Humayun Ahmed diesTapos Kanti Das
Popular writer and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed, who had been the most dominant figure in Bangla fiction in Bangladesh in his later years after emerging into the literary world in the early 1970s, died in a New York hospital late Thursday night.
He died of colorectal cancer in Bellvue Hospital at the age of 63 about 11:30pm BST, Abdul Momen, Bangladesh’s ambassador to the United States, told reporters over telephone.
His second wife Meher Afroz Shaon, younger brother Muhammad Zafar Iqbal and other members of the family were present at the hospital.
He is survived by two sons with his second wife Shaon and three daughters and a son with his first wife, Gultekin Ahmed.
He married Gultekin in 1973 and the couple got divorced in 2003 after which he married television actor Meher Afroz Shaon.
His younger brother Zafar Iqbal is a teacher at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet and the youngest, Ahsan Habib, is a cartoonist and editor of Unmad.
The government on January 13, 2012 appointed Humayun Ahmed a special adviser to the Bangladesh mission in the United Nations.
Humayun had two major surgeries since June 12 after getting back to hospital in the United States on June 2.
He went to the Untied States for treatment on September 14, 2011 and came back to Bangladesh in the second week of May. During the time he had undergone 12 chemotherapy cycles in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre.
Humayun, who has written more than 200 novels, more than a hundred television dramas and drama serials, directed eight films and written scripts for four more films in addition to the films of his direction, won awards such as Ekushey Padak in 1994, Bangla Academy Award in 1981, Humayun Kadir Memorial Award in 1990, Lekhak Shibir Award in 1973, Bangladesh Chalachchitra Sangbadik Samiti Award in 1988, Michel Madhusudan Dutt Award in 1987, National Film Award in 1993 and in 1994.
His breakthrough in the literary world was with his novel called Nandita Narake, published in 1972 when he was a student of the University of Dhaka. In addition to social happenings, he also portrayed in his novels supernatural events. He created two widely popular literary figures through his novels — Misir Ali and Himu.
His writing is characterised by a simple literary diction dealing with rural as well as urban life. He had played a significant role in the advancement of book printing and publishing in Bangladesh.
Humayun, who taught polymer chemistry in Dhaka University as an associate professor, left the job at one point to become a full-time writer and filmmaker.
Noted of his books include Nandita Narake, Lilabati, Kabi, Shankhanil Karagar, Mandrasaptak, Dure Kothay, Saurabh, Ni, Phera, Krishnapaksha, Sajghar, Basar, Gauripur Junction, Nripati, Amanush, Bahubrihi, Eisab Dinratri, Daruchini Dwip, Shubhra, Nakshatrer Rat, Kothao Keu Nei, Aguner Parashmani, Shraban Megher Din and Jochhana O Jananir Galpa.
His first film, Aguner Parashmani, based on his novel of the same name, on the war of independence, worn the National Film Award in eight categories.
Noted of the films he directed include Aguner Parashmani, Shyamal Chhaya, Shraban Megher Din, Dui Duyari, Chandrakatha and Nay Number Bipad Sanket.
The film he was working last before going to the United States for treatment, is Ghetuputra Kamala.
Humayun Ahmed was born at Kutubpur in Netrakona on November 13, 1948. His father Fayezur Rahman Ahmed, a police officer and writer, was killed by Pakistani military during the war of independence in 1971. His mother, Ayesha Fayez, lives in Dhaka.
He passed the Secondary School Certificate Exams from Bogra Zilla School in 1965 and Higher Secondary Certificate Exams from Dhaka College in 1967. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from University of Dhaka in 1970 and Master of Science degree, also in chemistry from the same university in 1972. He did his PhD in polymer chemistry from North Dakota University in the United States in 1982.
The president, Zillur Rahman, the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and the leader of the opposition in the parliament, Khaleda Zia, condoled on his death.
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