Ekushey Padak winning singer Ferdausi Rahman celebrated her 79th birthday on 28 June. The daughter of legendary folk singer Abbasuddin Ahmed has been the youngest recipient of the prestigious Ekushey Padak for her exquisite singing talent.
The celebrated singer has been staying home most of the time due to the coronavirus pandemic that gripped the whole world.
She talked to Prothom Alo about her life during the pandemic and her music on Sunday.
This is what she said:
Happy birthday to you
Thank you very much
Tell us about memories of your birthdays…
Honestly speaking, I never celebrated my birthday when I was a child. My first birthday celebration happened on the day I achieved a position of merit in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations. My father just invited some of our relatives and friends for lunch. That’s it.
He used to say, “It’s not for you to celebrate your own birthday. Do something big that people remember you, and celebrate your birthday.” I don’t remember if I ever celebrated my birthday at home.
Many fans are wishing you on Facebook. Did you see it?
Yes, of course. I really enjoy that.
A birthday means you lost a year from your life. How do you see it?
I never bother about age. It is just a number. I believe it will go on and on. I enjoy every day on my own terms. Each day comes with its own beauty.
You had an aching leg. How are you now?
Many things have changed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Everything happening around has been worrying me. It feels really bad when I hear the news of deaths of friends.
How music can help in this pandemic?
This pandemic is different any other. The enemy is invisible. The fight against this invisible enemy leaves people weak and broken. If you lose your mental peace music cannot make you happy. I am an artiste. I may pass my time with singing. What about people who lose their jobs and spending their days with uncertainty? Nobody can enjoy music or poetry in empty stomach.
What are you doing now?
I try to read books. I cannot keep my concentration though. Every day starts with the news of people I know dying. Every time I switch on the television it scares me.
*This interview, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat