You have been in the media for a long time now, but despite that, in terms of beauty and fitness, you do not seem to have changed much. What is your secret?
I love to eat, even though some people think that I skimp on food. If your diet doesn't allow sufficient nutrients, the beauty that should radiate from you somehow fades away. I walk a lot. I think that in my case it is genetic as well. Moderation is important. I do try to avoid 'rich' food. My advice will be that you should neither eat sparingly nor overdo it: maintain a balance. And go to the gym or go for walks.
There are now a staggering number of individuals working in the media. But unfortunately, it seems nobody is getting the chance to become a breakthrough. What seems to be the problem according to you?
Indeed, this is very sad, but true. The other day, when I was shopping, someone came up to me and told me that these days they don't get to see my shows as much they used to. How do you expect to see me when you are hooked on channels like Zee Bangla or Star Plus?
You know, even a mere seven or eight years ago the situation wasn't that bad. Back in those days, when we went to any village for shooting, there would be immense crowds to greet us. Everybody used to say, “She is like the girl next door.” And there were people offering us various food and vegetables and what not. Such was the level of intimacy.
But now, this is not the case, because even in villages, these days the remote control switches the channel to the Indian ones.
Even I, being a part of media, do not know so many of these young people who are working. There are now so many channels. We are sceptic about quality.
Are the Indian channels offering the audiences in our country something that our own channels aren't?
If you go back 10 or 15 years, our channels were broadcasted in India. And we used to get a lot of positive feedback - story, script and what not. But they have ceased to play our TV channels in their country. We, on the other hand, could not do the same.
And nowadays, the quality of our drama shows or TV series is so bad! Time frame and budget per work have been curbed. Previously, the budget for a TV Drama would be Tk 2-3 Lacs or more. Now, you have to make within Tk. 1.5 Lacs or so. We used to shoot for 3 or 4 days to generate a one-hour drama. Nowadays, that work is done in less than 2 days. So how can you get a good quality show?
I don't blame this generation. There are many talented people here, no doubt about it. The situation is overall bad, so it is their bad luck. It is high time channels should understand that quality is important, not just quantity. They should no longer broadcast shows before going through a strict filtering system. The responsibility of TV channels doesn't end only with filling time slots with shows and bringing advertisements. They must understand that they are in charge of an art's medium.
I recently watched Chuye Dilo Mon. I am absolutely in love with it. What a brilliant work it is! We have the capability. If there is proper budget and commitment, we can be optimistic.
The news media also has a big role to play, because they can create the proper buzz and enthusiasm from the general public.
What are your current projects?
I am doing two TV serials. Dhaka Housewife is for Maasranga TV and Lake Drive Lane for NTV. I am very selective about the projects I decide to do. Previously, there were a lot of options, given the number of attractive scripts. Nowadays, you come across a very few amount of interesting scripts. In fact, there are now instances in the media where the script is written on the very day of shooting!
Other than work, what keeps you busy in your personal life? What do you do in your free time?
I cook. I shop. I spend time with family. I have a large number of friends. I like to socialise and talk to people. I also have a small boutique, which is usually limited to the friends and family sphere.
I believe we should seek to have as much fun in life as we can, and, that should be with my family members and friends.
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