‘Poet Al Mahmud carried personal necessities for others’
Legendary poet Al Mahmud passed away on February 15 this year. July 11 marked his 83rd birth anniversary. On this day noted poets of the country gathered at Kabita Café, Katabon in the city to remember the late poet. "Kabi O Kabita" organised the event with poet Mohammad Nurul Huda as the chief guest. Among others present were longtime colleague and young friend of Al Mahmud Abid Azim, Kabi O Kabita editor Shahin Reza, poet Zahidul Haque, Jahangir Firoz, Rezauddin Stalin and more.
A session of cultural performances was also held where young and senior poets recited poetical pieces about and by Al Mahmud. Two youngsters from Netrokona and Chandpur joined the programme to present their original poetries about Al Mahmud. Many other young elocutionists also rendered Shonali Kabin, Kabita Emon, Unoshottorer Chhora, Ekusher Kabita and more. Apart from them seniors like Tarek Mahmud recited poetry while Jaglul Haider presented rhymes by Al Mahmud.
In the discussion session, Jahangir Firoz said, "Al Mahmud was a patriot. In his poetry he talked about the country and its nature splendidly. His prose, verses both attracted people from all ages and thus he has cemented his position in the history of Bangla literature."
Mohammad Nurul Huda in his speech as the chief guest reflected that Al Mahmud was among those literary practitioners who would not leave a blank page without verses in spite of living in dire financial crisis. He brought out a golden comb before the present audience and added that he 'hijacked' it from Al Mahmud while the poet was still living. Mohammad Nurul Huda reasserted his claim saying that Al Mahmud kept comb in his pockets even though he did not have enough hair on his head. So this was a poet who kept necessities with him for need of others or for the sake of buying things from the striving national economy even though they were not useful for him.
Rezauddin Stalin brought a rather discordant tune to the discussion highlighting that Al Mahmud has often been criticised and treated with controversy. But Stalin added that those poets who are criticised and debated about are the very ones who remain alive after death. This fact has been evident in cases of all the great poets of the world as they had to endure many controversies, censures, negligence despite their popular creations. Those who are not criticised do not remain alive, Stalin noted.
Poet Al Mahmud was born in Mourail, Brahmanbaria on July 11, 1936. For his literary pieces he has won Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1968, Ekushey Padak and Philips Literary Award in 1986, Jibonananda Memorial Award in 1972, Kaji Motaher Hossain Literary Award in 1976 among others.