I’d never have pursued acting if it weren’t for Zaki bhai: Raisul Islam Asad
Syed Salahuddin Zaki was a multifaceted creative force in the world of entertainment and media, leaving an indelible mark as a director, scriptwriter, actor, and author. His artistic journey commenced with a remarkable achievement in 1980 when he clinched the prestigious National Film Award for Best Screenplay for his inaugural directorial venture, "Ghuddi". This early recognition was merely a glimpse of the talent that would go on to shape his prolific career in the film industry. Over the years, Zaki produced a series of memorable films, including "Lal Benarasi" and "Ayena Bibir Pala", showcasing his prowess as both a visionary director and a storyteller.
Renowned actor Raisul Islam Asad, a multiple National Film Award winner, owes a significant part of his success to the pivotal role played by director Zaki in shaping his career. The celebrated actor made waves in the industry with his remarkable performance in the film "Ghuddi". Asad also collaborated with the esteemed director on "Ayana Bibir Pala".
Their connection, however, extended beyond the silver screen, with numerous shared experiences during their time in Dhaka Theatre and the tumultuous days of the Liberation War. As the news of Salahuddin Zaki's passing reverberated, Raisul Islam Asad shared his heartfelt sentiments with The Daily Star.
"I find myself at a loss for words, utterly speechless. It's nearly impossible to fathom a world without Zaki bhai," said Asad. "Although we understand that, by the laws of nature, everyone must ultimately depart from this world, certain losses remain inconceivable. I've lost someone dear to my heart, leaving me speechless."
He continued, "It's impossible to encapsulate his essence adequately in words. I could talk about him endlessly. He was a visionary, a man of unparalleled artistic sensibilities. His passion for the arts knew no bounds. His entire world revolved around cinema, drama, and art."
Their bond deepened during the Liberation War when they were first introduced. Post-independence, they spent numerous years side by side in Dhaka Theatre. Asad fondly recalls those years as a period of growth, understanding, and learning.
"Countless memories flood my mind today, from our time in various drama circles before our Dhaka Theatre journey. However, the memories we created within the folds of this theatre troupe are the most cherished. Can they ever truly fade away?" he mused.
Asad highlighted one of their remarkable collaborations, the film "Ghuddi", which stands as a cinematic masterpiece. "Suborna Mustafa and I shared the screen in 'Ghuddi', a film that left an indelible mark on our industry. The movie soared to great heights. Yet, beyond my on-screen role, I served as his assistant for an extended period. Even if I had never ventured into acting, I would have gladly remained by his side as an assistant."
It's a twist of fate that Asad never anticipated. "I was never meant to be an actor. It was all Zaki bhai, because of him, I stepped into this realm. His unwavering belief in me propelled me into acting. Sometimes, I ponder how different my life would have been if not for Zaki bhai's influence. It's quite likely that I might never have pursued acting at all."
Salahuddin Zaki holds a prominent place amongst those who significantly contributed to Raisul Islam Asad's journey as an actor. "The memories of my mentor's wisdom and guidance are etched in my heart, how to forget his words?" he concluded.