Best of 2019 : Interview Compilation


Tell us something about your life spend in Charukola…

Kausar Ahmed Chaudhury – April 2019

I had two dreams in my life. One was to learn painting and the other was to learn film making. At that time, students used to get admission after completing matriculation examination. I got my admission like this. I was youngest in my batch. I had experienced many interesting and beautiful memories there. From there, originated the start of my beard. When I used to go for approach to someone, they used to say “what do you want?”I used to get very disappointed by this gesture. At that time we had a senior brother named Moti. He understood my situation and told me to keep beard. From then on, I started keeping beard. After this I noticed everyone started to give me attention. Girls also began to give priority, though all girls were senior to me.

Artist Mustafa Monwar was my teacher. He used to say, you can’t be miser on using papers. “Spoil paper and through this you will learn art gradually.” Also, he used to tell, if your color tube finishes or remains, and lend color from others, you shall notice greater amount of color coming through the tube. It suggests, one usually does not like to use his color.
The renowned comedian and actor Tele Samad was a student in our class. He was always found in a fun mood. He used to sing very well. Once, in charge of Monwar Sir, we celebrated the Rabindra Jayanti. Tele Samad was given a song to sing and was supposed to act as well after the song. At that time, there was the popular song by Hemanta Mukhopadhyay, ‘bonoful fule fule dhaka’. Tele Samad started to sing this song despite of singing Rabindra sangeet. It was obvious that Rabindra sangeet would be played on Rabindra Jayanti. But, no one could stop him singing the song of Hemanta Mukhopadhyay. Tele Samad sang the song till the end. At that time, foreign students were accompanied at Charukola whenever they used to visit Bangladesh. One Russian dance group had come to Charukola. Almost a group of 30 to 40 boys and girls. They had worn various kind of colorful outfits. Once they asked to sing a song. We had a local Sylheti song, ‘sonar bandhaila nao, pitoler gua’. After listening to this song, the group of 30 to 40 girls and boys began to dance together with such a great rejoice. They told “you have so rich music in Bangladesh, why don’t you all perform and outspread this?” After this I realized our culture was so enriched and worth high.

How do you define photography?

Abu naser- May 2019

To me, photography is philosophy. A photo has a significant impact on society, the world and on an individual, whether it is positive or negative. I have to grow a sense of philosophy of what I believe within me before portraying them. Photography is not only taking an image, it is a philosophy. It is about expressing something to the people to know.

How did you start this campaign and why?

Mominur Rahman Royal – June 2019

I have been completed my study in Fine Arts. So, yes, naturally you can call me an artist. An artist has some social responsibilities. Out of that place of allegiance I have been decided that I should do something to stop unnecessary honking in the road. Suppose, we are talking somewhere; that might be at restaurant or at home, you will notice, there are always some sounds coming from outside. Even when we are in school, college, hospital and mosque we can hear the same noise there as well.

So, primarily, I choose to start the campaign “Horn Hudai, Bajay Vudai” in facebook . My first and foremost motive is to prevent this troublesome noise pollution. My daughter’s age is only 8 month. It’s a bliss to have children in your life but to make them sleep is not easy task to do. After having her I realize it’s really hard to make her sleep. Except that, the place I live in is a residential area; so, I notice that she get shocked awfully with the sound of horn. When it horns in the road, it seems she get scared and is suffering from a phobia of horn. Then I think making campaign only on facebook is not enough may be then after printing that slogan to a banner I go on standing in the road. That is how, I do the campaign physically.

Is there any particular reason for which you choose to be an artist?

Hashem Khan – July 2019

My elder brother who was very much serious about study where I was a mediocre student. Naturally, parents from small towns or villages usually have dreams to see their children as an Engineer or a Doctor. Similarly, my parents dreamt for me either. Chandpur College was just besides my home. It’s a big college and I was prepared to get admitted into Chandpur College. At that time one of my brother in law Yunus Hossain who was instructor of teachers training college highly appreciated my drawings and he was the first one who advised me to think about Art College. Later on I was inspired by my elder brother. He constantly got worried about my career. However, He knew my love for arts.

