Once Aly Zaker gave a 22-year-old Mostofa Sarwar Farooki the ‘much-needed confidence’ that would help the latter’s filmmaking career for years to come
Prominent director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki expressed his shock and grief at the news of celebrated actor Aly Zaker’s departure.
The director was ‘stunned’ and found himself ‘ill-prepared’ to accept this grave news despite keeping updates for some time of the late thespian’s steadily failing health.
Farooki said that Zaker was not only a towering figure in the cultural realm, but also an unwavering inspiration to many behind the scenes, including the filmmaker himself.
“I am forever indebted to Aly Zaker. Yet I could never thank him in life, but let me try today,” Farooki took to Facebook and shared a personal anecdote to pay tribute to the legend.
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“When I was 22-23 years old, essentially a nobody, I mustered the courage to contact him. I was making a documentary on Dublar Char, and I wanted him to do the voice-over. I was intimidated beyond words could convey. So when I went to his house to see him, with frankly not much hope, I found him looking through his window at the trees outside with a deep concentration that seemed fascinating to me. It was as if he were looking at the most extraordinary things!” wrote Farooki.
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“And then he turned around and looked at me with a look that was even more piercing," Farooki continued. "As I spoke, his concentration never left him, I was the centre of his attention, and yet he was one of the biggest stars in the country. When he agreed to do the part, he acted as if I had done him a big favour by ‘selecting him.’ His modesty never faltered during all the years that I have known him afterwards. He made me feel like I mattered even at that young age.”
Farooki thanked the screen legend for instilling ‘courage and confidence’ in him when he was still an inexperienced filmmaker, trying to make it in the industry. The filmmaker wished the screen legend comfort in the world beyond and expressed his gratitude for lending some meaning to his life and work when, as a young director, he badly needed it.