet to find my key to success. That was when I started having a full time involvement with Minimalist Studios", narrated Hrijoy. Further narrating about the origin of the series, he said, "There was this man named Kashi Da (Kashi Biswanath Das), who is an advocate by profession and has a lot of clients from villages. These clients, while trying to speak in "Shudho Bangla", speak in a different type of Bengali altogether, as they are originally Sylethi Bengali speakers. Kashi da used to share the anecdotes regarding those villagers and their way of speaking in Bengali. That spawned an interest within me to mimic such a unique dialect."
He further narrated, "One day, while recording a music cover, I suddenly start cracking jokes in that unique Bengali dialect and it made all other crew mates laugh out hard. Thus, Sobhraj Da (Sobhraj Chakraborty) randomly proposed to bring me in front of the camera and let me speak whatever I want to. Hizol Da (Hizol Choudhary) then suggested that if we do this, then we should do a characterization of myself, that resulted into the character, Shamol Da, a man from Silchar, who went out in the market to buy domestic rations, witnessed the prevailing problems in the city, came back home frustrated, to rant in front of the camera. Thus, they gave me a kameez, an umbrella (Shamol Da's Kudal), a bazaar bag, and threw me in front of the camera (Hrijoy laughs). Abhishek Da (Abhishek Goswami) then completely managed the role of a DOP. Right from shooting the intro, to the episodes, he was constantly behind the camera. Consequently, the first season of 'Shondha with Shamol Da' came into existence."
"The first episode was a huge hit. In addition to facebook, the episode went crazily viral on whatsapp and believe me or not, I started receiving feedbacks from Bangladesh and Sylethi Bengalis, living in the United States", exclaimed Hrijoy. He emotionally added, "I could experience an intense stream of love, while among the people of Silchar. People would randomly come across and ask for a autograph; I had to pose with unknown people for selfies; there are tales of woe to narrate when strangers used to sob before me, after Shamol Da's season 1 bade Silchar goodbye."
Hrijoy informed that after Minimalist Studios was shut down in the year 2017, Shamol Da went missing. The season 1 was over by then. "Shamol Da was lost among us, but a character like him could never be forgotten. He was alive in the memories of all his fans", stated Hrijoy Kanungo with pride. Hrijoy said that he had had a message or a two, daily from people, enquiring about Shamol Da's next season. "Thus, we decided to bring back the happiness to the people of Silchar, and 'Shondha with Shamol Da Season 2' got initiated", stated Hrijoy.
Hrijoy further explained that the season 2 had its own challenges. "The whole team of creators got professionally separated by then. I called a meeting to bring everybody together, and all were having a different and unique mindset. By different mindset, I mean, all were at a crucial stage of their life, with variable career and professional goals", explained Hrijoy. He was then elated to state, "But that one hook, that attached the different strings (team members) together, was their mutual love for me. I was a younger brother to each in that group of four." However, giving his opinion about the second season, he said, "Each creator in the team was having other professional engagements that was justifiably hampering the quality of the production. Despite the fact that the season was equally loved by its viewers, but I was personally not satisfied. The production quality was good, but the content lacked somewhere." He informed that season 2 came to an abrupt end as the team could counclude that everything was being pushed past the limit.
"The idea of season 3 came into my mind when I realised that Shamol Da's fans have the desire to watch that version of Shamol Da, who featured in Season 1", said Hrijoy. He further said that he casually released an update on his facebook wall about the possible comeback of Shamol Da and received an "overwhelming" response. "Thus, I approached each creator, who were there in the team for both the previous seasons, and they all advocated the decision. However, Abhishek Da and Sobhraj Da have ensured their support but couldn't commit their involvement in the production process, with their hectic professional schedule in the line; Kashi Da is in for helping with the contents and Hizol da is in by all means to help in the technical part of the production process. Consequently, we officially announced Season 3 on Tuesday", said Hrijoy. He announced that the format of season 3 will be better than ever. "It will be the same Shamol da, but with a different style. We will explore and experiment with the character in this season", informed Hrijoy. The initiative is all Hrijoy's this time.
Today, Hrijoy Das Kanungo has a image in the society, that often portrays him as a serious man. He is often seen in videos on social media, analysing serious contents, raising questions against grave issues and controlling young groups of journalists. He can arguably said to be a prominent figure in the Silchar's contemporary Journalism. With that being said, the character Shamol Da, althouh raises serious issues, but presents them in a satirical way. These contrasting features of Hrijoy Kanungo in reel life and real life, often raised questions against him. When asked about this, Hrijoy replied, "Shamol Da is a character, and this very phrase shall answer the question. However, if explained in details, Shamol Da is a character, who rants about issues around and that I play, but I am not Shamol Da; I am Hrijoy Kanungo, who is a serious man on screen, analysing social issues. Shamol Da and Hrijoy Kanungo should not have the same identity."
Hrijoy futher credited the Director of Bhabikal Theatre Group, Santanu Paul for being the man behind the actor, Hrijoy Kanungo, who plays Shamol Da. "I am an actor before my identity as a journalist. I started as an actor and I must mention Santanu Sir and his initiative, or you may say, Bhabikal's initiative, Kala Academy. Santanu Sir was that fatherly figure, who taught me to place my first firm step in the field of acting. He nurtured me and became a prime reason in breaking the glacier of shyness inside me that helped me to be the outspoken "journalist"", said a grateful Hrijoy Das Kanungo.
Hrijoy futher proudly mentions that Shamol Da is famous for the fact that the character never uses vulgar contents. "It's very difficult to make people laugh without using vulgarity. But Shamol Da never used that, and that made Shamol Da stand out", said Hrijoy.
A poster went online few days back hinting towards the revival of a character, Kola Uddin, who had a cameo in an episode of season 2. When enquired if the plans about Kola Uddin went cancelled, Hrijoy said, "You may say that the project is at a hold, but it has surely not been cancelled. This may get telecasted in future or may stay off screen forver, or it may, at some point of time, merge with Shamol Da; you never know."
'Shondha with Shamol Da' is back after a long period of desperate waiting. Considering the gap between the first two seasons, it sould have got telecasted long back. When questioned about this, Hrijoy stated, "See, there are multi faceted technicality related issues. Such a series never get planned in a day. It needs a mood to be set up over time. It demands in-depth research. It needs a team to be created, that must stay consistent throughout. A team can only be built when all creators come together or atleast give their consent. I announced season 3 only after I could have consents of all the five creators, including me, in my hands. All these technicalities demanded a long period of systematic discussion, and the good news is that Shamol Da is back."
Ensuring the commitment of the team to abide by all the COVID-19 protocols, Hrijoy said, "The shoots have not yet started. We will start it with a team, that must have atleast partially vaccinated people. We shall have sanitizers and masks, all throughout the shoot. We shall not violate any of the Government guidelines. Nevertheless, the show must go on."