Mustafi, Ardhendu Shekhar
Mustafi, Ardhendu Shekhar (1850-1909) actor and drama specialist, was born on 25 January 1850 at Baghbazar in Kolkata. He first performed in the satire Kichhu Kichhu Bujhi (I understand a bit) on 2 November in 1867 at the Pathuriaghata Rajbari. The performance drew the wrath of his patrons at the Rajbari. He then joined baghbazar amateur theatre, which had been formed by his childhood friends. His performance as Kenaram in Sadhabar Ekadashi was lauded by the dramatist dinabandhu mitra. Ardhendu Shekhar helped transform the amateur group into a professional one.
Ardhendhu Shekhar's popularity as an actor rivalled girish chandra ghosh. He could portray different characters, including Englishmen, with equal skill. According to Girish Chandra, Ardhendu's performance was inimitable. amrita lal basu described him as 'An actor made by God'. In Dinabandhu Mitra's Nildurpun, Ardhendhu played both male and female roles, including the characters of Golok Basu, Sabitri and Wood Sahib. His performance as the Englishman, Wood Sahib, was exceptionally successful. His other famous performances included Jaladhar in Nabin Tapasvini, Bidya Diggoj in Durgeshnandini, Drake in Sirajddaula, Hay, Major Adams and Hallwel in Mir Kashim, Ramesh in Prafulla, Ghatak in Rizia, and Roda in Pratapaditya. He was also famous as a drama teacher. He died on 5 September 1909. [Wahida Mallik]