Recalling Humayun Azad, and his works
Humayun Azad (April 28, 1947 --- August 12, 2004) is known to all, probably not by reading his books, rather by learning his quotes from here and there. Considering the rest of popular writers, he is not the piece of cake that today's generation looks for but yet reached to one of the most highly praised positions in modern Bengali literature.
To the academics, he is a leading linguist of Bengali language for the notable research in his early career. A popular columnist torn the heart of crooked politicians and dictators, a teacher respected by his students and a father loved by his children are just the parts of his personality when it is about Humayun Azad. In the eyes of religious extremist and conservative section of our society, he is the forbidden fruit --- never to be tasted. He is someone unconventional, attacking their beliefs. Even after 13 years of his tragic death, this impression has not changed.
The first novel Chappanno Hazar Borgomile (1994) brought him immediate popularity as a novelist when his famous writing Naree (1992) wasn't banned and emerged in any incendiary discussion among the readers. His most famous work and last fiction Pak Sar Jamin Sad Bad (2004) did the most of it, as an assassination of attempt took place after publishing the book.
"Why did I write poetry? Popularity, social reformation or any other noble causes never made me to write. I only wrote for the sack of creating beauty, to paint the ways my eyes see and to keep the heart in the ways it bleeps."
That's how Humayun Azad described his poetry. His readers and critics are always very fond of his poems. In 1973 he entered in that arena with his first collection named Aloukik Ishtimar which was a strong footstep in the group of urban poets just after the Liberation War and he is already highly influenced by the changes taken place over the region and in the minds of the people.
In 1980 his second collection of poem Jolo Chitabagh was published, which was also highly acclaimed by critics and poetry lovers. But nothing can be compared to his next book Shob Kichu Noshtoder Odhikare Jabe published in 1985, which took him to the top of modern poetry of Bengali literature.
Years later, even today, poetry lovers utter those verses claiming the exposure of corruption and immorality in our society as portrayed through the pen of Humayun Azad.
Post independent era boosted modern poetry into a new level. Political instability and chaos became another element of his poetry. Many of his poems talk of the mockery towards the politicians can be found in the poem "Bonna". His philosophy towards poetry might not be something message oriented, but the situation of his country and people couldn't escape his writings.
Considering his works, modern urbanism has flourished through his poesy hands.
Urbanism can be found through the life of the people in his poetry where the expression of urban life is portrayed, not the city. The choice of expression was preferred by physically dominated impressions where he believed expression of emotions resulted in physical attraction is the raw fact and that is why, love and love making are knotted to each other.
The growing popularity of Humayun Azad as a novelist overshadowed the poet with time, but mostly when the controversies aroused, his image also turned to different directions and the person Humayun Azad became bigger than his writings.
His last book of poetry Peronor Kichhu Nei was published in 2004, the year he died. Even another famous novel Kobi Othoba Dondito Aupurush (1999) was full of his own poetic verses. The present generation will not be able to figure out his character unless they take the ride to those poems.
The writer is a postgraduate from
the University of Dhaka