What are your thoughts on your birthday this year?
Zahid: First of all I am indebted to God for keeping me in good health, and that I am still able to work to this day. I hope and pray to continue for many more years. As for plans, my parents are not here with me today. Had they been alive, I would have spent the day with them. Now I spend the occasion with my wife, son and daughter. I had been planning a party this year with loved ones, but that will happen a few days later.
You have a huge fan base in the country. What would you like as a birthday gift from them?
Zahid: I do. Fans are what made me what I am today. My fans have supported me by appreciating my work and loving me. I ask them to love me till the day I die, and lend me their prayers.
Who is usually the first to wish you on your birthday?
Zahid: I have one son and a daughter. On the eve of my birthday they and my wife gather to wish me, which I look forward to. Then I have my sister and other members of the household, family and friends. And my fans also send me their blessings and warm wishes.
What is your favorite gift to get on your birthday?
Zahid: I love receiving flowers more than anything. I receive expensive gifts from time to time, but flowers and heartfelt wishes are what make me happiest.
Is there a birthday that you still remember vividly?
Zahid: The one I remember most fondly was in 1989. I used to live in a shared apartment with three or four people in Dhanmondi at the time. I had been sweeping my room when a close relative arrived. He noticed that I was morose, and when he asked me why, I told him that today was my birthday, and had I been home with my family, my mother would have cooked payesh for me. He then told me that one day, the entire nation would celebrate my birthday with me, and I wouldn't be alone anymore. The man is no more, and I think of him often.