Legendary actor Sarah Begum Kabori ruled over the silver screen with her simplicity and sweetness for over 3 decades, starting from the 1960s. The "Nil Akasher Niche" famed actor has garnered her career with prestigious accolades, including the Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Actress for her role in the film "Sareng Bou" (1978) and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. She was also awarded The Daily Star- Standard Chartered Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.
She later went on to become an elected member of parliament from the Narayanganj-4 constituency as an Awami League politician in 2008, and served until 2014. The beloved actress recently passed away due to Covid-19 at the age of 70. Walking down the memory lane, Kabori's peers commemorate the journey of one of the finest actors of the golden era of Bangladeshi cinema.
"Kabori was a self-made artiste"
I had shared the screen with Kabori in my debut film "Binimoy". I was a complete newcomer back in those days, and had only appeared in television dramas and some plays staged at the University of Dhaka. Director Subhash Dutta had given me this break. She was a big star already with a huge fan following.
Our first shoot was set in an outdoor location and I had reached the set a little earlier. As soon as I reached the set, I could hear people chanting 'Where is Kabori? Is she here yet?' The whole crowd was mesmerised as soon as Kabori stepped out for her first shot.
We soon became friends and as time went by, we only grew closer. I was cast in lead in her production "Bokala Mon", a film directed by Subhash Dutta. I still treasure the memories from the sets of this production.
Kabori's persona greatly radiated the essence of being a simple Bangladeshi girl who would always remind you of the simply beautiful girl living next door. Kabori was a self-made artiste who never failed to please the audience with her grace and ease.
"Kabori was no less than a legend"
– Sohel Rana
Kabori was no less than a legend. She was unparalleled. With her roles, she had become the personification of the term 'Bangali Meye'.
I still remember how she welcomed me with her warm smile when I approached her for my directorial debut "Masud Rana". Her words still echo in my ears. "I will take up this challenge and work opposite you in your first directorial venture," she had said.
The film had become a super hit and we went on to pair up for her productions as well. She was a very keen learner and never willing to compromise on her performance.
"She was one of the prettiest faces on the silver screen" – Babita
I was eagerly waiting for Kabori to come back to us in good health. Many I know have managed to survive and return even after they have been put on life support. The news of her death has left me completely heartbroken.
We share endless and priceless memories together. We had last shared the screen in Gazi Mahbub's Raja Surja Kha in 2012. We had a great time together shooting for the film at BFDC. I used to cook for her often and carry it to the sets where we spent long hours together.
We had also visited the Moscow International Film Festival together with Razzak and Khan Ataur Rahman. The trip was one of the best ones I have ever had.
She created history and today the history will remember Kabori as one of the prettiest faces on the silver screen.
"Kabori will live forever in our hearts"
– Tariq Anam Khan
Kabori was my co-actor for my debut film "Lal Shobujer Pala". Director Syed Hasan Imam suddenly asked me to become a hero, that too opposite Kabori. This had left me in shock and anxiety.
All my fears disappeared on my first day of the shoot as Kabori sweetly said, "Come here! This is how you do this action and try and emote while saying your dialogues."
In the later years, while we were shooting for the tele-fiction "Maatir Kole" she shocked me with her compliment. "You are a pretty good actor I must say…"
Kabori will live through my memories, and never fade away from the hearts of her fans.