Tanzila: Welcome to our show Mehreen Mahmud. We are very excited to have you with us.
Mehreen Mahmud: Thank you so much Tanzila.
Tanzila: We have learnt that you celebrate your birthdays in unique ways. How did you celebrate your special day this year?
Mehreen: We organised an eye-camp this time.
Tanzila: Please tell our audience about it.
Mehreen: We arranged the eye-camp in Kushtia at an old age home, which was our base in that area. We made announcements so that patients can visit us for check-ups. And they did. We initially detected the cataract patients and treated them. We performed surgeries when needed and tried to cure them.
Tanzila: That’s a big initiative.
Mehreen: We have previously worked with Sandhani and started an awareness programme. This year, we were determined to start this eye-camp and I’m happy that we succeeded. It was a happy day for everyone.
Tanzila: We also heard that you have decided to donate your eyes. What did encourage you to take such a big decision?
Mehreen: Your eyes will be of no use to you once you are dead. The initial obstacle to this decision is my family. I am teaching my daughter to contact Sandhani after my death, so that they can come and collect my eyes. The wishes of many to donate their body parts remain unfulfilled because in many cases, the families of the deceased fail to gather the courage to follow through. My eyes can help two persons get back their sights. So, why not?
Tanzila: A lot of people will be inspired when celebrities like you promote such a big cause (eye donation). There’s this song we have heard – “Ami Naari, Ami E Pari” – and the composition was done by none other than the legend Ayub Bachchu. Would you mind sharing some of your memories with him?
Mehreen: I’ve done a lot of work with Ayub Bachchu. We did countless works together since I stepped into the industry. I sang in the movie “Wrong Number” and the composition was Bachchu bhai’s. We did another song together for Ananda Bhubhon Magazine. I still remember we appeared there together and did the ramp, too. My first cover story for Ananda Bhubhon is with Bachchu bhai and Hasan bhai. As a senior, he always helped me nurture my talent as a junior person stepping into the industry for the first time. It is very important. The biggest of all works we did together was judging the Bangladeshi Idol. I still find it hard to believe that he’s not with us. He’s a legend and legends don’t die. That’s what I think.
Tanzila: What’s your message for emerging artists and singers?
Mehreen: To be honest, I try to learn from the new and young artistes all the time. I learn from the digital way this generation has adapted to. Their career graph, how they see it and organise it, I follow that too and try to implement it. I feel that we should show proper respect to every artiste of Bangladesh – former or new-shouldn’t matter. That’s how this music industry will flourish and live for so many years.