Alpona Habib is a well known chef and host of Kazi Farms “Shohoj Iftar Alpona’r Shathey”, aired on Dipto TV every day at 3 pm and 6 pm. Her sister Masuda Anam Kalpona is a prominent Nazrul singer. Recently, she has performed Nazrul’s hamd o naat on various channels, as a tribute to the poet as well as the holy month. However, varied their careers, the two sisters are only a year and a half apart in age, and have remained inseparable. This year during Ramadan the sisters reflect upon the changes in their lives as they have families of their own.
“When we were children Ramadan was a special time for us,” said Alpona, “we were raised within a tradition where everyone fasts and wakes up for sehri. Growing up in a government colony, we had lots of neighbours and during sehri we would look around to see who else was up.” Kalpona fondly adds, “At school we would compete, and compare with our friends on who had fasted the most days. I believe it was a good practice for everyone to compete for good deeds and practices.” The sisters also note how traditions have changed since then: “Back then we used to distribute food to the destitute after iftar everyday, which was a lot of fun as well for my sister and me as we would run to the door to distribute whenever anyone came,” said Alpona, “but now rarely see such things.”
Times have drastically changed since each sister now has their own families including two grownup sons each. Both their elder sons are absent for this year’s Ramadan; Kalpona’s son is currently residing in London, and Alpona’s son is away to complete a residential semester at BRAC University. Their younger sons are currently busy with O-level and A-level exams.
However one thing that has remained constant is the bond they share with one another. “My sister and I are in constant touch over the phone, but whenever we see each other we still have so much to catch up on,” shared Alpona, “my mother and I live in the same building, so it is always the three of us whenever we make time.”