Fahmida Nabi and Samina Chowdhury are both popular names in the Bangladeshi music circuit. Born in a musical family, three of the four siblings – Fahmida, Samina and Pancham – inherited the passion and talent of music from their father, renowned artiste Mahmudun Nabi. In a recent conversation with The Daily Star, Fahmida and Samina went back in time to recall their parents and family.
Father's influence in choosing to pursue music:
Fahmida: Born to a noted singer -- who was at the peak of his popularity in our childhood -- and a music-buff mother, I felt like music was inherent to me from childhood. Observing how people loved my father, and how his songs attracted listeners, sparked a desire to learn music. Ultimately, it is that passion that led me to becoming a singer.
Mahmudun Nabi – father vs singer:
Fahmida: I saw Baba as a loving father, a famous musician, a man of principle; he had all those characteristics that a child idolises. In Samina's words, every father is very special to his children. We take great pride in being a part of such a great family.
Favourite family memories:
Fahmida: Our childhood was full of sweet moments because of our strong family bonds. Whenever all of our family members -- uncle, aunt, cousins gathered together it turned into a celebration. We learnt that life is a celebration; and that lesson helps me seek happiness, whatever the situation may be.
Samina: There was a special moment that took place invariably whenever “Abbu, Ammu, Numa (Fahmida) and I rode on a rickshaw. Without exception, we used to sing together “Dhonodhanno Pushpo Bhora” until our journey ended.
Working with Baba:
Fahmida: Whenever I worked with my father's music arrangements, there was an extra effort to give my best. It is also great feeling to sing with my sister; she is very supportive of my work, and it's incredibly comfortable working with her.
Samina: I sang at a programme with my parents and Numa, and it was a great feeling. Although when I sing with Numa, I sometimes get annoyed when she forgets the lyrics… (smiles).
The roles played by Baba and Ma:
Fahmida and Samina: Both our parents were a source of inspiration. Ma was always supportive and Baba was a big-hearted person; we were fortunate enough to have been surrounded by affection and guidance from both.