Volume 6 | Issue 21| November 10, 2012|


   Celebrating Life    Special Issue
   Lifetime Achievement    Winner
   Photography Contest    Winner
   Lyrics Contest    Winner

   Star Insight     Home

Farmers’s Voice

Ripa Sarker

Ripa Sarker has achieved hat-trick win in lyrics contest. Overcoming many hurdles she has won the hearts and minds of judges though her fluent lyrics. Her song was performed by Sabina Yasmin on the Gala Event to raise the curtain. She is thrilled to be on top once more.

Interviewed by Zia Nazmul Islam

Hailing from Bogra, Ripa Sarker had achieved a feat that will be hard to beat. She is the proud winner of the Lyrics contest for the third time in a row. Her talent in writing songs has made the judges for the last years to choose anyone else.

Like most lyricists, Ripa thinks she has an innate ability to write songs. Most of her lyrics are formed in her heart. She calls it Moner Khata (book of the heart). It goes through a process of self-evaluation in her mind. It can go on for months until it comes down to pen and paper. There are many lyrics that goes through a life cycle in her heart but never sees the light. And there are others that complete their process and are rejuvenated on paper. Ripa sent three of those masterpieces. Out of those two made to the top ten and one to the top.

The Gala Event started as Sabina Yasmin appeared on the stage singing a song with her winning lyric. Asking whether she felt the song composition was what she had in mind when she wrote the lyric, she replied it was exactly what I imagined the would be like. Alauddin Ali, the composer of the song gave it the exact tune she expected.

Although she believes she has a gift of writing from God, she humbly admits that she needs a lot of brush up. Therefore, Ripa is an avid fan of the radio program 'Binimoy'. She gets her inspiration from the show and regularly writes letters. It helped her learn the grammar of lyrics. She loves reading books too. Apart from poetry, she loves religious literature. A lot of her inspiration comes from these books, she admits.

At moments, it seems she is a fragile girl from a tiny corner of Bangladesh. On a second look, one can tell that she is a strong woman who is ready to take her future in her own hands. A student of BSc at a local college, Ripa sees herself as an accomplished lyricist in the future. Her honesty and determination to her work will make her dream come true, she says. There are hurdles in her life but God willing, she will make it.

On a previous meeting, Ripa Sarker grudged about how she was not being supported by her family. This time, she came with her proud brother, cousin sister and brother-in-law. Contentious recognition from Celebrating Life has eased her guardians to write more and participate in competitions.

She is eager to see her songs being picked up by composers and singers. But she knows well that it is still complex industry and proper practice and dedication will make her reach goal.

Bilal Hossain Nuri

Bilal Hossain Nuri is the 2nd prize winner of Celebrating Life Lyrics Contest 2012. He has won this award in and earned the same position for the last 3 contests. A teacher, Bilal always finds time to write songs..


Interviewed by Sadia Khalid

Sadia Khalid: What is feeling winning the second position for the third time?
Bilal Hossain Nuri: I have earned same position for the last year’s competition and also the year before that. It is always a great feeling to win such a prestigious award.

SK: Tell us something about your background.
BH: I am a teacher of Arabic at a Cadet Madrasa, I am a Kamil (equivalent to Masters) student. Born in Bhola, I came to Dhaka a few years ago to study. I have been writing lyrics and poetry since I learned to read and write. Although coming from a religious family I found no objection to write from my father, who also is a Islamic teacher. I used to collect lyrics and poem from newspaper, books or magazine and still do.

SK: How often do you write lyrics?
BH: I never put my pen down. I write 2/3 lyrics every week. The continuity and the flow of writing keeps a me on track. Therefore, even after working and studying I keep on writing. God has given me a gift. That gift can not thrown away. I have no doubt that a large part of being a lyricist has to come from within. But, practice and dedication brings the structure and grammar that helps me create a great lyric.

SK: What do you think about the music industry?
BH: I craves for a good song or a poem. I feel Bangladeshi music industry has taken few steps back over the years and good material is hard to come by. Competition like Celebrating Life brings back the inspiration to young potential lyricists like me. Support and guidance from proper channels create more lyricists and also will bring talented young minds to the industry. I don't prefer importing music from abroad. We have enough talents in Bangladesh to produce world standard music.

The young generation can bring back the glory of the industry. Seeing the recognition received by Ferdausi Rahman and Firoza Begum by Celebrating Life is an inspiration for the new comers into the industry.

SK: What is your future plan?
BH: My career as a teacher may take me in any direction but one direction is already set for me, and that is lyrics and songs. I hope, Celebrating Life will help me curve at least a small path towards that direction.


Ashanuzzaman is the winner of the third prize of Celebrating Life Lyrics Contest 2012. He is currently working in Bangladesh Bank. This is the third time that he won an award in Celebrating Life Lyrics Contest. In an interview with The Daily Star, he told us about his feeling on winning this award.In an interview with The Daily Star, he told us about his feeling on winning this award.

Interviewed by Sadia Khalid

Sadia Khalid: How does it feel to get such an honour for the third time?
Ashanuzzaman: It brings me immense pleasure to receive such a huge honour. It always feels great to win and when that award is such a recognized award, the joy is augmented.

SK: How did you first get involved with writing lyrics?
A: I started writing songs in 2008. The renowned lyricist, Kabir Bakul, inspired me to write songs. Then when I received an award in 2009 in the Celebrating Life Lyrics Contest, I never looked back.

SK: You are working in a bank. How does your work affect your writing?
A: My work and my writing do not go hand in hand. My work keeps me very busy the whole week long. I only get to write during weekends and holidays.

SK: What do you think of the Celebrating Life Lyrics Contest?
A: I have heard of this contest since its beginning. It is one of the most well known competitions in Bangladesh for lyricists. It encourages the new lyricists. It is very hard to establish yourself as a lyricist in Bangladesh. Celebrating Life gives us that platform where we can prove our talents and get acceptability in this industry.

SK: What kind of lyrics do you like to write?
A: I like to write lyrics that are true to our tradition and our heritage. My writing style is more poetic.

SK: Who is your favourite song writer?
A: My favourite song writers are Nazrul Islam, Rabindranath Tagore, Lalon and so on.

SK: Do you have any interests other than writing lyrics?
A: I like to listen to music. I admire the music of Bappa Mazumder, Arnob, Kumar Bishwajit, Ayub Bachchu and so on.

SK: What are your future plans regarding lyrics writing?
A: I am not sure whether I will be able to write songs commercially. But even if I never gain commercial success, I want to keep writing songs for the rest of my life.

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