Six-time National Film Award winner Raisul Islam Asad won over the audiences with his performances in prominent films like Padma Nadir Majhi (1993), Anya Jibon (1995), Dukhai (1997) and Lalsalu (2001). The freedom fighter started his acting career with Dhaka Theatre and was first seen on the silver screen in Khan Ataur Rahman's film, Abar Tora Manush Ho (1973). He looks back on his early days in a candid chat with The Daily Star.
Born and brought up in Paltan, Dhaka, his childhood was filled with mischief and fun in the company of his sister, Nurjahan. "Paltan used to be surrounded with trees and gardens back when I was in school. One day, while I was playing in the bushes with Nurjahan, a voice called out to us," he shares. "After walking towards that voice, we found ourselves among some hijackers. We had to give up Nurjahan's gold earrings for our safety, and even forgot the road back to our house. It was a terrible incident."
He also treasures his teenage memories with stage and film director Nasiruddin Yousuff. "We were neighbours, and our families were really close," he smiles. The actor also loved flying kites with his friends. "Back in those days, flying kites was very common," he reminisces. "We used to walk home from school in Sadarghat, just to save money to buy papers, threads and kites. My first bicycle ride, swimming and fishing in the pond by my house, the playground where we used to enjoy -- I miss them all!"
Raisul Islam Asad was brilliant in his studies. "I still clearly remember the joy in my parents' eyes, when they got to know that I topped my matriculation exam," he smiles. Soon, he got into acting. "Selim Al Deen, Nasiruddin Yousuff and I acted together, in what would go on to become Dhaka Theatre," he says. "Initially, we all worked backstage, but after Bangladesh's independence, I debuted on the stage with the play, Shongbaad Cartoon, written by Selim and directed by Nasir. That is how my acting career began."