How do you feel about being a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award?
It is a matter of great joy and even greater honour. Every artiste dreams of getting a National Award. Even though my first award ever came later than I had expected, I am elated about it.
You have been acting for 53 years. What is your greatest achievement?
I started acting with the role of Rupban 53 years ago. However, people still remember me by the name ‘Rupban’. What more could an actor ask for?
As a star of the golden age of Bangla cinema, who do you think should be credited for the films of that contemporary?
Obviously, the filmmakers! During that era, the directors used to give emphasis on the stories. They invited good script writers, music composers and artistes. The whole team used to work in harmony and thus, the films are still remembered today.
Artistes, nowadays, seem to be a competitive mood, even outside their acting career. The recent Cholochitro Shilpi Samiti election can be one of the examples of such cases. What are your thoughts regarding this issue?
Back in the old days, we used to be like a family. We competed over our work as actors, but we never had such disputes. FDC wasn’t like this, it was a place we loved.
‘Rupban’ is one of the mostsuccessful movies in the history of Bangladesh cinema. As the lead actor of the film, tell us about the days you’ve left behind.
To begin with, Rupban did not get the recognition it deserved. It was the film that chased Urdu films away from this country. After Rupban’s success, there was an influx in Bangla cinema. Filmmakers chose to make films in Bangla over Urdu. While making the film, director Salahuddin had said that he wanted to make such a film that would manage to deviate people away from Urdu films and attract them towards films in Bangla. The folk film became an instant hit and was screened in cinema halls for years. Yet, the film did not get its proper recognition from the industry.
Tell us something about actor Azim, your life partner.
Azim was famous both as an actor and a director. However, I remember him for his kindness. Despite coming from a wealthy family, he never turned anyone away in their times of need. I miss him a lot.