Remembering freedom fighter Hasan Mahmood Delwar
"All the world's a stage
And all the men and women merely player;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages."
With numbing grief and deep anguish, I bear in my mind the shocking news of the sad demise of my great friend Hasan Mahmood Delwar which came to me as bolt from the blue. Meticulously, a health conscious man and having led a peerless regulated life, he died recently on December 23, 2016 at Square Hospital, Dhaka after undergoing a questionable open-heart surgery.
Born with a gifted clean heart within, he was known as an epitome of die-hard honesty and impeccable simplicity in his life time. Draped in attire reflecting his all out down to earth demeanour with smiles playing ever on his lips, he was fully committed to his duties and responsibilities. An undaunted freedom fighter in his youthful days in 1971, with a Masters degree in nuclear physics from Dhaka University, he joined the Bangladesh Civil Service in 1973 as an elite officer of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and having served long years with utmost sincerity and devotion, reached the higher echelon in the civil bureaucracy as Additional Secretary few years before his retirement in 2007. His record of unquestionable honesty and integrity in the services facilitated him to have an extension of service for further 3 years after retirement. During his long services and attachment with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Commerce, he earned expertise in both the said ministries with enviable reputation and fame. Apart from travelling to scores of countries on training programs and other responsible government assignments, he was posted abroad and successfully served the office of Commercial Counsellor at Bangladesh Mission in Ottawa, Canada for quite some years in 1995.
Hasan Mahmood Delwar lived 68 years in this fragile world which is not even equal to a fraction a millionth second in cosmic time and successfully acted in the drama of life staged by the great Play-Wright---the Lord of all creations. Having successfully accomplished his part in the moving stage of life, the curtain of the stage finally fell with his passing away on December 23, 2016, leaving his kith & Kin, friends, colleagues and fellow compatriots in the sea of grief and anguish, His sad departure from the parlour of life did not, of course, cause any dent to his undying soul which has only left the cage of his mortal physical stature to the unknown destination of the eternal home of peace to see his Creator face to face. Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote: "For though from out our bourne of time and place/The flood may bear me far/I have to see my Pilot face to face/When I have crost the bar." Though Hasan Mahmood Delwar has crossed the bar to live in his eternal destination under the mercy and benediction of Allah, yet his sad demise has brought about a shock-wave with deep scar in the minds and hearts of many of his friends and colleagues who had interacted with him in the hey-days of long journey of life in this temporal world.
My friendship and association with Delwar dates back to 1973/4 when having been recruited in the Bangladesh Civil Service, we underwent together with other colleagues a massive and extensive training course in Dhaka. The friendship that began in the class room of the training academy gradually deepened and stretched long without break and lasted till his recent demise from this world, leaving all of us in bemoan and profuse tears. Memories of Delwar are so wide-spread with all tender feelings and mutual respect that no words could adequately express in limited space and time frame.
When Delwar was posted in Ottawa, I have had the occasion of visiting Canada with members of my family on certain engagements. On our arrival at Ottawa Airport, he cordially received us and drove us back to his apartment. Knowing me well for long years as connoisseur of food, he asked me to suggest menu for dinner. With an intention to pull his legs and with an impish smile, I asked for deer meat presuming that it would be difficult for him to arrange on demand. With a shopping bag in hand, he rushed to a nearby meat-shop and bought some fresh deer meat and other goodies for us. We had a pleasant and cheerful stay at his house for few days. He facilitated us to travel to many interesting destinations in Montreal, Kingston, and The Thousands Island etc by a rented long six doors limousine when we were in travelling spree.
An officer of unblemished simplicity absolutely free from false vanity and bumbledom, Hasan Mahmood Delwar set an example in the corridor of civil bureaucracy to the effect that civil servants are committed to serve the nation in all humility and dignity without any extra-gainful purpose or motive.
With his sad demise, a void has been obviously created in the minds of those who loved and respected him in his life time, but the shadow of Delwar will surely continue to reflect and loom descending from the astral Skies, he is apparently carousing amidst distant star under Allah's unfettered mercy and benevolence.
After a Janaza in Dhaka on December 25, his life-less body was brought to Chittagong at his younger brother Monowar's residence on way back to his final resting place at Neela, Teknaf. In Chittagong, Delwar's dead-body was placed briefly with his face un-shrouded for last public view, where everyone talked in his praise and he was left imbibed only with his eyes shut in eloquent silence. Prussian (presently German) Emperor and philosopher Frederick the Great (1712-1786) once said, "On my death, except me, everyone talks. Oh! God, you are so kind. Couldn't you be Kinder?" Delwar's remain was returned to earth after due religious rituals and surely his undying soul looked at his Kith & Kin, friends and colleagues left in deep grief and bewail on that tender moment of saying adieu to him. Wherever you are Delwar, we will remember you long and long time to come. May Allah rest our dear friend Delwar in eternal peace. May Allah also grant enough strength and courage to Mariam Bhabi, his two sons--- Fahim and Tamim, his siblings and all other bereaved members of his family to endure the irreparable loss.r
Mahbubar Rahman is a former civil servant