You were connected with theatre for a long time. How much time have you been spending there lately?
I am still involved with theatre, but the extent of my connection depends solely on my work. Once, I was deeply associated with theatre but at present, I cannot cope up with the schedule. But I'm still actively connected to it. In essence, I have worked with my people for around 22 years, from 1983 to 2005. It can be said without a doubt that our connection is quite strong.
Why have you not been as active with theatre recently?
The major reason for my hiatus with the group is the unpredictable traffic conditions in Dhaka. From 1990, I started becoming distant with my group due to my job. When I was posted in Naraynganj in 1996, I started doing the regular shows again. Back then, I performed in two stage plays; Banobangshul and Our Country’s Good. I was also part of the plays: Muntasir Fantasy, Kirtonkhola, Keramot Mongol, Hat Hodai and Bashon, among others. After stepping out from the theatre, I currently work in television, cinemas and radio.
How did you begin your journey with theatre?
It all began in 1979, just a year after I joined Jahangirnagar University. Humayun Faridi was elected that year in the JAKSU elections and started executing our plays. I began working with him from then onwards. During that time, he saw me more as a junior mate, rather than an actor, as he was three years my senior. Later, under his guidance, we organized a 21-day workshop, consisting of 21 members. That is where my journey began.
What are your thoughts on the present situation of theatre and its audience?
Theatre is a collaborative form of art. On one hand, the play should be on par. Similarly, the audience must also show enthusiasm. However, the size of the audience is inconsistent nowadays, compared to back in 1970s. The only exception is Shilpakala Academy; where a lively environment prevails throughout the year. But, I think somewhere in between, the nurturing of theatre has lost its value.
When did your journey with television begin and what was your first television drama?
I was enlisted in BTV in 1985 and continued working with them ever since. At the beginning of my career, I hadn't worked much with private channels, but now, I work with most channels. In 1986, my debut drama was an Eid special - Bibaho, by Humayun Ahmed.
Theatre or television, which one do you prefer?
I began working with theatre, so it is quite natural that I feel more comfortable there. Others in my place would also agree with me. Actually, I never planned to work in television this intimately at the beginning of my career.
What are your upcoming dramas or plays?
I have been featured in three episodes in the web series, Basic Ali and plan to continue with it. I am also working on another TV drama, Valobashar Ghar Bashati, which will air on Channel i. I have also played a role in another series, Paromitar Ek Din, aired on Bangla Vision. I am quite regular in working with radio shows, but not so much with television.
Was your acting life fulfilling?
The only regret I have is not being able to work regularly in theatre. Regarding radio and television, I am quite content with my work. To be completely honest, I never wanted to be a celebrity. I much prefer living an ordinary life.
Transcribed by Amina Hossain, Shreya Shomoyeeta, & Farhaan Fuad