“Birthdays remind me I am a step closer to death.”

 Hasan mahmud:

Shabnam, one of the most renowned actresses of Dhallywood, has been away from cinema for over 15 years now. The last movie she acted in was ‘Ammajan’ She doesn’t even attend any events of the film world. It was her birthday on Monday. She spoke to about her own hopes for cinema.

Shabnam is now 73 year old. She was born on 17 August 1946.

So how did she spend her birthday amid the coronavirus pandemic? At home.

“I was feeling really bad. I have never seen such a situation ever, never imagined we would face such times,” she said. “At the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, I was extremely upset. Now I have just got used to it.”

She said there was a time and an age when she would enjoy celebrating her birthday, but not anymore. “Birthdays remind me I am a step closer to death.”

Her best birthday? She can’t quite pinpoint a particular birthday. Her only son has been living in London since young. Her husband Robin Ghosh would also be busy with his music and was very forgetful. “Anyway,” she said, “I wasn’t into celebrating birthdays either.”

Not even as a film star? No. Not even then. And not now either. “But I would get happy at the thought of getting gifts!”

She remembers going to the shops with her son and liking some gold bangles. She didn’t buy them, though. Her son had insisted that she buy them, but she didn’t. Then her son surprised her by giving them as a gift on her birthday. He was only 13 or 14 at the time, but took money from his father to buy her the bangles.

The movie world had made her into Shabnam from Jharna Basak. But now she has been away from that movie world for so long. Does she think of FDC occasionally?

A lot. “It makes me too sad to go to FDC. I want to cry when hear how FDC is today. There is no cinema work there, only associations holding various events. Everything is going downhill. There is no environment to work. Work must be increased if this industry is to be saved. I just can’t accept this state of FDC. This FDC has given us so much, given us our three meals, our livelihood. Seeing it in this dilapidated state is really painful.”

About movies of the present and the actors and actresses, she says, I don’t even know who are in the movies nowadays. I don’t attend any events. If I watch any movie, it’s on TV. I don’t go to the cinema halls any more. Among the actors and actresses of today, I know about Shakib Khan and Apu Biswas.

Will she return to acting is asked?

“An artiste wants to work till death,” she says. “A true artiste cannot live without acting. I may have acted in almost 200 movies, but that yearning never goes away. I would rather work and die, than sit idle at home and die.”

So how does she spend her time?

I am doing fine with my family, my in-laws and relations. I stay at home, watch TV, listen to music, cook. Life goes on. I watch my old movies. I listen to Robin’s songs a lot. I also listen to the songs of Alauddin Ali and Khan Ataur Rahman. I live with my memories. I don’t disturb anyone.

women bangladesh/ hasan