Heartiest congratulations to our very gorgeous Nabila and Reem! Please tell us how this longtime friendship blossomed into a beautiful marriage!
Reem: I was in Jeddah when I first met Nabila. We both went to Bangladesh International School. I was four years senior to her. I know her ever since I was a school boy. Our friendship became stronger as we grew up.
Nabila: I liked Reem from my school life but I never revealed it to him until we started talking. The days were beautiful in Saudi Arabia. But after coming back to Bangladesh we lost contact. It took me a while to get settled down in the new environment. Soon after resettling, little by little, I started missing him. Not knowing what else to do, I confessed my feelings to one of my uncles (Khalu). He advised me to look for Reem and through some friends I collected his number. But after talking to him I came to know that he was in a relationship. Then I took a step back and stopped calling him. Around 2007, one fine day, Reem called me. I was surprised to see his number after 5-6 years. I thought he probably calling to invite me to his wedding.
Let's hear it from Reem now. Why did you call Nabila after so many years?
Reem: I made that call out of curiosity; I really wanted to know how she was doing. Since we were childhood friends and were out of touch for a long time, I was naturally interested. I will be honest here, I felt an eagerness inside me to know her whereabouts.
When did you realize that she was nurturing feelings for you?
Reem: (Laughter) Apart from everything, I was happy for the fact that we were in touch. Back in 2001-2, we didn't have much access to social media, so getting reconnected with a friend was something worth relishing. One morning I got a call from her and said she was in Mymensingh. Coincidentally, I was heading towards Netrokona on the same day. So I asked her if we could meet. She gave me her contact number which unfortunately, I forgot. Upon reaching there, I kept on trying in wrong numbers from different shops! Sadly, we couldn't meet that day.
Was Nabila the one who proposed to you?
Reem: We never dated or proposed to each other in a traditional way. But we both knew that we liked each other. Life took us to different paths many a times and it helped us understand our worth. I was out of a relationship for a few months. I thought a lot about Nabila and the idea of settling down together gave me a warm feeling. One day, when we were talking about movies and arts she suddenly asked, “Will you marry me?” I replied, “Yes. I was thinking of something similar.” Then she said, “If you really want to marry me, you have to do it within a week.” I accepted her proposal and talked to our families about the marriage.
People say, “Everything changes after marriage.” To what extent you believe this?
Nabila: People actually said this to me before my marriage. Going on occasional dates with someone and living with them under the same roof is entirely different, I agree. We are almost two weeks old and I haven't noticed any change in him.
Do you find any dissimilarity between the Nabila we see on TV and the Nabila who is your childhood friend and wife?
Reem: Not really. One thing I really respect about her is that she knows her work and knows how to handle fame. Whenever anyone comes to take pictures with her, she always agrees with a smile. She never uses her stardom as an excuse to avoid responsibilities.
The value of relationships has lost its integrity; they seem to be fragile nowadays. Why do you think these changes are occurring?
Nabila: I think it is a very personal issue and the answer will vary from person to person. People face different situations, which we are not aware of. However, I have one observation; people back in '80s or '90s were more concerned about society; rather than valuing their own happiness. But now, both men and women are self aware and they know what they want in life. However, what hurts me the most is how people are less empathetic towards media personalities these days. They need to be more constructive before commenting on our life.
Reem: I agree with Nabila. What bothers me most is the socio-cultural change that our society is going through. It wasn't like this when we were kids. We didn't have different media platforms to waste our time on. Now we have multiple attention engaging options and this frustrates me greatly.
Nabila, you are a very mature, selective and neat in your profession. Does Reem resemble the same traits in his work life?
Nabila: (Laughter) Reem is very focused and mature in his professional life. He knows his job. He is also interested in arts and culture; this is where our souls connect. We talk about movies and he seems to have a good grasp over movies and music. We spend hours talking about our likes and dislikes.
Interviewed by Rafi Hossain