She maintains that her first priority has always been teaching and architecture. But she is a dancer too. And she has danced between many roles: from being a teacher to an architect and from a dancer to an actor. Just like the wide array of roles she has played as an actor, in her real life too, she is versatile -- juggling between different interests and professions.
Star Showbiz recently had a conversation with Aupee Karim. The multi-faceted star shared her work and ethos. She also discussed her take on relationships. Her love for her mother and the passion she has for work becomes evident.
You have recently worked in an advertisement. Tell us a little bit about it.
It is an advert of a bulb; initially I was not very interested to do it. But the director was Shahriar Shakil, with whom I had worked with in a telefilm before. When we were working for that telefilm, I got to know how dedicated he was towards his work.
And he also knew that if the role in the ad didn't require something extraordinary, it would not be possible to convince me to take it up. Well somehow, he figured that if there was a dance in the act, I would not be able to say no. So, he told me that he was planning an aerial act for the commercial. And for a long time, I wanted to do that -- flying and dancing in mid-air. The aerial act really dragged me into doing this TVC.
Yes, you are very passionate about dancing. Didn't you start off with dancing when you were a child?
Nope. I started with acting. Well actually, in my family, a child is given a wide range of things -- from harmonium to painting brush. You pick up what you like. I've picked up quite a few, it seems.
Keeping architecture aside, if I am given an option between acting and dancing, I would choose dancing. I'm interested in the pure classical. Unfortunately, the scope and practice of it -- issues like financial support and the number of events solely focused on classical dance -- are too low.
You are a renowned actor. You are a teacher as well. How do your students react to your stardom?
I try to maintain my persona as a teacher as much as possible when I am in the classroom. For example, if a student in the campus asks for an autograph, I remind him that he has come to Aupee Karim, who does not exist around here. This is Syeda Tuhin Ara Karim, and I am a faculty member. I maintain this approach in the campus; I must. But yes, when I give examples in the classroom, I do draw upon from my own life experiences.
In the classroom, I also enquire about my students' hobbies. I want to know which student has a knack for what. Many faculty members say that pursuing architecture means there is no time for social life. I disagree. If you are good or passionate about something -- be it poetry recitation, playing the guitar, acting, dancing or anything else -- you ought to continue with it.
But it seems that these days, there are not many students with hobbies. You know, like in our times, you would see someone having a hobby, of gardening, for example. These things have nowadays become quite rare.
Well, what can you do? It seems social networking keeps us way too busy for such things.
How do you suggest we convince the new generation to having a hobby?
These things need to be nurtured since childhood. Naturally, the role of parents is vital. To make a child grow a love towards an art form or something cultural, the family needs to foster the right environment and also be determined about it. I could never say to my mother that I have an exam the next day and so I want to skip my dance event. “What did you do the whole year, then?” she would retort. “You have to attend the dance event as well as the exam”.
My parents never told me to stand first in school. You have to be a good student and a good human being. That's it. But nowadays, you will see that whenever students have exams, they halt their extracurricular activities or hobbies.
Moving to your personal life, what is your take on relationships? What is your idea of a life partner?
I don't know whether it's luck or not -- because I believe in fate -- but it is true that I have not clicked much, in terms of life partner. I am not blaming anyone; everybody has their own individuality. And if someone says that I'm bad or points a bad quality in me, I say that judgement is a subjective matter. Relationships are very complicated. To be honest, I don't want to walk down that path. And I don't see how it is only a life partner with whom you can share everything. My mother gives me enormous support. She is a great friend. My family and colleagues are a big part of my life. What is important is that you live happily, and with self-respect and dignity.
What message would you like to give out to youngsters, especially those who are involved in things like dancing or acting?
Whatever you do in life, you must have a passion for it. And if you are learning something, do it properly and wholeheartedly. I believe that if you do something with dedication, then even if you do not become successful, you will know that it's not your cup of tea. But to realise that, you first need to go that far, and in order to do that, you need patience, which is becoming a rare trait.
Catch the uncut version of Showbiz's Cover Interview and more on Radio Shadhin 92.4 FM Every Saturday, 11 PM onwards.
Interviewed by Rafi Hossain
& narrated by M H Haider