A Walk Down The Memory Lane
Shanta Islam, popularly known for portraying a journalist in the hit series, Rupnagar, on BTV, was once one of the most celebrated television stars in the country. She has several critically acclaimed projects under her belt, including stage productions. She has been away from the limelight for a while. In a recent chat with TheDailyStar, she looks back on her glorious career.
Shanta started acting while studying at the University of Dhaka in the eighties. Being the elected Literary Editor of Rokeya Hall twice, she values her student life immensely. She first acted on the stage opposite Bulbul Ahmed at her university. She also worked with Asaduzzaman Noor and Raisul Islam Asad. Once, Ramendu Majumdar and many other notable personalities came to watch one of her theatre plays. "Ramendu Majumdar inspired me to join theatre," she shares. "He always told me to work with a calm mind. His advice has helped to never give up. I had some wonderful experiences working in theatre."
Her first theatre play, Juddha And Juddha, was written by Syed Shamsul Haque. It was an instant hit. Ferdousi Mazumder, Abdullah Al Mamun and Khaled Khan among others were her co-stars in the production.
She then started her career on television through BTV. She worked opposite Syed Ahsan Ali Sydney in her first television drama, Obhijog.
Written by Imdadul Haque Milan, Nayok, another one of her television dramas, garnered immense popularity. Though the production was shut down midway, Shanta and her co-star Afzal Hossain were lauded for their work.
The critically acclaimed show, Rupanagar, brought the actor immense fame. "I believe that this show paved the way for the modern era of television dramas," says Shanta. "It is one of my most memorable works."
Growing up in Sylhet and Dhaka, Shanta attended school in Sylhet. "I have beautiful memories of those days," she shares.
After joining Aranyak Natyadal, she won many awards and accolades, including the Best Actor at the BACHSUS Awards for the play, Moyurshinghashon. Her play, Agunmukha, also received critical acclaim.
"I stopped working because I wanted to spend time with my son and be an active part of his life," said Shanta, when asked about being away from the industry. After finishing his higher studies, her son is now residing in Canada.
Throughout her career, Shanta has directed twenty-five television dramas, authored books and organised several television programmes. "My experiences as an actor have enriched my life," she concludes.