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The end of an era

Culture Desk

The death of the most influential writer, dramatist and director Humayun Ahmed is the end of a glorious era.  The most popular writer in Bangladesh after independence, Humayun Ahmed gave a new dimension to the contemporary Bangla literature depicting stories and characters of contemporary Bangladesh. As a writer he played a significant role of flourishing the publication sector, especially during the Ekushey Book fair, observe writers and publishers of the country.
Humayun Ahmed wrote about 200 novels, more than a hundred TV plays and drama serials, directed eight films. He won prestigious awards including Ekushey Padak in 1994, Bangla Academy Award in 1981, Humayun Kadir Memorial Award in 1990 and 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 Dhaka University.  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.
The versatile talent Humayun Ahmed died at the age of 63 in New York, USA on Thursday. His first Namaz E-Janaza was held at the Jamaica Muslim Centre in New York after the juma prayer on Friday. His dead will arrive Dhaka on Sunday. He will be buried at his resort at Nuhash Palli in Gazzipur as per his wish, according to family source.
He went in the USA in September 2011 for the treatment of cologne cancer. Humayun had two major surgeries since last June 12.
‘He was a wonderful writer and had the ability of creating some unique characters such as Baker bhai, Himu and Misir Ali. Mostly teenagers were his fans, but he could satisfy  the readers of all ages and from every walks of the society’, eminent poet-dramatist Syed Shamsul Haque, told New Age.
‘I believe the multifaceted talent will survive as a short story writer. To me, his short story “Chokh” is one of the top 25 short stories in the world. He was not just a great writer and dramatist, but was also a very conscious citizen. Whenever the nation was in major crisis, he always played an important role to guide the nation,’ Haque added.
According to Syed Shamsul Haque, Humayun Ahmed popularised the burning issue of the trail of the war criminals amongst the masses through his TV play.
Ei Sab Din Ratri, Kothao Keo Nei, Ayomoy, Bahubrihi, Esho Nipo Bone are some of his most popular TV plays.   ‘He was the best TV playwright of his time. He had the wonderful ability of storytelling, which was his strength.  He could present the daily life stories in unique way. In fact, the person had his microscopic eyes as a voyeur of family life and society. And his ability of delivering very strong messages through humour, deserves special plaudit,’ eminent actor Aly Zaker, who acted in many of Humayun Ahmed’s popular plays, told New Age.
‘To me he will survive as a novelist, compared to his other identities as a TV play and movie director,’ added Zaker.
Humayun Ahmed emerged as a filmmaker through his movie Aguner Paroshmoni in 1995 that won eight national awards. He made eight movies. His last movie Ghetu Putra Kamola is expected tyo get commercial release in the upcoming Eid-Ul-Fitr.
Seasoned actor Lucky Enam was Humayun Ahmed’s family friend. ‘While he used to stay at the Dhaka University, we used to mingle frequently. I acted from his first TV play titled “Prothom Prahor” and continued for years in other hit TV plays. I still remember he used to say that he did not know the technique of writing a TV play at the initial stage of his career. In fact, we became as a team. And all of his plays including Ayomoy, Kothao Keo Nei, Bahubrihi became very popular,’ Lucky Enam told New Age.
‘Though we did not work together after 1990s, we used to keep good relation. H    e was very carrying fopr the artistes,’ recalled Lucky Enam.
Seasoned actor Abul Hayat said, ‘I have worked with Humayun Ahmed for about 20 years. He was a great friend and also a great human being. He articulated human emotions so perfectly that is next to impossible. The vacuum created by his death would never be filled in the media industry and literary arena.’   
‘Humayun Ahmed was a magician. In creating a particular situation in the productions, he simply created magic. One actor does not need to give much effort in acting his drama or film. His presence was enough to bring out the best from the performer,’ seasoned actor Masum Aziz said.
Noazesh Ali Khan was the first director of Humayun Ahmed’s TV play titled ‘Prothom Prahor’.  ‘As the BTV producer I directed the play in 1982. Subsequently, I directed many of his tele-films such as Asamoy, Eso Nipo Boney, Matir Pinjirar Majhe and Janoni. Janoni as a tele-film also got award in abroad. Moreover I directed popular TV plays such as Bahubribi and Ayomoy.’
‘He was just exceptional as a playwright. I don’t know any better adjective than this to evaluate him. And, he never allowed any director to change anything from his script without his permission,’ added  Khan.
And Nasiruddin Yousuff had to face problem for adapting his short stories Nirbashon and Bhalobashar Galpo to TV plays in 1980 without his permission. ‘He became very angry knowing his short stories had been converted to TV plays and refused to take any honorarium. But, watching the plays he became happy and took the money receipt,’ recalled Yousuff.
Ahmed also wanted to sue a private TV channel recently for recreating his famous characters Baker bhaI, Himu and Misir Ali without permission. But, taking permission seasoned director Mustafizur Rahman adapted his novel Shankho Neel Karagar into a cinema, Noazesh Ali Khan said. Another seasoned director Mostafa Kamla Syed adapted his novel Nandito Narokey into a TV play.
Humayun Ahmed was also inspiration for many young writers to write novels, short stories and TV plays. ‘Humayun Ahmed was not a single man, he was an institution. We continuously learned from him. Many people including me emerged as a playwright today, from the inspiration of Humayun Ahmed,’ actor turned playwright Faruque Ahmed told New Age.

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