Vol. 5 Num 725 Mon. June 12, 2006  

In conversation
"Acting is like mathematics"-- Bipasha Hayat

WHEN I was a child I had a cassette player on which I would listen to Shesher kobita by Rabindranath Tagore every single night before going to sleep. I thought I understood the theme. I listened to that cassette after 15 years again and suddenly realised I hadn't understood a word of it. Acting is like that. Even after 17 years, I feel that I have a lot more to learn." Such is the humility of a household name in Bangladesh -- Bipasha Hayat.

Highly influenced by her father, well renowned actor Abul Hayat, Bipasha always wanted to be an artiste. Her father's sincerity, love and respect for his work enthralled and attracted Bipasha to work in the same line. She wanted to give the audience the flavour of the same simplicity her father managed to present. The motivation to be a famous face was never the guiding force in her taking up the profession of acting.

"Acting is like mathematics," explains this self-critic of her evolution as an actress. "You need to know the theory as well as its application. Practice, concentration and dedication are quintessential." Since the initial years, she has done extensive research and studies on acting and attended numerous workshops. Elaborating on the correlation between acting and mathematics, Bipasha says "How much an eyebrow should be raised for a shot in relation to the facial expression, how many degrees should a head be aligned in a particular direction, these all have to be calculated. It's all very arty and complicated."

Not only has Bipasha been the leading tele-serial actress for years, but she has also emerged into playwriting. Her first brush with writing came when she wrote the serial Shudhui tomake jani in 1997. Using a pseudonym, she took the script to three leading artistes of the time. After the serial was telecast it was a raging success and Bipasha was confident that it was her talent and not the "Bipasha name tag" that got appreciated. However, it took her seven more years to take the prospect of writing seriously. This born perfectionist never felt she was ready until her husband Tauquir Ahmed insisted that she start writing. "Writing is like a spark of genius. A thought comes suddenly and I get so engrossed with it that I feel the characters haunting me until I have done each one justice."

An innovative writer, sketching the lead character with shades of good and bad is her specialty. "Every human has a good and bad side, why should heroes be different and be larger than life?" In her upcoming serial Ontormomo, Bipasha deals with the complexities of human character. It is the story of a girl who is confused. She is possessive and illogical yet a good person at heart. There is a boy she loves but doesn't want to marry.

Bipasha has also completed a 13-episode serial that will be released soon. Her husband has been like a rock foundation in all her projects. In her own words, "Tauquir has always been there for me. We respect each other's work tremendously and are always there for each other."

A complete woman, Bipasha Hayat is a lover of ancient civilisations and connoisseur of art. With a Master's degree in Fine Arts from the Institute of Fine Arts, DU, someday she wants to hold a solo exhibition. "I am my own critic and I know the time is not yet ripe for a solo exhibition," explains Bipasha.