The Luminaries Speak Out
Nasir Ali Mamun
I think The Daily Star and Standard Chartered Bank are doing a wonderful job with Celebrating Life. The program has not only honored us, but is promoting art, culture, music and films by rewarding the new generation of artists. The fact that they are given prize money is crucial as well. If we do not encourage them, there is bound to be a drought in our industry. It is with great pride that I can say that I have received the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017. I started portrait photography in 1972, and I am elated that I have gained so much respect and recognition for that throughout my career. I hope that this will also encourage young photographers to take up their camera and go out on an adventure of their own. They will also receive similar awards one day. I have taken portraits of more than 8,000 different personalities, and have had about 56 solo exhibitions. In many occasions, I have done portraits of famous people as well. However, I still feel like it would have been a lot better if I could take pictures of personalities like Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro, I look up to them.
I am happy, not only because I got honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, but the fact that a leading newspaper, The Daily Star decided to give me an award along with Standard Chartered Bangladesh. Receiving this award amongst so many honorable people is indeed something to be very proud of. At this moment, I can only think about my mother, who was a huge inspiration for me. If she had not been so supportive of my singing, I would have never come this far. She gave me basic musical education and always believed in me. Ustaad P.C Gomez, from whom I learned to sing classical has also been a huge inspiration. I am very lucky that I have gotten to work with legends of the industry, along with so many talented composers and music directors. If it wasn't for the amazing songs that I had the opportunity to sing, none of this would ever happen. I would like to thank them again from the bottom of my heart.
I am immensely proud of myself after winning this award. Awards warrant pride, no matter how big or small they may be. However, this one will always hold a special place in my heart because of the sheer prestige and splendor of the event that was hosted by The Daily Star and Standard Chartered Bangladesh.
This will be a landmark in my life, and will inspire me to do something new. Recognition for the work that you have done will always drive you towards doing something new, and this time it made me feel like I have actually done something in my life. At the moment, I will attribute this achievement to a lot of people who were pivotal in both my life and career. Zahir Raihan is one of those amazing people with whom I had the fortune to work with. During my time, there were very few directors that I had not work with. Many of them have unfortunately passed away, and I really do miss them a lot. I am truly grateful to everyone who have been with me through my career, and taught me so many things.
Interviewed by Zahid Akbar
Transcribed by Sadi Mohammad Shahnewaz