How are the promotions for Rajneeti going?
They're going very well. We've worked really hard for this, and I am doing my best to promote it. You know, an artist's work doesn't end after the shooting ends; it's the opposite altogether. Rajneeti is a wholeheartedly Bangladeshi cinema with an original story, and I am positive that the audience will embrace it with open arms.
Why isn't Shakib Khan involved in the promotion of Rajneeti?
It is unfortunate that he isn't able to give his time for promoting the film, since he is already busy with shooting another one. I would have really loved him to be a part of the promotions, but we all know about his hectic work schedule. He can't even spare some time for his own films!
From an outsider's perspective, it would seem like you have been there for Shakib through thick and thin. Why do you think you are this persistent?
(Laughs) This is a very difficult question. My question is, why not? Someone who I value so much, and so dear to me will always be the subject of my affection no matter what. People make mistakes, we are but human beings. Being there for someone despite their mistakes; that is universal in any relationship, isn't it?
We assume that what you do is entirely out of love, but do you think he reciprocates the same sense of responsibility? Does he see things the same way that you do?
It has been 9 years since we have been married, and as a mother I can say that her child needs her the most. After Abraham came to our life, Shakib was always concerned about how I would look after him and continue my career at the same time. He probably thought it would be best for me to take some time off and give attention to our family.
What are your sentiments regarding that?
I think a person has a lot to accomplish while he or she is alive. The fact that I am married and have a child does not justify why I should let go of my dreams and ambitions. I have a lot to give to the industry, and I will definitely continue doing what I love.
What if that conflicts with your family interests in the future? What do you plan to do if your rights as a wife, or perhaps a mother, are challenged?
To be honest, you can't really plan for anything. I will just say that I am prepared for anything, and I will stand up for myself no matter what. The last time I felt that I needed to fight, I came in front of everyone with my child. Shakib had to admit that I was his wife and Abraham was his son. In order to 'fight' for herself, a woman has to be independent before anything else. She has to know her rights and her rightful place in the society.
You say that you've already fought for what was yours. However, if a situation like that ever arises again, would you be willing to do the same?
I believe that I've fought the big fight. All I wanted was an identity for my son, I got that. We'll see what happens in the future.
Tell us how your relationship with Shakib blossomed.
I met him at the shooting of Koti Takar Kabin. We started talking since then. My parents originate from India, and I was in India when we were talking constantly over the phone. I once told him to come to India, and to my surprise he came to India for me! This was way back in 2007. My mother was always wary of the fact that he was from another religion and that I have to maintain my distance. But the heart wants what it wants; we got married at his place when his parents weren't there.
Tell us about your family life. Are you living together at this moment?
(Laughs) Not yet, really! Shakib has been traveling all around India, Italy, London and Switzerland for shooting purposes, and I can't really travel that far with him with such a small baby. We will plan for it once we come back.
Any future plans?
I just want to make my son the ideal human being. He is only 7 months old, so I obviously can't judge his requirements in life. However, I want him to be an exemplary human being, whatever he does.
Interviewed by Rafi Hossain
To watch the full interview, log on to The Daily Star's 'Star Live' and search 'Uncensored with Rafi Hossain'.