Interview: Abul Hayat

‘A birthday is time to rethink yourself’

Abul Hayat
Abul HayatProthom Alo
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It was actor Abul Hayat’s birthday on Monday, 7 September. How did he spend the day? What are his plans ahead? He speaks to Prothom Alo in an interview about this and more.

Happy Birthday! How did it go?

How else in these times of coronavirus? I went to Channel i in the morning, attended an event there, cut a birthday cake. At night I cut another cake, this time with my granddaughter Sriya, Natasha’s daughter.

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How old are you? There are so many different accounts…

I’m 76.

It’s your granddaughter’s birthday too.

Yes, I’m happy to share the happiness of Sriya’s birthday. Natasha and Shahed live close by and so they came over at night. Then I cut the cake with my granddaughter. We’ve been celebrating our birthday together ever since she was born. At midnight either they come over or I go over to their place.

Any particular dish you enjoy, cooked by your two daughters, Bipasha and Natasha?

I enjoy whatever they cook. Bipasha is in the US with her family at the moment. Natasha brings over whatever she cooks. And there are so many restaurants in Dhaka now, we go to whatever place the grandchildren fancy. Not this time though. Bipasha loves to experiment with her cooking. She normally cooks spice-less food, without oil. She cooks meat and vegetables differently from the way everyone normally cooks.

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Before Facebook and the cell phone, how would people greet you on your birthday?

There was the land phone. And when I was in Libya, we would celebrate ourselves. Now with Facebook, everyone is reminded of birthdays. We celebrated my 75th birthday. My wife and daughters invited everyone over. Otherwise, we normally just celebrate it among ourselves.

What does a birthday mean to you?

It is an occasion to rethink yourself, to review the past year and plan for the next. This come to my mind automatically.

Do you remember your 18th birthday?

Birthdays were not celebrated then like they are now so I really have no memories of that. I was studying at Chittagong College at the time. I would live in Tiger Pass. There just wasn’t the culture of celebrating birthdays then.

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What about your plans?

Perhaps I won’t take on directing too many plays next year. I’ll work a little less. I will give more time to the theatre than to TV plays.

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If you had to give three bits of advice to the new entrants in the entertainment world, what would that be?

You don’t have to do much. Love your work. Be committed to your work. And practice.

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