I don’t have the habit of traveling. It can be said that I like to stay indoors. But now I understand how important travel is. The Travelife team has brought the open world before my eyes.

A few days ago I went to Netrokona with the Travelife team, on the Bangladesh-India border, in the village of Lengura. I did not go there to travel, just for making travel docufiction. The first season of Travelife has been taken in that area. The stories of this season are written by Shah Muhammod Moshahid, the nucleus of Travelife. Mashiur Rahman Kayes is Director. And from afar, Ahasan Shajib has given us courage. He is the producer of Travelife.

Before reading the script, I thought we might be working on a travel documentary. But after reading that idea changed. It was beyond my comprehension that a travel script could be so dramatically beautiful. I am sure you will say the same after seeing the works of Travelife.

After completing all the preparations for the pre-production, the shooting date of Travelife was fixed. Director, Scriptwriter, and cinematographer reached the spot two days ago. My addresed brother Bipul Mehedi and Al-Amin, Menon, and I arrived the night before.

Arriving at Lengura we took dinner. Later we sat in the preparatory meeting. Who will be in charge is being shared. My addressed brother Moshahid said we will go down to the hard labor mission before dawn tomorrow. Then we all memorized a principle. That is – we are all production boys. We will not hesitate to work hard to make Travelife’s mission successful no matter what our responsibilities are.

Rifat with Noreng mashi in Serenjing folk of Garo
Rifat Islam and Protibha Rongdi. Two different costumes for different characters. Photo: Travelife

The next day at four in the morning. Everyone got up. Our first challenge is to fill the camera with the sunrise on the hills. Quickly leaving the bed, shivering in the winter, we reached Momin’s hill. The sun will appear then. We are also ready. As if the team of sun hunters.

It was annoying to wake up and get out of bed, but the feeling of sun hunting made up for it. I am standing on a high hill. Breeze beside the ears. Winter tremors. And the warmth of new light. I closed my eyes. I took a deep breath. Oh, what peace!

We were filming amidst hills, trees, and the beauty of nature. Every day we are confronted with new experiences. Sometimes going up and down the hill, sometimes dense jungle, sometimes river.

People from the Garo ethnic group have acted with us. Garo teenager actress Fangshri (Fatema) Rangdi has played the role of ‘Serenjing’ of the Garo folktales. In addition, the Garos were present throughout the depiction of the `Serenging’ folklore. By the time we were with them, the whole Garo village was ours.

What surprised me the most was that the Garos there performed incredibly well. Absolutely like nature. In the story of ‘Serenjing’, who was in the role of ‘Noreng Auntie’, did a great job. Others have also presented simply from their respective positions.

Most women in remote villages are usually a little simpler, less educated. But I saw the women there differently. In some cases, they are ahead of the women of the city. The people there speak Achik language. But when they speak Bengali, it tries to fluently.

We’ve worked hard for days in a row to bring up every travel and life story. Oh yes, I am introducing you to the names I mentioned at the beginning – you know Shah Muhammod Moshahid. Without him, we would not get Travelife. The one, Mashiur Rahman Kayes is the director of this Season. A great hardworking man. Having got a director like him, we were able to successfully finish shooting in a short time. Anand Sarker was the cinematographer of Travelife. He worked with his colleagues from morning till late at night. Bipul Mehedi was in charge of management. He has easily met our living and eating habits. Thanks to Bipul Mehedi, through him we got the local host Mr. Mintu.

Also, Menon Khan, My addresed brother Al-Amin worked day and night. Everyone has given enough labor from everyone’s place. Because Travelife is my team, Travelife is our team.

That’s how we returned home after spending time with a new area, new experience, new people. I don’t know what I was able to give to Travelife. But Travelife has given me a new world.

Click here to read in Bengali


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