My heroes: Babita on her silver-screen co-actors | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 14, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 14, 2015

My heroes: Babita on her silver-screen co-actors

Babita is a name associated with the golden period of the country's film industry. Pioneer of glamour and fashion in cinema, she has won world acclaim for her dedicated histrionic skills. This reputation gave her an opportunity to work with Oscar-winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray in his Ashoni Shanket.

Who were her silver-screen heroes? In her long career in filmdom, Babita has performed with almost all the popular actors of her time: Razzak, Faruq, Sohel Rana, Bulbul Ahmed and, of course, Zafar Iqbal--obviously the best choice of the audience.

Razzak was Babita's first silver-screen hero, in the traditional sense of the term. Interestingly, her first ever film Shangshar also featured Razzak in the role of her father. "It was an uneasy situation for me to act against someone whom I had called 'father' only a few days back!" says a chuckling Babita. "Razzak was like a family member to us. My brother-in-law Zahir Raihan introduced him to the film industry and he often used to visit us. Yet, the initial discomfort of throwing all those romantic dialogues at him was terrible," recalls Babita going back to the time of shooting the film Pitch Dhala Path.

However, the popular actor was "very generous and cooperative with his co-artistes". "He would brief me on how he was going to deliver the dialogue, or what he was going to do, and how in return he wanted me to act," recalls Babita. Definitely, the primary inhibition did not last long. After the release of the film, the duo became a great hit. The romantic couple was featured in many box office hits later including Swaralipi.

Faruq became an ideal of the "village rebellious youth". "Films with him like Nayon-Moni, Lathial and Golapi Ekhon Train-ey were a massive success," says Babita. "The basically mild-natured Faruq always won his audience by his angry young man image. Films on social issues like these still have the potential to attract the mass as they did then. Our directors should make a come-back with such life and truth-oriented stories," she adds.

Zafar Iqbal occupies a niche as the most popular co-actor of Babita. The duo first appeared in the film Mama-Bhagney. The film became an instant hit, as the new Babita-Zafar Iqbal couple won the hearts of the audience. "Both of us were very young, good-looking, Zafar was handsome and used to play the guitar and, above all, both of us looked glamorous together--which instantly appealed to the audience," comments Babita on the chemistry of the duo's success. "We became good friends outside the silver screen too, which must have also played a positive role in the success of our films. Later, we did together Antoraley, Ek Mutho Bhat, Harjeet, Love in Singapore and many other films most of which were big hits," concludes Babita.

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