You two have been together for seven years. How has this long journey been so far?
Hillol: Nowshin and I have been together for quite a while. We knew each other before we got married and spent a lot of time together during shooting and rehearsals. Sometimes I dropped her home after a whole day of work. That is how we got to know each other better. Both of us were thinking of resettling our lives. Since I used to live alone back then, we decided to decorate our home with new furniture. And thus, our journey of togetherness began.
Nowshin: At one point of our relationship we involved our guardians in it. Even after their approval, we took some time and thought about the future of this new beginning. I wanted to set my work according to my new lifestyle. Since we decided to marry right after we approached each other, our family members also had the scope to exchange their emotions.
Life after marriage goes through various ups and downs. How do you handle the sourness that derives from the unmet expectations?
Nowshin: There are times in life when we feel like giving up. Marriage, family, responsibility – these things become trivial when we go through rough phases. Even I became indecisive about my marriage at times. But on the other hand, there have been thousands of moments when I felt blessed to have my husband and son in my life. My entire family lives in the US but I stayed back because of them. Of course, my career is very important but it is not my sole reason to be settled in Bangladesh.
Nowadays, people from media opt for separation more than before. Why do you think that is the case?
Nowshin: I don't think it's only the media people who opt for separation now. Many of my relatives and friends are also going through the same hardships. It's just that social media, newspapers and TV shows have made an easy access to every one's lives and now it doesn't take a second to spread news from one corner to another. For example, people have more access to my personal information than they have to my sister's.
We have recently witnessed some tragic breakups of some celebrated couples. Why do you think these marriages did not work out even after they have been idolized and admired by people?
Nowshin: I don't know about the media but I can tell you about some of the reasons behind separations. I will not take any names, we all are human beings, and we all have our own complications to deal with. But two things that have been making us impatient are our ego and career. We live in a different era now. We can't act as compromising as our mothers were. They have always valued their marriage first. But time has changed and so has the situation. We are more focused on our career and self-development now. Sometimes we take life changing decisions out of the frustration and exasperation that a modern lifestyle offers, but that too has be taken care of.
Hillol: The time and generation we are passing through are truly very unstable. When foreign countries are trying to make family members homebound, we Bangladeshis are showing cold shoulders to each other. Another very crucial reason behind this apathy is the financial authorization that both men and women have to earn. After both the partners achieve a sort of financial independence, they find fewer reasons to compromise their ego. Instability and intolerance are the two main reasons behind breakups these days.
Despite marrying people of your own choices, your previous marriages did not sustain for too long. Why do you think love marriages end up on bad terms so often?
Hillol: When we take the decision of marrying someone, we promise to stay beside him/her for the rest of our life. But life doesn't go as smoothly as we want it to. Accidents happen and that's to be expected. My life has gone through a similar accident, that's why my first marriage didn't last long.
Nowshin: I preferred my parents' choices for my first marriage; they certainly wanted the best for me. I married him knowing very well how life after marriage would be. We had a son together. When a woman becomes a mother, she prioritizes her husband and children above all else. She compromises many things that she never thought of abandoning before. I did the same thing for my family; but unfortunately it didn't work out. I never blame myself for that. I believe in destiny and it was predestined for me. Since my parents married me off at an early age, I used to blame them right after my separation. But eventually I understood that it was never entirely my parents' or my own fault. Today I have a new family, which I love a lot, and that happened because my previous marriage didn't end up lasting too long.
Did you think of sharing your life with someone more compatible after your separation?
Nowshin: Honestly speaking, I haven't promised Hillol to be with him for the rest of my life. We do not know what we have in the future and we cannot count on it. I did not think of resettling with someone after my separation. I was busy with my child, trying and dealing with the situation I was facing back then. I had to focus on the soundness of his physical and mental health. After securing a healthy environment for my son, I concentrated on my career. I started working in media. And after a long break I met Hillol during the shooting of a TV drama. That's how we started talking and knowing each other better. It took me a while to settle my mind for the second marriage. I had to reconsider everything: our lifestyle, children, career and priorities.
Hillol: We were never responsible for each other's divorce. I didn't think of remarrying someone either. A separation is very difficult to deal with, and I had to reconsider many situations simultaneously. Nowshin was a very good friend of mine when I first met her. After working in a number of TV dramas together I got the chance to know her better. Her personality, experience and expectations from life somewhat matched mine. That is when we took the decision of coming into a commitment.
Nowshin: We prioritized each other's personality and expectations more than beauty or smartness. There are more things to count on when you engage in a relationship at this age. I considered what I didn't get in my previous relationship, and Hillol looked for what he felt was missing for him. If I found the same insouciance in Hillol, I wouldn't have married him.
Hillol: I would like to add one more thing here. I found mental peace in Nowshin's company. Suffice to say, that was a good reason behind me taking this decision!
Having been married for a long time, do you feel any change of emotion at this point of life?
Hillol: Everything changes with time, so does a relationship. We have matured as time passed by. We are more like a responsible couple than a romantic one now! (Laughs)
Nowshin: I don't want to reveal anything personal here but one thing should be mentioned. We had a fight a couple of days ago. I called my parents and told them I wanted to move out. My parents were fine with my decision. After a while he talked to his brother and sister-in-law and they replied with the same response. Do you know why did these people remained so calm back then? Because they knew it was a very whimsical decision and they knew better than to treat such random impulses so sternly. Even though we were both angry with each other, things turned normal a short while after. This change of emotion was nothing but the result of our love for each other and our family. We both need each other in our lives. We have become quite habituated with each other's company.
Hillol: It's not that the love and romance have been entirely missing; but we truly have become habituated with our lifestyle. Goes to show, love does triumph!
Interviewed by Sanjida Chowdhury