Starting his career with the blockbuster "Kashem Malar Prem", noted actor S M Aslam Talukder, known by his stage name Manna, starred in numerous hits throughout his career. Today marks his 13th death anniversary.
Renowned film director Kazi Hayat, and Manna's co-stars Champa, Moushumi, and Purnima, share their memories of him with The Daily Star.
"I treasure my memories with Manna. Hailing from Tangail, he had worked his way up, earning the title of the quintessential 'hero' in the Bangladeshi film industry," says director Kazi Hayat. "Over the years, I met many strugglers, who came to me seeking work, and said that they have similarities with Manna. He inspired many others to follow his path to succeed. However, he remains irreplaceable. Manna respected and adored me as a father, and losing him has been as painful as losing a son for me."
"Manna was an excellent co-star. His only focus was around his craft — films," says Champa. "We had entered the industry during the same time. I was his leading lady in his debut film "Kashem Malar Prem". We went on to work in many other commercially successful productions. I never expected losing him so early. He had done so much in such a short span of time, we can only imagine what he would have done if he was still with us today."
"He was like family to me. I am still very close to his wife Sheli Quader," says Moushumi. "Manna was one of the most successful actors of the industry, and he was a brilliant producer as well. His demise brought a halt to the numerous ways that he was trying to make Bangladeshi cinema better."
"I still listen to our songs together from YouTube, when I am feeling low. I paired up with Manna for several successful films," says Purnima. "Manna and Salman Shah are two names that often cross my mind. Remembering that they are no longer amongst us fills my heart with grief."
Translated by Ashley Shoptorshi Samaddar