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Saturday, December 13, 2014, Agrahayan 29, 1421, Safar 19, 1436 Hijr

Khan Ataur Rahman's 86th birth anniversary observed
Observer Cultural Correspondent
Published : Saturday, 13 December, 2014,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 17
Khan Ataur Rahman, a legendary filmmaker of the country, was remembered on his 86th birth anniversary on December 11.
On the occasion of his birth anniversary, different socio-cultural organisations arranged varied programmes across the country.
Khan Ataur Rahman, widely known as Khan Ata, was a Bangladeshi film actor, director, producer, screenplay writer, music composer, and singer. He got renowned for his role in the film Jibon Theke Neya. In this film, his rendition of the song E Khancha Bhangbo Aami Kemon Korey echoed the national psyche on Bangladeshis Liberation War.
The son of Ziarat Hossain Khan and Zohra Khatun, who lived in Singair of Manikganj, Khan Ataur Rahman was born on December 11, 1928. When Khan Ata was student of class three, he won the first prize in a music competition in Dhaka. He rendered the song Mon Paban-er Dinga Baiyya. Khan Ata attended Dhaka Collegiate School, Dhaka College, and then Dhaka University, completing a bachelor of science degree. He was extremely obsessed with films. After enrolling in Dhaka Medical College, a career he later decided not to pursue, he made an attempt to escape from house and join films.
He had only Tk 60 in his possession that time. Accidentally his brother-in-law spotted him in the rail station. He was forced back to home. As of his bohemian type attitude, he left Dhaka University in 1949 and ran away from house for the second time. This time he went to Bombay. He looked for the film industry and slept on the side walks. He met Jyoti Studio's cameraman Jal Irani, and he gave Ata the chance to work as an apprentice but it was not satisfying enough for him.
Khan Ataur Rahman went to Karachi and took a job as a news presenter in Radio Pakistan in 1950. Here he met another notable Bengali media personality Foteh Lohani. Khan Ata was very interested in film that is why he started taking music lessons from renowned Pakistani Sarnagi player Jawahari Khan. After some days Foteh Lohani moved to London. Khan Ata went London as well in 1952. There he performed as a singer and actor in several Bengali programmes. He met artist SM Sultan and helped him with his savings to buy art supplies for the artist. Rahman and his companions also made arrangements for displaying and selling Sultan's paintings.
Khan Ataur Rahman married three times. When he was in London, completing a higher course in cinematography, he met an English girl named Shirley and married her.
On their return to Bangladesh and after having a child, they got divorced. Shirly returned to London with the child. Then Khan Ata married Mahabuba Hasnat. They met in a Radio Station. They had a daughter named Rumana Islam, a Bangladeshi singer. Khan Ata married Nilufar Yasmin, a Bangladeshi singer, in 1968. They had a boy from this family, named Agun, who is also a notable singer of Bangladesh.
In recognition of his contributions, Khan Ataur Rahman was honoured with Pakistan Film Festival Award, Nigar Award, International film festival Awards at Moscow and Tashkent and National Film Award of Bangladesh.
Khan Ataur Rahman breathed his last in Dhaka on December 1, 1997 at the age of 68.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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