---- Faridee's younger sister
Obsessed with movies in his childhood, Humayun Faridee hardly missed chances to rush to the cinemas.
For going to the movies, he even took money from his siblings and cousins and headed for Manashi, Star, and Shabista cinema halls in the old part of Dhaka.
After Humayun Faridee passed away yesterday, The Daily Star met his sister Pinu Faridee and her husband Kazi Bakul, who is also a cousin of Faridee.
They shared their memories of how Faridee, an agile child, grew up to be a powerful and popular artist of theatre, cinema, and television.
"It took fifty paisa to get a ticket for the third class in those cinema halls back then. We saved money for watching movies, but Faridee would take that and rush to the cinemas without sparing a moment," recalls Bakul.
He was the second among five siblings.
Both Bakul and Pinu believe that Faridee's passion for acting came from his father ATM Nurul Islam who was very fond of art and culture, and used to recite poetry very well and act in local jatras.
"If there was any function in the house, my father would recite poetries, I used to dance and he [Faridee] acted," Pinu said.
Bakul said, "His father had a gramophone and a vinyl record of the play 'Sirajuddaula', Faridee at the age of twelve memorised all the dialogues of that play, and would recite those quite often."
"We siblings and cousins used to go to the cinemas, plays, and jatras together, but Faridee was always ahead of us," said Bakul.
"His obsession for movies could not hold him back even during his exams," he added.
Renowned Indian actor Dilip Kumar was his favourite, and Faridee later met him in India, Bakul said.
Faridee was extremely naughty as a boy, and had a passion and devotion for acting from the early age. He acted in dramas during his school and college years.
Not at all a materialist, he never burdened others with his sorrows and needs, not even his siblings, said Pinu and Bakul. He liked to eat beef, and fly kites, Pinu added.
"He once told me, 'I only know how to act, and nothing else,'" she recalled.
Pinu and Bakul, however, think that Faridee did not get the proper recognition he deserved.
---- Film & Theatre Director
I first saw Humayun Faridee in the amphitheatre of Jahangirnagar University in 1977.
It was an inter-hall theatre competition. His play was called “Attashe Agune”. He was the writer, director and also an actor in the play.
What struck me about his acting were the pauses he used to take between dialogues it was perfect.
That was the first time I saw someone from this country use pause so beautifully and effectively in acting.
I was mesmerised by how he used the pause to hit the right chords of emotions, build up tension and pull his audience. I was mesmerised to see such execution of a complex instrument of acting from a 25-year-old youth in the open amphitheatre of Jahangirnagar University in 1977.
We decided to award him for the best play.
I still remember it as if it was yesterday: after the award ceremony, he came to me, gave salam and told me that he would like to work in theatres in Dhaka.
He was a very slender boy with long hair. He was not very tall. But that did not stop him from surpassing so many highs throughout his career.
It was in 1978 when he took to the stage as a professional actor for the first time in the play “Shakuntala”. He played the role of Tokkhok.
That was his first-ever real stage performance and it created ripples across the theatre industry.
After that, one after one, he performed in “Phoni Monsha” in 1980; he played the role of Chaya Ranjan in “Kirtankhola” in 1981 and the role of Keramat in 1985's “Keramat Mangal”.
Later he began acting in television.
His acting in the teleplay “Bhangoner Shobdo Shuni” was immensely powerful.
Many of his dialogues in that teleplay became very popular. His line “Ami toh jomi kini na, fani kini” (I don't buy land, I buy water) became a favourite with the audience.
He was also in “Shongshoptok”. His characterisation of Ramzan in that teleplay took him to legendary status.
Humayun was in hundreds of television dramas. He was a regular on the television scene even in his last days.
But he was not in that many theatre plays. His last theatre acting was in the mid 1990s somewhere in 1996 or 1997 in a play called “Bhut”.
As a person, Humayun was very emotional. But he left his emotions behind when putting on the shoes of an actor. He was intelligent and logical as an actor.
In his 35 years as an actor, Humayun performed with a logic and intelligence that set him apart from other actors. He did not act with emotion. His acting was what I like to call intelligent acting.
He brought these qualities into all spheres of his acting be that on stage, television or on the big screen. He was the very definition of a modern actor.
Humayan Faridee was with Dhaka Theatre from 1977 to 2012. He was not very regular on the Dhaka theatre scene recently, but he always kept in touch with what was happening in the theatres.
---- Director, Actor & Playwright
The bathroom is the best place where one can think of one's own self and all the happenings around one. Against this background, sometimes discoveries relating to our existence turn out to be amazing. I have been thinking very intently that I am diminished with each and every death on this planet, country and the society I live in. Then came the news of the death of a gifted thespian of our country, Humayun Faridee. In a split of a moment 'is' became 'was'. He was ten years younger than me. I immediately felt that a part of my being had departed with him, that I am further diminished.
I have started mumbling Shakespeare's Macbeth line, changing 'He' from 'She' --- 'He should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word'. Alas, death 'a necessary end, will come when it will come (Shakespeare's Julius Caesar).
Humayun Faridee was out and out an actor with every particle of his soul and body. I saw him on stage acting in the role of Keramat in 'Keramat Mongol', written by the famed playwright Selim-Al-Din and produced by Dhaka Theatre. Out of three Keramats, Faridee portrayed the role of an elderly and wiser Keramat. It was a memorable performance. It was the heyday of Faridee on stage. I saw him in Selim-Al-Din's 'Shakuntola' in an anti-role and I found him superb in that role too. In the role of a gangster in an adapted version of Bertolt Brecht's 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui', Humayun Faridee gave a stunning performance in the role of the gangster, who was none other than Hitler in disguise. The Bengali title of the play was 'Dhurto Ui'. His portrayal of a major village character in Selim-Al-Din's 'Kitton Khola' still dwells in my mind. He was simply extraordinary. I always considered Humayun Faridee a born actor whose presence on stage was always storm-raising. To him acting was his dearest game of soul. I will term him the most passionate actor of our time. He was an active member of the front ranking drama group of the country, Dhaka Theatre. Unfortunately his ties with Dhaka Theatre slackened after he joined the film industry.
In an anti-role or in the role of a villain he was the first choice of the mainstream film makers. He reigned as a box office favourite for a long time. He was incomparable in television plays as well as in television films. In fact, his presence was a happening on stage and equally in movies and TV plays and telefilms. He was a powerful actor by any standard. His acting talent can be compared with that of any great actor of our time, nationally as well as internationally. With his death the country has lost a great actor of all time, for he had the power to assimilate the essence of all kinds of diverse characters in his performance with ease. He will be remembered by all media of acting for a long time to come.