A gem drops from the crown of our literature

Maswood Alam Khan
Pure happiness that life throws you once in a while is when you savor a reading material that touches your soul, gives you a ride on an Arabian horse in the sky of your imagination, wrenches your effervescent mind down the memory lane to the past and up the hilly terrain to the present, induces a tear to roll down your cheek and you envisage walking into a world far away from this world. You fancy yourself in love with the author of such a reading material—a fiction, a piece of a drama or a sketch painted in colorful words and soaked in a marinade of humors. You sit up with a jerk of thrill and smile with a moan of contentment. Such a reading material that navigates you to a pleasant landscape is the work of a magician who holds a wand to play with the words in order to find a room for him inside the balcony of your heart. Such was Humayun Ahmed—the magician to millions of Bangladeshi readers who are captivated by the brilliant strokes of his magnificent pen. Such was the elegance of

his storytelling that no other book by any other author was anywhere near any of his books in any of the Ekushey book fairs!

Humayun Ahmed’s death is a terrible wrench for us. He was taking us through our literary riches. He was liberating us from the dependency on the imported literatures from the Indian state of West Bengal. He was a deft connoisseur of beauty and a dogged digger of mystery. His eyes generated unfathomable laser beams that could probe into the niches very deep in our Bangladeshi life and culture. He was on a literary expedition with the sublime heart of a litterateur but with the logical brain of an explorer. He thus extrapolated his keenest most observations direct from our day-to-day life to the mind-blowing beauty of his fictions which to millions of readers will in fact remain for ages as private mirrors to reflect their personal life on. He was captaining us in a daring mission to climb to the peak of a Himalaya of literature. Had he lived only a few more years we could perhaps hoist our flag on the top of the mountain.

Humayun Ahmed will enter the history of Bangladesh as an architect of a mythical golden age when Bangladeshis rediscovered their hitherto hidden strength that they can also create pictures in human minds, that they also hold a powerful flint that can spark imagination of millions of readers. Humayun Ahmed’s life has been evanescent on this planet, but his luminous works will leave indelible footprints for the posterity. His influence on our time and age cannot be measured by an ordinary scale. Neither his span of life can be gauged by a worldly chronometer. With his abrupt exit the entire world of Bangladeshi literature seems to have turned upside down. With his departure a rare gem has dropped from the literary crown that we were ornamenting and a gaping hole is seen in the literary tapestry that we were weaving, leaving us bereft of a great pathfinder.

To reach the writer: maswood [at] hotmail.com


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