Nayak Raj Razzak's legendary career has enabled many others to witness their own successes, and therefore fulfilling their dreams of being an actor. His departure has left a void in many, and those who have had the fortune of working with him, are left with priceless memories. In a recent conversation with The Daily Star, actors Rozina and Shakib Khan recount their times spent with the late actor, on and off set. Excerpts:
“There's no need to be afraid, just act” …Rozina
“The first film I worked with him in was 'Ayna', directed by Mohsin, of which Shabana was also part of the main cast. For a long time, I was often portrayed as his character's sister in films, before working alongside him as the female lead. All the memories I have with him are happy ones.
“For as long as the country exists, so will Razzak's for his insurmountable contributions in the national film industry. He ignored the opportunities of success in film industries across our borders and beyond, and everything he did was for the love of his people and his land.”
“Since childhood, I was enamoured by Razzak, and his performances with Shabana spurred me to try acting. The first time I was able to work alongside my hero, I was too nervous to deliver my lines in front of the camera. I was literally quivering with fear and awe. He noticed this and reassured me saying, 'There's no need to be afraid, just act.' I was immediately put at ease after. The one thing I shall never forget is, being with him made me feel as though I had known him forever, and that we were close friends.
“I was also cast in two films directed by him – 'Rajamistri' and 'Obhijaan'. While filming 'Obhijaan', we spent a month and a half on boat. Apart from Razzak and myself, we were also joined by Anjona, Jashim, and Ilyas Kanchan. We started our journey from Fatullah, and ended at Sylhet. Every evening, we all gathered on the deck and talked. Razzak was a lively individual, who was full of stories and jokes. Not only have we lost a great actor, we have also lost a magnificent human being.”
“He treated me like a son” …Shakib Khan
“Razzak was not only my hero, but he was also a father figure. Whenever I was troubled, or had anything to share, he was the first person I would always turn to. On my birthdays, he was often there, cutting the cake. He showed great affection towards me, and treated me like a son.
“Whenever there was something special to be served during mealtimes, he would always call to invite me over. Lokkhi auntie (Razzak's wife) would often do the same. No matter how busy I was, I would always drop everything to go. I cannot express what I have lost now. When news of his death reached me, I rushed immediately to the hospital, where I met Shomrat (his son). When he saw me, he hugged me tearfully and said, 'Who will you come to now? Who will you share your worries with?'”
“Losing him was akin to losing a father. I was there throughout the whole time, from the hospital to laying him down in eternal rest, just to be with him for as long as I possibly could. I will tell you one thing – there will never be another Nayak Raj Razzak. I pray to the Almighty that he is granted Jannat, and may his soul rest in eternal peace.”