Reminiscing maestros we lost in 2016
Afsana Aziz Nitol
Death is inevitable and every year the world has to see people leaving this world. However, when we think about 2016 we cannot help but be astonished over the number of lives 2016 took away. There is indeed no point of whining over death and we certainly are not doing it but it is only normal to feel desolate about the fact that we will not be able to see those people doing what they do best anymore.
Since we lost some precious souls in 2016, here is a look back at the list of individuals that left us last year
Shahid Qadri, one of the most eminent poets of this country, left us on August 28, 2016 at the age of 74. He was hospitalised and struggled with renal issues before he died from kidney disease. Being born in Kolkata in 1942, Qadri moved to Dhaka at the age of 10. He was quite a well-known poet of Bengali poetry during post 1947. He was the one to introduce a sense of modernity and urbanism in the Bangladeshi poetry by presenting a completely new way. Cosmopolitanism, universalism and patriotism reflected in his poetry. It not only entertained people but it also searched deep into the disputes and sense of isolation because of city life. The way he played with metaphors and similes made him a splendid contributor of Bengali poetry even though he only published four books.
Parveen Sultana Diti
On July 25, 2015, Bengali actress Parveen Sultana Diti was diagnosed with brain cancer. She died on March 20, 2016 after being treated in Madras Institute of Orthopaedics and Traumatology in Chennai in India. She died in the United Hospital in Dhaka. Her stage name was Diti and she was born on March 31, 1965. Her magnificent work on screen made her win the Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. She stole everyone's heart with her performance in Shami Stri in 1987. Throughout her career she acted in more than two hundred films. She even got an award as a singer, at a national competition. It was given by the Bangladesh Shishu Academy. Actor Al Mansur noticed her first while she was singing in Bangladesh Television. He is the one actor worked in 'Laili Majnu', and seen opposite of the actor Manas Bandopadhyay. From talent hunt to cooking shows she did those all.
Syed Shamsul Haq
Bangladeshi poet, writer and lyricist Syed Shamsul Haque died at the age of 81 on September 27, 2016 in Dhaka. Shamsul Haq produced fiction, poetry and plays which were mostly in verse. In the curriculum of schools in Bangladesh, his literary works have been included. 'Haire Manush Rongin Fanush' and 'Jar Chaya Poreche Monero Aynate' --- these are his popular songs. Bangla Academy awarded him in 1966 and he was the youngest among all to receive the award. The Government of Bangladesh awarded him Ekushey Padak in 1984 and also Independence Day Award in 2000 for his endowment to Bangla literature. 'Payer Awaj Pawa Jai', 'Neel Dongshon and Mrigoy' 'Khelaram Khele Ja', 'Nishiddho Loban' --- these are his renowned books.
2016 was also a year of heinous acts of religious fundamentalists. Xulhaz Mannan, LGBT activist used to receive death threats because he was trying to conduct a youth LBGT 'Rainbow Rally'. He was killed in his apartment. Another LGBT activist Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy was also killed along with him. Xulhaz Mannan joined the US embassy after starting his career in MGH group. He joined as a protocol officer in the US embassy. Later on, in September 2015, he switched to US Aid. He was also a script-writer, photographer and traveller. He was involved in other many activities too. Mannan was the founder and publisher of the only LGBT magazine in Bangladesh, Roopbaan.
On June 2, 2016 Muhammad Ali, professional boxer and activist was hospitalised in Scottsdale. Initially, his condition was demonstrated as fair but it got worse and he died on June 3, 2016 at the age of 74. For over 12 hours his death was number one trending topic on Twitter and also on Facebook for several days. Muhammad Ali was born on January 17, 1942. Ali was an inspiring figure from the beginning of his career. He was the most celebrated sports figures of the twentieth century. In 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Ali won a gold medal at the age 18 in the light heavyweight division. He later turned professional and at age 22 he won the WBA, WBC n 1964. Muhammad Ali converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali from Cassius Clay. He was an example of racial pride and endurance to white domination during the Civil Rights Movement.
Multi-talented Leonard Cohen songwriter, musician, novelist, poet and painter died on November 7, 2016. He died in his home in Los Angeles at the age of 82. He lost his life to cancer. His manager said he died in his sleep. On November 10, his death was announced and the funeral was held on November 10 in Montreal. Leonard Cohen was a Canadian and politics, isolation, religion, personal relationships and sexuality were very much part of his work. Cohen got the Prince of Asturias Awards in 2011 for literature and also the ninth Glenn Gould Prize. During the 1950s Cohen pursued a career as a novelist and a poet. He did not inaugurate his music career before 1967. Songs of Leonard Cohen was hist first album. New Skin for the Old Ceremony, Songs of Love and Hate and Songs from a Room --- were his albums of folk music.
For all the Potterheads worldwide this came as a shock in the beginning of the year 2016. He was mostly known as Professor Snape from J K Rowling's Harry Potter series. Alan Rickman was an English actor. His character Professor Snape gathered extensive critical acclaim. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times regarded Rickman as someone who makes the lasting impression. On the other hand, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine said Rickman as elevated at providing us a quick look at last into the secret heart that Snape had which he hid. Also, Press and media too regarded Rickman's performance as worthy of nomination.
Such notable people's deaths surely make 2016 a depressing one. As we step into 2017 we hope to embrace change and let go off things gracefully. Yet we still mourn the deaths of those who made the world a little better with their strength, persistence and hard work. They will always be living among us because of such qualities they possessed.