In between shots, she managed to take some time out to talk about food, life and her part on the longest running show on Zee Bangla.
The interview took off with her experience in Dhaka so far. Gastronomically, she has already been introduced to some of Bangladesh's staples like bhortas, vegetable dishes like narkel kochu, bhuna, Ilish, prawn, shutki and morog polao. “Bangladesh is my maternal uncle's place of birth. I have been looking for an opportunity to visit and on top of that now I get to share the screen with Tarik Anam. This experience has been nothing short of privilege and pride,” she said.
When asked about the secret to Zee Bangla Rannaghor's longevity she said, “The show has been running for so long because of the love of the audience that has fuelled the show's longstanding popularity. I don't think I can ever be credited for that.” She believes that the show does not only provide a platform for people to share different cooking recipes but also an opportunity for them to express the different perceptions and desires they have.
As a host she is much loved, not only in Kolkata but in Bangladesh as well for the way she dresses and overall presents herself, to which she laughingly replied, “Who doesn't love wearing sarees? I am all about wearing cottons, tussars and any other form of ethnic wear to create my own style statements and not emulate others.” As the conversation progressed, she revealed how she used to work as a news anchor in her early days in media which has helped her become the host that she is today, “I just go with the flow during shooting, no scripting. What you see is what you get, on and off camera with me,” she concluded.
One of her most memorable episodes was with Saurav Ganguly. “He used to shoot for his show — Dadagiri — in the studio next to our's. I invited him for an episode and told him that I would cook for him. He revealed then how this would be a first for him on a cooking show. On top of that, we only had 30 minutes to shoot the episode in between the breaks of his show. I cooked up some of his favourites: Ilish biriyani and Chingrir chaap and he recounted his childhood with his father,” she said. But when it comes to her personal favourites either to cook or eat, Sudipa said, “For me, it is all about the mood, that's why I can never single out one dish. In winter I am all about baking cakes and pastries, summer is reserved for fish curries and using posto in different dishes, and monsoon is all about Ilish.” Her idea of a family cooked meal was interesting. “It could be merely cups of tea and cakes to an entire festive meal. When I cook, it is all about my guests' preference.”
Photographer: Mohammad Rabby Islam