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Ankhi Alamgir
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There was a time when people heard the name Ankhi Alamgir, and immediately associated her with her famous father, actor Alamgir. Ankhi's mother, Khoshnoor is also a well-known lyricist. Being born into a renowned family has had its ups and downs, admits the accomplished singer Ankhi. But things have changed since then and today Ankhi has carved a niche for herself in the entertainment world. In an interview with The Daily Star, Ankhi talked about the journey to where she stands now.

"I have always been an introvert and like to do things on my own. When I was a child everyone would want to be friends with me because I was 'Alamgir's daughter'. So I never had close friends," Ankhi said. While some of her teachers adored her, others used to pass taunting comments like "Why study? You are Alamgir's daughter."

"However, my parents have always instilled the value of education. I graduated from Shaheen School and College with distinction and completed my LLB from Queen's University. However, everyone still thought I would end up being an actor like my father," she continued.

Ankhi could have easily pursued acting as well. She won a National Award in the children's category for her role in Amjad Hussain's movie "Bhat De". "My parents didn't want me to work in films at that young age. They realised that if I joined movies at that point, I'd have trouble focusing on my studies. I also figured that singing suited me better. With my singing career I got the full package -- completed my studies, had a happy family life and am doing something I love."

Ankhi has been training in classical music since second grade. "My first teacher was Ustad Akhtar Sadmani. Subsequently, I trained under Sanjib De." She did her first playback for the movie "Bidrohi Bou" in 1994 and then her album "Prothom Koli" came out. Both were huge hits amongst the masses.

After tasting success, Ankhi had to decide what she wanted more in life. Prioritising became important. "Earlier in life I had no ambition to be a professional singer; rather I had wanted to be a lawyer. However after the success of my first album I realised I didn't want to study any more. I must admit I started enjoying the name, fame and money.

"I did have an advantage being Alamgir's daughter during the initial days. Everyone already knew me and so I didn't have a tough time getting attention. For those with no media background, getting a launching pad can be difficult. But in the long run one has to prove oneself. Someone else's name won't make you a star."

In Ankhi's life, her parents have been her greatest inspiration. "One thing they were both firm about was instilling moral values in us." Her dad is also her biggest critic. "If my song even has a minute flaw, he will immediately point that out. He does the same with my makeup, my attire and so on. He just wants me to be perfect. On the contrary, my mother always considers me 'perfect' as I am."

Ankhi describes herself as a "moody and determined" individual. While her parents were worried initially, she told them that if she ever disappointed them then they could stop her. But they soon realised she did everything expected of her -- at her own pace and mood. "This streak of moodiness has been there always. I got married and had two children at the peak of my career. Everyone said my popularity would diminish. But I went ahead. However I don't do things that would affect others negatively."

Great at live performances, Ankhi does plenty of shows abroad and in the country.

To be a real artiste, one has to be a good human being, believes Ankhi. "Learning classical music is necessary. But to sustain your popularity you have to know how to give in return all the love and affection you receive.

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