Seasoned actress Anwara came into spotlight with her dazzling performance in the film “Nawab Sirajuddaula”, where she played a character named Aleya. Then in 1986, she received the National Film Award as the best actress for the movie “Shubhoda”, directed by the late Chashi Nazrul Islam. She also appeared in “Debdas”, another acclaimed movie by the director. In a recent conversation with The Daily Star, Anwara fondly reminisced on the noted filmmaker.
“I used to address thespian director as Chashi mama. We shared a good bonding. He was an acclaimed filmmaker and a very big-hearted man. Such a combination is very rare.
“Under his direction, I played the role of Chandramukhi in 'Devdas'. Besides, I played the title role in his film 'Shubhoda'; both the works fetched me great fame. 'Shubhoda' was my dream project as I got the opportunity to play the title role. Though legendary actress Suchitra Sen was his first choice, she could not allocate the time. He then offered Suchanda the role but she was equally busy with her own production. Chashi mama then called me over the telephone and offered me my dream role.
“Later, as we headed for a shoot outside Dhaka on a launch, I began to read a book named 'Shubhoda' that I had bought from a hawker on the vessel. With hardly any make-up, I started shooting for the film. It was very difficult to play my role as in one scene my child was supposed to have passed away. I was overwhelmed but just could not weep. However, after the shot I burst into tears. Chashi uncle also wept and this memory remains with me.
“I have so many other memories of him. I had a really difficult time playing the character of Chandramukhi in 'Debdas'. But Chashi mama was adroit at drawing the best out of an artiste.”