'I identify as a Freedom Fighter and Bangabandhu's soldier'
Earlier in the morning, Farooque—the Dhallywood heartthrob of the eighties and beyond, who was the face of numerous superhit films, "Sujon Sokhi", "Sareng Bou" and "Mia Bhai"—passed away. The star had won the hearts of millions with his angry young man image on screen and had shared a great on-screen chemistry with actress Babita.
In a 2015 interview, The National Film Award winning actor told The Daily Star the story of his life beyond the camera.
What does cinema mean to you?
Cinema is the world's most important media. It narrates the tale of people's lives and can play a great role in society.
Why have you kept away from the camera for so long?
I quit acting 22 years ago, but people still love me -- and that's a great achievement. I quit out of disillusionment, because of the politics all around. But even after all this, I'm still in people's minds.
Do you still miss the golden moments of BFDC?
It does not bother me now. Those days we used to start shooting in the morning and carry on till midnight. Sometimes we even returned home from FDC the next morning. We used to go to Manikganj for outdoor shoots. I missed the institution very much at first, but not so much anymore.
How did you spend your leisure time when you were a superstar?
I had some really unforgettable moments. I used to hang out with my colleagues at FDC when I could manage the free time. I had great rapport with everyone.
The blockbuster, "Sujon Sokhi", earned you much fame. Tell us about that experience.
It was great! As far as I know, it was the most commercially successful film at that time in the history of Bangladesh. For over six months, the film was screened at cinema halls, and everyone received it warmly.
Did you get into any embarrassing situations as a celebrity?
It's not embarrassing, because sometimes you can't avoid the embarrassment of fame. But it's just fame for me. The films brought me great acclaim and I'm quite satisfied with my success, because the Almighty doesn't give that chance to everyone. I feel really honoured to have scaled such heights.
What do you think is necessary to return to the golden days of the film industry?
Skilled directors are necessary. The quality of Kolkata films is now so rich but those days we could easily compete with them. Unfortunately we can't do anything except copy their films these days, and we can't even do that well.
You're a freedom fighter. What drove you to join the war?
I once received a tight slap at the age of six from Pakistanis for speaking in Bangla. It was one of the worst things to have happened to me, and later led me to join the Liberation War.
Your favourite song ...
Singer Bhupen Hazarika's "Padma Amar Maa Ganga Amar Maa".
Who do you like to identify yourself as?
Farooque: A Freedom Fighter and dedicated soldier of Bangabandhu.