Vol. 5 Num 1038 Fri. May 04, 2007  

Selim-Rosey: Heart to heart
He is the perfect man -- educated, masculine, outspoken, articulate and one of the best actors of his time. She on the other hand, is a beautiful, shy, loving and carefree individual. It's not surprising that amidst so many they found each other and fell in love. Sitting in their tastefully decorated Niketon house, media personalities Shahiduzzaman Selim and Rosey Siddiqui talk to Mahmuda Afroz about the initial stage of their relationship and the blissful 14 years of their married life

How they first met
Rosey: Selim was quite established as an actor. Before we got to know each other well, one winter morning I saw him riding his bike. Call it a woman's intuition, but I immediately felt that we were going to have a relationship of some sort, not necessarily romantic, but some connection.

Selim: We were part of different theatre groups back in early 90's. We used to watch each other perform and I first noticed Rosey when she was playing this character -- shidur (vermilion) daubed on her forehead -- looking breathtakingly beautiful.

Who proposed?
Rosey: Obviously Selim!

Selim: Me. One day after shooting I took Rosey to an ice cream shop. She was laid back and I approached her directly; told her that I wanted to marry her and if she refused I would never marry. Initially Rosey was speechless. Then she asked me to talk to her father. The following Friday I went to her dad and asked for her hand. Though I was very polite I didn't forget to mention that if he didn't consent to that we would simply elope. Fortunately he agreed immediately. On December 16, 1993 we got married.

What were your favourite dating spots?
Rosey: Our favourite dating spots were Selim's bike and his parents' home. They loved me and treated me like their daughter.

Selim: True. At that point Rosey had become popular for this 'Bijli' character she played in a drama serial Jonmobhumi directed by Amjad Hossain. We couldn't go anywhere without people approaching her. On top of that our relationship was quite talked about. We had nothing to hide but we wanted to be sure about being committed before making it public.

Today you are both major celebrities in your own right. Who would you say made more sacrifices along the way?
Rosey: You can say that I "adjusted" more but I wouldn't necessarily call that a "sacrifice". I reduced my workload simply because for me my family is more important.

Selim: As Rosey said, no one really sacrificed. I have always believed in one's freedom to choose. Yes, Rosey has reduced her workload but then again she gets to spend more time with the kids. I miss that.

Do you criticise each other's work? What do you dislike about each other?
Rosey: Though Selim is almost 10 years older to me, I have always criticised him when necessary. If I had been the silent type then we probably would have fought less. I remember the early days of our marriage where I would say things, which Selim wouldn't like, and we would end up not talking for days. His temper is something I am not fond of. However, it is natural for any couple to fight and we have both grown in this relationship. We have come to accept each other's negative aspects.

Selim: I do try to guide her if she needs it. Rosey was brought up in a more pampered environment. I am completely respectful of her professional decisions but she is quite indecisive. I don't generally discourage her, but at times I end up lecturing her. She has often complained I am like the principal of her school. There is almost nothing I dislike about her. I understand and respect her individuality.

Interesting habits?
Rosey: Selim is particular about not messing up things. He ties the ends of his handkerchiefs so that when he needs one he can untie one and keep the rest in place. He is so precise at times it's like he is a robot.

Selim: Rosey always has this fear factor working for her and goes to extremes. Even if she has a common flu she will immediately make a diagnosis that she has some grave illness.

What has been your mantra for 14 years of marital bliss?
Rosey: Though Selim is hot tempered he generally is right. He is outspoken and brutally honest. I love this about him though often people misunderstand him. I also believe in being close to one's roots. Though both of us have attained stardom we come from modest middle class families. We try to incorporate our values in our children.

Selim: Rosey is a beautiful person in and out. She always has a clear conscience, which is rare. I can never be unhappy with her. Plus each couple has their own ingredient for happiness. We come from modest backgrounds and are grateful for whatever we have achieved in life. We are happy with our two daughters.