Of Bonny from Big Bro
Review by Rinku Khumukcham *
My passion for writing has once more pushed me to take up this odd job of following the back of Manipuri celebrity. To be frank, I am a great fan of Manipuri movies stars as well as the singers. The same energetic blood that runs through the body of my 13 years old daughter still exists in me. Sometime, I still wanna spent night at Beigyachandra Open Air Theater joining the rough audience watching G Bonny, Kaiku, Kamala or Bala acting in the digital screen or Sadananda or Sarita Gazmeer performing live on the flat stage.
Sometime I even joined the young teenage hot blood dancing at the corner of the open air theater to the tunes of these high voltage Manipuri performers. Sometimes I don't mind tolerating my wife scolding at me like a kid for doing so after she saw me on local cable TV in live broadcasting. The childhood instinct in me has perhaps turn me down many a time from becoming popular among my colleagues in the same profession that I have been engaged for making a living. And I certainly don't mind that as long as these diehard fans of Manipur keep on fueling me the energy that I would had lost in this age.
These days Gurumayum Bonny has been the talk of the town and I don't mind joining the youth in sharing about what I feel for this talented performer. His latest film Yaiskul Pakhang Angaoba had hit box office in Manipur and I am sure, the two other upcoming films "Western Sangkritan" and "Kaiku Vs Heramoti" at which this new kid on the blog had taken major role is going to create another history in the Manipuri feature film. Before, I commented on the two upcoming films let me brief here on how this young talent happened to be my choice for picking up in my first write up on Manipuri Cine stars.
As an employee of a local TV channel which broadcast current affair programme through wire, I am perhaps one of the many persons who are privileged of getting chances to witness any new upcoming Manipuri feature film. Gurumayum Bonny Sharma happened to be from the locality that I have been presently staying, (i.e. Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, Imphal) and both his elder brothers G Kalyan Sharma and G Gagan Sharma are both my friends. G. Gagan happened to be our staff and I happened to share most of our time together after office work. At almost all the gatherings (of course with some pack of country made liquor), talking about the performances of Bonny would keep us occupied till we say good bye to one another.
Bonny's brother Gagan is a typical person. He is straight, his tone would rise whenever he sense wrong doers who tried to sabotage this noble profession of ours. I remember my former boss, Kangujam Modhumangal Singh, who had once said to me that - If Gagan like a person he would lift him upto heaven, if he don't like then he will pull him down till hell. My former boss was very right, I had seen my friend praising someone to the highest level and sometime throwing down someone deep in hell for little differences of opinion over a simple topic. Being experience in the field of journalism for over 15 years this brother of the young talent Bonny Sharma knows bit of every topic.
Since, Bonny's name started becoming the talk of the town some two/three years back, he would feel pride talking about his brother. During the last one or two years of our friendship I keep on hearing Gagan telling us about Bonny's new venture. He would tell us about what film Bonny had signed to act and what film he had declined to sign.
I definitely know that I should at least spend some time interviewing him if I were to write something about him. But then on second thought, I realized that studying Bonny from the angle of what his elder brother Gagan had tell us about him would be an excellent idea as he himself had seen him growing up in this profession. After all he is a journalist with an experience of over 15 years.
I am told that Bonny began his career as a theater worker under the guidance of renowned theater director cum playwright Rajen Singh. His hard work, dedication and his passion for the performing art had made him enable to come up as a successful artist during his journey from Sumang Leela to digital screen. During his time as Sumang leela (courtyard play) actor, he had mesmerized the local audiences by making them drugged into his excellent heard throbbing performances.
Now his unique performances in digital film had once more made way to conquer the heart of Manipuri film lovers. His dialogues are now the favorite of the young tiny tots. My friend Helendro Maibam's 3 years old daughter, who had just learn to speak language even tried to imitate the dialogue he had delivered in "Yaiskul Pakhang Angaoba".
I had seen many kids performing the same acting that Bonny had done in this film during the Yaosang festival. I had also seen my friend Phillip's daughter and her friend performing to a song that Bonny and Bala had done in Yaiskul Pakhang Angaoba. I had also seen couples of youths and mid aged men imitating a dialogue - "DASHAANIHE" which became popular after the film.
The movie perhaps had proved the artistic caliber of Bonny Sharma. But now I again happened to see another two avatars of this great artist. I have come across a song album of one of his upcoming film "Kaiku Vs. Heramoti" produced under the banner of PS film production. The song part was just wonderful that I wanted to listen it time and again.
But then when I learnt the storyline of this movie it certainly thrilled me. The producer of the film also happened to be a close colleague of mine and I enjoy full opportunity to learn about it. The story was about a transgender boy Heramoti and (his) love affair with Kaiku the lead actor. Bonny acted in the film as big brother of Heramoti.
Heramoti's sissy character and his love for becoming a girl had left no option for big bro' Bonny but to transform (him) to the gender of his choice. The film perhaps is going to be one of its only kind in the history of Manipuri film. Contradictory part on whether the love affairs of Kaiku and Heramoti will be accepted by this conservative society of ours' is kept in suspense as the film is yet to be released.
Another film called "Western Shankritan" which is also yet to be released soon also bears certain exclusive character. Imagine if the western rock singers replaced the old shankritana which had been associated with our traditions and cultures during Marriage or sharadha ceremony. Already the state had witness various changes to the Manipuri Shankritana and also people replacing bhazan singers instead of the Sankritana singers in Marriage as well as Shardha ceremony. Well in these film too, Gurumayum Bonny Sharma had done magnificent work by acting as the rock vocalist. He also sings some of the song of this film. Here Gokul, another talent of the Manipuri film is acting as the protagonist.
Versatility of Bonny Sharma in all the three films is perhaps a quality that this young artist had enable to arrest the mind and heart of thousand of his fans from across the state. In all these three film Bonny bear's different character at which people continue talk about him. So friends let's not miss these films but not to see Bonny's another excellent skill but to ponder upon what the production team wanted to convey to the people of this society.