Cinema had a great influence on society. People took it very seriously then and loved the idea they got from cinema. At that time, the films based on artists usually showed that Artist suffers terribly or they would have died without eating. As we were many brothers and sisters and my father was the only family member who used to earn. So, financial crisis was a big factor so far. At first, my father told me to get admitted into Chandpur College as it was just near to my home. But why did he suddenly agree in such confusions, to me that is still a matter of wonder. Among my other brothers and sisters I was the only one who never care about any rules and regulations. Since my childhood, I just do what I want to do and from my childhood I was always a man who was very straightforward though my father used to be so strict to us. As I used to read books, so naturally I was very adventurous and I never tell lies to my parents even though I did mistakes. Rather, I felt guilty and confessed the truth to them. I was fearless and confident and I told my father about the desire to be admitted to the art college. My father was worried because I didn’t go Dhaka before. So, I told him that a friend of mine lives in Dhaka. So I will be able to manage. I told him that just to make him convinced.

Why should a person be interested in painting?

Nazia Haque Oni- August 2019

Let me tell you something. We go through a lot of pains, negative emotions or resentment every day. Sometimes, we cannot express our joy properly. Words may not be enough to express exactly what you feel. Painting is a wonderful way to let go of the grudge or other negative thoughts one might have in one’s head. One may even do it just for relaxation. It always helps.



Why photography?

Chanchal Mahmood – September 2019

I was fortunate that I met a lot of creative people in my life. I was very creative since my childhood. And the obstacle in studying painting is another reason I opted for Photography. Photography is a prestigious profession. For instance, I used to buy jhalmuri (local snacks) from a street vendor daily. He, one day, ran to hug me as he saw me on a TV programme. He didn’t know I was a photographer. Photography brings changes to people’s life and society. I have been living my life in this world of lens and lights for 64 years. You can reveal a story of hundred pages through one single image.



When did Sarah Karim Couture come into being?

Sarah Karim – October 2019

It started 12 years back. But the artisans working for the brand have almost 30/35 years of experience. My Nani Shashuri started this work as a charity. She wanted to create employment for artisans who no longer enjoyed any patronage from erstwhile Nawabs & Maharajahs. She further trained these artisans and gave them better designs & color palettes to work with. She used to design mostly sarees at the time. When old age prevented her from being as active as she used to, she was always concerned about the future of the artisans if there was no one to give them steady work. That’s when I stepped in and took over the business. We reinvented many designs & started a new line of formal wear with modern cuts & drapes. That’s how Sarah Karim Couture was launched.


How would you define ‘Travel’?

Shakoor Majid- November 2019

I think the entire journey of a person from his born to death is a travel. It is like a one-way journey. Say, if a train is the life of a human being, the starting rail station is where it is born. The destination station where the train stops is the death of the man. On the way, it stops, picks up passengers and goes through many stoppages. It goes to certain station and unloads the engine. Like this, human life is also a running thing at different crossroads in different ways. Here people have their childhoods, youths and old ages. It varies every now and then. Again, man is born in one place, studies in one place, works in another place and travels to another place – this is how his life ends with a journey through travelling around. I think a writer writes his travel stories throughout his life. In many ways, he writes down the experiences he achieved throughout the life. I have 22 travel books about 23 countries.

Again, I have traveled with many people for many years. I kept a memoir about that. Among them was Humayun Ahmed- the very famous author and director in Bangladesh. I travelled with him for 32 years. It’s not like I have walked with him for 32 years. But I was associated with him in many ways. I have a travel story about that. I have filmed the great Baul singer, Late Shah Abdul Karim for seven years with my video camera. I wrote a travel story about that as well. I write because if I do not express what I have seen or achieved, it will stay with me only. I couldn’t tell it to anyone. I express myself in two ways, through my writings and through photographs.

There is a proverb- “Killing two birds with one stone”. I think, I sometimes kill three birds with one stone- writings, photographs and filming. I write a book about an issue, again make a documentary on it where the audio video is presented, and again it is documented in the form of a book. To keep it documented, I add the pictures in the book which I captured through my camera. There is a chance to find the perfect and complete Shakoor Majid! My statement is documented which more authentic because of pictures.

Tell us about your daily schedule..

Afrin Anis Rahman – December 2019

I maintain a very difficult schedule every day. I have two children. One of them is 4 years old and another is three years only. My younger child usually doesn’t sleep before than 3 am. So, I have to keep awake till the midnight and get up at eleven in the morning. Sometimes I have to awake all over the night and get out in the morning. I have my own business, own office, three showrooms and I am going to run two more businesses which are going to be started very soon. I work at my office from noon to 12 am, carry my children there and even take care of my households. I maintain all the works together. This is how, my schedule has been created.


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