Rahmat Ali | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 30, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 30, 2019

through the eyes

Rahmat Ali

Rahmat Ali made a name for himself with his brilliant performances in theatre. He also managed to showcase his talents by working in several television dramas. Recently, he sat down with Star Showbiz and talked about topics ranging from how his career began to the unfulfilled desires of his heart.

The Beginning

I have been associated with dramas since my childhood. I used to participate in plays held in cultural programs at my school. I did my first stage play in 1968, when I was studying in sixth grade. During my HSCs, I joined the Rajshahi cultural association. From 1975 to 1984, I regularly did stage plays. I finished my LLB Honours from Rajshahi University. Then I got enrolled in Rabindra Bharati University, where I completed my honours and masters in theatre. There, I played the major roles in every single drama written by Rabindranath Tagore. Aside from that, I attended theatre workshop with Bibhas Chakraborty and Ashok Mukherjee. I also worked with Badal Sarkar. I even worked on Utpal Dutta’s Chaitali Rater Swapno as a background artist. On Anjan Deb’s suggestion, I used to regularly work in pantomimes with the Nirbak Abhinay Academy. My guru was India’s Jogesh Dutta. In 1999, I joined Abdullah Al Mamun’s theatre troupe, and played in Dasher Manush. I started my journey in television dramas in 1992 with Faridur Rahman’s Bibaho Bibhrat. In 1991, I joined as a lecturer in Chittagong University to teach the art of theatre. I became an assistant professor in the theatre and music department in March of 2001.

Inspiration

I learnt the finer nuances of acting from my father-in-law, Tofazzal Hossain. He is my one true inspiration.

Fond memories

Following Bibhas Chakraborty’s instruction, I played the part of a villager in Rabindranath Tagore’s play, Bishorjan, in Kolkata’s Academy of Fine Arts stage. That was a memorable day for me. Also, on the suggestion of Ashok Mukherjee, I played the leading role alongside Jolly in Bela Obelar Golpo. Sombhu Mitra, Satyajit Ray and Utpal Dutta came to watch that play. When I heard about their arrival, I started trembling nervously. After the play, I was sitting in the makeup room, and Sombhu Mitra came in and embraced us and praised our performance. I still feel overjoyed when I think about those times.

Unfulfilled Desires

An actor would always want to act more. Although I have done well onstage, I still want to do more stage plays. I have a certain weakness for the character of Bhokto Proshad in Michael Madhusudan Dutt’s Buro Shaliker Ghare Ro. I really want to play his character.

Spare Time

Whenever I have free time, I listen to music, especially the classical ones. I read as well.

Favourites

I love the songs of Ustad Amir Khan and Begum Akhtar. Among the modern artists, I love Manna Dey, Nachiketa, Nirmala Sen and Haimanti Sukla. Other than that, I love songs of Tagore artists like Debabrata Biswas and Suchitra Mitra. Kaushiki Chakraborty and Anjoli Mukhopadhyay are my favourite Nazrul singers. My favourite writer has to be Rabindranath Tagore. Aly Zaker is my favourite theatre artist. I also like the acting of Humayun Faridi, Ferdoudi Majumdar, Wahida Mollick Jolly and Fazlur Rahman Babu.

Hobbies

Outside of acting, my only hobby is travelling. I love visiting local and foreign destinations.

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