Published : Saturday, 18 November, 2023 at 12:00 AM Count : 714
In the early 60s, Bangladeshi literature lovers were in great despair as our writers could not content the mind of our readers with their writing which indicated a clear downfall of literature practice in Bangladesh. Readers were more prone to read books of authors from West Bengal, Kolkata.Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay,Manik Bandyopadhyay and Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay were more popular among the readers. In this darkest hour ofliterary decline anunbelievable breakthrough was made byHumayun Ahmed through his novel, Nandita Narake (In Blissful Hell). The book published in 1972 showed a ray of hope to the literature lovers of Bangladesh and Humayun soon turned the hope into reality with his unparallel masterpieces. Surely, a new light was kindled by Humayun that would glow Bengali literature for the next 40 yearswith the brilliance of timeless classics and the enchantment of literary masterpieces, illuminating the minds and hearts of readers across generations.
Born on November 13, 1948, the fabled writer has kept his reflection in all corners of literature. Starting from short stories to novels or making films, Humayun has shown versatility in all his works.However, it has been hiswritingwhich truly sets him apart. Well, Humayunhad adifferent style of writing as he used colloquial and everyday language as the principal tool.The simple language he used engaged the readers, effortlessly captivating their attention and immersing them in his literary world. Humayun's writing style can be characterized by its clarity and directness, allowing readers to easily grasp the essence of his stories and connect with the characters on a profound level.His works largely reflected the reality of society, the love between people and the immense sacrifices made every day in life. His ability to delve into the depths of human emotions and portray them with eloquence and sensitivity is unparalleled.
In his lifetime, Humayun authored over 200 fiction and non-fiction books among which some will remain iconic in Bengali Literature for centuries. Among his remarkable works,thenovel, Jochna o Jononir Golpo(A tale of moonlight and mother) presents the audience with everyday life of people during the War of Independence. The novel narrates the never-ending love of the Bengalis for their country and the immense sacrifices they made as a whole nation during the war. Opekkha (Waiting) another masterstroke of Humayun illuminatesthe ordinary journey of a family with daily struggles, never ending problems, and occasional happiness. The books written in simple language hold a profound impact on readers, captivating their hearts and minds.
Beyond his novels, Humayun Ahmed's versatility extended to the realm of cinema and television. In the early 1990s, Humayun emerged as a filmmakerdemonstrating his expertise in the field too with great proficiency. Widely regarded as one of the best movie directors of his time, Humayun delighted the audience with spectacular films and mind-blowing direction. However, Humayun made films on his own stories and directed themselves. Among his notable films, Aguner Poroshmoni and Shamol Chhayabased on Liberation War have been loved all over the country as well as across the border and received huge appreciation for stunning direction. Additionally, Humayun made some other remarkable films too- Srabon Megher Din, Noy Nombor Bipod Shongketand Amar Ache Jol are top of thetable.His visionary storytelling, meticulous attention to detail, and ability to evoke profound emotions on screen have left an indelible mark on the film industry. The cinematic excellence displayed in his works continues to serve as an inspiration for aspiring filmmakers even today
With such creative power unsurprisingly Humayun was not just restricted within the boundaries of Bangladesh butwas equally famous in West Bengal and other parts of the world where Bengali communities lived.Particularlyhe had ahuge fan follower in West Bengal who used to crowd at the Bangladesh pavilion in the Kolkata Book Fair to collect his books. Even the renowned writers of West Bengal did not miss the opportunity to read Humayun's works and acclaimed him at the top. Sunil Gandhopadhay, a renowned literary figurehighlighted Humayun saying that he was more popular than Kolkata's Sarat Chattopadhyay.Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, anothericonic figure in Bengali Literature said, "Humayun was incomparable. He was very well-known in West Bengal and readers used to read his writings.With such fame, Humayun never regarded himself as a great writer, neither did he compare himself with others.
However, Humayun had something in common with the legendary Nobel winning poet Rabindranath Thakur, Kobiguru. Both the writers were in love with rain that can be understood seeing the inclusion of rainfall throughout their writing. There was a familiar thought both possessed about nature and greenery but expressed that distinctively at different times. Interestingly,Humayun, in his last days of life built a habit of painting which shows a parallel relation between him and Rabindranath Thakur who was also deeply fond of fine arts. If truth to be told, Humayun was undoubtedly a great admirer of Rabindranath as he presented the audience with Rabindra Sangeet in his films and books which just not alleviated his work to new heightsbut also added an extra layer of brilliance and excellence.
Humayun did not know how to stop but was unfortunate to bediagnosed with an incurable and life-threatening disease cancer. However, Humayun had a different view towards the misfortune. Instead of losing hope to harsh reality, he harbored a noble ambition-to establish a cancer hospital in Bangladesh to help people affected with this deadly disease. Aware of the fact that he could not complete the project because of severe illness he made a heartfelt statement, saying," The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I will take the single step and you rest complete the entire journey." In his profound message Humayun clearly indicated his fans, followers, and well-wishers to complete the project of building a cancer hospital in his absence here in Bangladesh.
Humayun Ahmed was a diversified cultural figure and helped to reshape Bengali Literature. He narrated his writing in simple language that grabbedthe attention of readers and connected them emotionally. During Ekushey Book Fair his novels were bestselling novels as he was able to fulfill the thirst of millions of readers with his charisma. It is our great misfortune that we lost our beloved Humayun at an early age of 63 after he fought a nine-month long battle against cancer. This premature death of Humayun Ahmed remains a great loss to Bengali Literature and especially for his followers. However, Humayun will always remain in our hearts and his books will connect readers emotionally for ages. Yet, Humayun's books are the most sold in Ekushey Book Fair as stalls get crowded by his followers. Bangladesh may not a have a gold mine, but it had Humayun who was more precious.
I penned this tribute as a token of love, admiration, and respect for Humayun Ahmed on his 75th birth anniversary. The writer is an undergraduate student in BRAC University