A legacy that lives on | The Daily Star
04:55 PM, August 21, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:58 PM, August 21, 2020

Remembering the Nayak Raj

A legacy that lives on

Every time the tune of the song Nil Akasher Niche Ami hits my eardrums, I get teleported back into the retro era — those bellbottoms, Texas collars and the majestic brilliance of silver screen actors. A lot has changed since then — the fashions, the musicals, even the dialogues, but for me, a glimpse of the Nayak Raj refreshes all memories. Today marks the 3rd death anniversary of the legendary National Film Award-winning actor, Abdur Razzak.

With his joyous smile and simplicity, paired with his elegance, the actor ruled over the Bangladeshi film industry for over three decades. His superhit, the mystically mesmerising song, Gaaner Khatay Shorolipi Likhe from the film Shorolipi (1970), which has managed to top the charts since the last 50 years, and of course, his onscreen chemistry with the diva Babita is still vivid in the minds of movie lovers.

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Kazi Zahir's film Abujh Mon (1972), starring Razzak alongside Shabana, till date stands as one of the most commercially successful Bangla movies of all time. The melancholic voice of Abdul Jabbar paired with a heartbroken Razzak on the black and white record represented every lover's voice, when it hit the theatres.

Narrating the epiphany of struggles, be it the days when the scorching sun is shining high in the sky, or a gloomy evening, the lyrics of the song, Pitch Dhala Ei Pothtaare Aaj Bhalobeshechi, managed to install new hopes in the young minds of the country.

His film Moynamoti (1969) gave a new dimension to the meanings of love and marriage, especially with the song, Oneek Shadher Moyna Amar. This production, starring Kabori with Razzak in lead roles, still leaves audiences with teary eyes. When it comes to Razzak's A-listers in music, the list goes on to include the magnificent romantic composition, Chokh Je Moner Kotha Bole from the film Je Agune Puri (1970), where he shared the screen with Suchanda.

He redefined romance on the silver screen with his song Ainate Oi Mukh Dekhbe Jokhon from the film Naacher Putul (1971), where he appeared with Shabnam, and not to forget the sweet musings of the song Geetimoy Ei Din Chiro Din Bujhi Ar Holo Na, from the film Chondo Hariya Gelo (1972), where we worked with Shabana.

Speaking of romance, I still remember how Razzak's role in Laili Mojnu, became a metaphor for young boys, who replicated his hairstyle and long beard. He shared the screen once again with Babita in this beloved love story, which still needs no introduction to the 20th century youngsters.

Regarded as the king of romance, the actor never failed to pleasantly surprise his fans with his versatility. His film Chutir Ghonta (1980), only reinforced  his acting prowess. Dressed in the simple attire of an office clerk, the star shined in that role, with an extraordinary performance. While the songs featuring the legend has left a mark across generations, cinemagoers also connected with his dialogues, during his reign. His performances as the titular character in Rongbaaz, and in the film, Alor Michil, pledged nothing short of perfection.  

Today, three years after his demise, audiences remember Nayak Raj Razzak as the star who was born to become an example of excellence.

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