Fans mourned the demise of their beloved ‘Boro Chacha’ by sharing personal anecdotes and resurfacing famous Aly Zaker memes
Ekushey Padak-winning veteran actor and freedom fighter Aly Zaker passed away at around 6:40am on Friday at United Hospital in Dhaka. He was 76.
Zaker was diagnosed with Covid-19 two days prior to his death. He had been battling with cancer for the last four years.
While still reeling from the lingering losses of football legend Maradona and veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee in recent days, fans woke up today, on Friday morning to another bad news – Aly Zaker, who was supposed to be discharged from the hospital on November 22, passed away soon after dawn.
His body was taken to the Liberation War Museum in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar where friends and colleagues bid a final farewell to the revered artist.
A member of the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra in 1971, Aly was accorded a guard of honour for his contributions to the Liberation War as a freedom fighter. He was later laid to rest at the capital's Banani Graveyard following a Namaz-e-Janaza after the Asr prayers at the graveyard mosque.
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People from all walks of life took to social media and grieved. Some shared personal stories of running into the thespian backstage, others made memes to bid farewell to the freedom fighter and veteran actor.
A fan thanked Zaker for the memories. He wrote, “I remember watching you alongside Asaduzzaman Noor on the play Nuruldiner Sara Jibon. Both of you stood so close to the audiences! You were only two feet away, and I heard the famous dialogue, ‘Jago Bahe Konthe Sobai;’ your words sent a flurry of emotions down my spine. I am glad that I saw you live.”
Many theatre activists shared on Facebook how watching Zaker dominate the stage and put an effortless spell on an entire auditorium filled with people inspired them to aspire to do the same. He was the reason; they explained why they joined theatre.
Several meme pages and groups on Facebook have been paying their tribute to the legend since early morning. They were seen thanking him for being a source of laughter and a reminder of the good old days.
A fan, Ali Siddiquee, recollected an event when he along with his wife met Zaker at TSC. “I and Zannat met him once in TSC, in an event organized by the Theatre department of Dhaka University. He is as nice and humble in person as he was a great artist.”
Social media is filled with similar posts detailing personal encounters with Zaker and his impeccably humble personality.
For many, Aly Zaker was more than an artist; he stood for greater things than his own craft. Fans lamented that his passing marks ‘the end of an era,’ recalling the long gone days of BTV’s golden age when families around the country would gather in front of the TV and fall in love with actors like Zaker lulling us to a better world – the illusion, the blending of reality and TV, admittedly, only lasted for an hour or so, but the magic stayed forever.