Whenever Ashna Habib Bhabna makes headlines, criticism follows her as if both of them are synonymous. Bhabna was never out of the buzz, whether it is her photos on social media a few days back or her first film “Voyangkor Sundor.” What does the film actor, prize winning dancer and writer actually want for herself? Just to be criticised or wants recognition for her works?
Showtime's Rumpa Syeda Farzana Zaman recently sat down with the actor. Bhabna talked about herself and the criticisms that follow.
Animesh Aich and their relationship
During popular director Animesh Aich's recent birthday Bhabna was seen as the main attraction of the event. Even Animesh dedicated her a few lines of Anjan Dutta on his social media for his special day. Even a national daily did a story on their friendship which created a lot of buzz. Bhabna is always ready for questions about Animesh so she smilingly replied that he is a very good friend of her. Our relationship is of comfort and trust. We worked together a lot so our understanding is amazing too. “We wanted to work with a film at the same time. Maybe that's why I got connected to the “Voyangkor Sundor” project. But yes we don't have a name for this relation or we are not ready to brand it as such,” said Bhabna. She also added that people want to think something all the time and that might be the reason that they think there’s something between them. She also cleared out that only they know about them and no one else.
And “Voyangkor Sundor?”
After the film was released Bhabna had to face a landslide of criticisms. From her makeup to costumes to her dialogue delivery, everything was heavily criticized which shattered her completely. She said that she cried and even people she did not know tagged her in posts on social media to make sure that she noticed that she was being criticised. “On set, I only tried to satisfy the director of the film, Animesh. You don't get a lot of chances to think during production, said Bhabna. She also added that she was very excited from the moment she heard of the character of Nayantara (which she portrayed in the film). She counted days till the shooting of the film began. But after the release and the heavy criticisms she stopped reading newspapers and still does not follow any of them.
About facing controversy in news media
Recently Bhabna was severely criticised for her shopping habit published in a news article. When asked about that she replied: “Why won't I shop in my country? I shop regularly from Dhaka. When a certain character for a shoot or my costume needs a special touch, I personally contact my tailors and tell them what is needed. My mother shops for me, assists me. But the question was where do I like to shop? And my answer was completely true. I do like to shop from Singapore. Thus the name of the international brands' make-up and watches came. Why would I name any local brands? No such questions were neven asked.”
She also added: “I was questioned for a misrepresentation of my statement in the news though another feature was very positive. What should I say? And the biggest thing in my opinion is that you shouldn't judge a person's patriotism based on misrepresented news.”
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Photo: Saikat Bhadra/Dhaka Tribune
Importance of a manager
“A celebrity manager is very important especially for social media,” Bhabna said when talking about the importance of a manager. “People don't call these days now. They see a post on social media and do news even if it was posted just for my friends. Also a lot of times want to share something but can't manage the time to do so. It would have been great if there was someone to manage these,” added Bhabna. She also said that it is also a consideration if an artist is financially able to hire a manager to handle these or whether they are at a state of mind to update a manager to create a bridge between her works.
Bhabna's absence as a dancer
Though regularly seen on TV and films, award winning dancer Bhabna is quite absent from the dance stage. With a sad smile on her face, Bhabna replied: “Because a dancer isn't invited to dance at an event. Everyone wants a celebrity to dance and that is a global practice. But we can make shows on dancing. People tell me – 'Bhabna can even dance!' But I only can do that and learned that all my life. But no one knows me as a dance performer.”
But she regularly participates in international dance events. She also thinks that the media should promote dance performers as no international tours are complete without dancers.
New beginning from Valentine’s Day
A novel written by Bhabna will be released at the 2018 book fair. This is not the first time she wrote something. She has been published previously with several of her short stories being published in previous book fairs. Her mentor in writing was her father, writer Habibul Islam Habib. Many TV dramas were also written by her and aired on television.
Whenever Bhabna is being discussed, criticisms about her arise. She said: “When a national daily publishes a story about your face, figure and skin colour, it really hurts. I am a human after all and it really hurt.” It is not just her, many female celebs of this country got this sort of coverage. She added that she knows that the situation won't change in a day but hopeful as she is seeing change in progress. She also sees herself as an agent of change, with not just words, but with her work.
Thinking about her ownself
Bhabna wants to work in projects that feel like her own. She loves it when she hears a director saying, “I wrote this character keeping you in mind.” She wants to work in more unique characters. “We always want to live other peoples' lives and we do that for a living. We portray other characters to live on and what could be more joyful than that,” concluded Bhabna with a smile.