Noted actor Ferdousi Majumdar has been entertaining the audience for decades. Known for her acclaimed performances in numerous plays, tele-fictions, and films, she is one of the towering figures of the entertainment arena. She played key roles in notable theatrical productions, and garnered praise as a director as well. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts, Ferdousi Majumdar was awarded the Ekushey Padak, Independence Award, Shaheed Altaf Mahmud Padak, and Bangla Academy Award. The actor was born on this day in 1943 in Barishal. In a candid chat with The Daily Star, she looks back at her glorious career.
How are you celebrating your birthday this year?
Birthdays don’t bring as much excitement as they used to. The world is going through a tough time and many of us are confined to our homes. We lost so many of our beloved ones during the pandemic. The joy and excitement of a birthday are not present in our minds during such troubling times. Nowadays, life goes by waiting around for death.
However, each year, my friends, family, and fans shower me with love and warm wishes all day long and that feeling is always amazing. Today is my daughter Tropa’s birthday as well, but this year, we won’t be celebrating together due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Looking back at your illustrious career, do you have any regrets?
As an artiste, I don’t have any regrets. I have gotten more out of my career than I ever hoped for. I have worked hard, with integrity and honesty, throughout the years.
I do not regret that I missed out on certain roles that I wanted to play. An artiste is always hungry and aspires to work on dynamic characters. That being said, if there ever was a character written on me, I would like to be involved with that project. The kind of work that has the power to inspire the society attracts me more than conventional roles.
Theatre is an important aspect of your life. However, live plays have come to a halt due to the pandemic. What are your thoughts regarding this?
The stage is my first love, and most treasured place. There is a saying that even if dreams die, hope never dies. During the pandemic, we are not being able to work on the stage, but I believe that better days are coming. I hope everything will go back to normal, and we will lead normal lives soon. With each day, I consider myself lucky to be still breathing. There is nothing more amazing than being alive.
You are also an acclaimed writer. Tell us a bit about your latest endeavours.
Currently, I am not writing anything new. I have not written anything during the pandemic and I don’t have plans to either. I am not a regular writer, I write simply when I feel the urge. I have some books to my name and thus, there is a certain responsibility. However, I mainly write for my own joy and peace of mind.
What kind of changes do you see at present, in terms of the progress we have made as a community?
Nothing is easy anymore, there is a lack of safe space around us. For women, things are harder and I wonder if our society only sees women as consumer goods, rather than as human beings. In every sector, women are progressing. Yet, I wonder why women are unsafe and why we are failing to provide them with basic human rights.
What are some of your most favourite projects you have worked on?
My most favourite stage play is “Kokilara”. I acted alone on this project and garnered many compliments for it. It was a very special production. Several stage plays are close to my heart, including “Payer Awaj Pawa Jay”. “Shongshoptok” is my all-time favourite TV production that I was a part of. The character I played, Hurmoti, is special to me. Even today, I get praised for this role.
Translated by Rasheek Tabassum Mondira