I have often called myself “Jack of all trades, master of none,” but that does not satisfy me anymore. In recent times I have become attached to the number five in Bangla that aptly describes me. Better than the “English Finglish” idioms.
In Bangla, there is the mix of five flavorful spices called “paa(N)ch phoron” without which a bhaji or a neeramish would taste nothing but sawdust. Whether I am in a drama production or heading the corporate meeting or spending time with my family and pets, I would like to be those five spice which adds to the essence of the milieu.
Then there is the “paaNch Kotha” which is plain and simple gossip. How boring life would be without that “paa(N)ch Kotha”! I am choosy about people with who I share “paa(N)ch Kotha,” but without sharing gossip, I would only die.
Then again there is this term “paa(N)ch mishali” which means an assortment; a variety of good and bad that describes me best. What is good in me you could tell me, what is bad, just keep it to yourself.
Last but not the least the physiology of the Bangla’s five. When you make a glum face, they say you have made a face like Bangla’s paaNch. The mirror is often telling me that my face is looing like a Banglar paaNch, and I tell myself “ tweak the ends of your lips upwards. That’s like a good girl !”
“Words words words” surrounded our family when I was growing up. In books, in Scrabbles, in crossword puzzles. In studies and degrees, we attained. The rendition of drama as it has been for the three-fourth span of my life was not there in my days of childhood days.
Performing Art came later. I stepped on the stage in 1972, a couple of years earlier to my marriage to the Thespian Aly Zaker. Both of us gave our best to the Stage for which we are known to the world around us and also that which has fetched us many laurels. Our Ganesh (the one that gives you what you wish for), has been kind to us.
And it would be hypocritical if I I did not touch the feet of Maa Laxmi that provided our bread, butter, and honey. Yes, we grew up from one single East Asiatic Ltd to a group of media companies which is represented by the name Asiatic 3sixty