Happy to have received this honour while I am alive: Jayanta Chattopadhyay
Prominent artiste Jayanta Chattopadhyay has been honoured with the Ekushey Padak this year, for his contributions in the cultural arena as an elocutionist. The actor has proven himself as a complete artiste with his powerful and extraordinary performances in every role he played.
Some of his remarkable projects include "Kittonkhela", "Nodir Naam Modhumoti", "Matir Moyna", "Adhiyar", "Joyjatra", "Ghetuputro Komola", "Nirontor", "Durotto", "Amar Achhe Jol", "Sutapar Thikana", and "Meghmollar". For these projects, he has not only earned accolades from the audience, but also received critical acclaim as well. Apart from establishing his name as an actor, he is also an elocutionist.
In conversation with The Daily Star, the actor shared his emotion on achieving the second highest civilian award of the country.
How does it feel to be awarded one of the highest recognitions in the country?
I am happy, at least for the reason that I have received this honour while I am still alive. As an artiste, to have received this recognition for my work is very satisfactory.
Exactly when did you learn that you would be receiving the Ekushey Padak?
When it was announced, I was getting one call after another from several people. At the time, I was on a rickshaw and my phone was in my pocket. When I finally received the calls, everyone was congratulating me. However, I did not even know the reason for their best wishes. After that, an official call came from the ministry and I finally learned that I was going to be awarded with the Ekushey Padak. People from various sectors, including artistes, journalists and elocutionists gave me their best wishes, for which I am really thankful to them.
You are a renowned actor, but the award was given for your work as an elocutionist. Did this upset you at any point?
Not at all. I am sure that the authorities have taken the decision wisely. This July, I will turn 77. I am grateful to have gotten this award while I am alive, because many receive it posthumously. Perhaps, the fact that we cannot value artistes in our lifetime, is our failure.
You have had multiple collaborations with Humayun Ahmed during your career. How was the relationship between the two of you?
He was very close to me and we were like friends. We would meet at least once a week and always shared a great time together. His demise is irrecoverable, not just for us, but for Bangladeshi literature as well.