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Bangladesh mourns death of cultural legend Humayun Ahmed

Published Jul 20, 2012 01:51pm


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Humayun Ahmed won every top award for writing in Bangladesh in a career that also saw him make half a dozen hit films. – File photo
Humayun Ahmed won every top award for writing in Bangladesh in a career that also saw him make half a dozen hit films. – File photo

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s most popular fiction writer Humayun Ahmed has died in the United States after a near year-long battle against colon cancer, his family said Friday. He was 64.

Ahmed, also the country’s leading film director and TV drama-maker, “was pronounced dead by doctors at Bellevue Hospital in New York” on Thursday, his brother Ahsan Habib told AFP.

Ahmed wrote over 200 fiction and non-fiction books, almost all of them bestsellers in Bangladesh, often tackling the life struggles of the middle class in lucid and easily understandable Bangla, peppered with humour.

Many have have since been translated into English, Japanese and Russian among other foreign languages, including “Gouripur Junction”, a work of fiction centred around the small town in northern Bangaldesh where Ahmed was born.

He won every top award for writing in Bangladesh in a career that also saw him make half a dozen hit films, such as “Aguner Poroshmoni” (The Touchstone of Fire) and “Srabon Megher Din” (Monsoon Days).

Ahmed flew to the US last September after being diagnosed with cancer during a routine check-up in Singapore, and received chemotherapy at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

After surgery on June 21, doctors found an unknown virus in his body and were unable to treat him, Habib said.

President Zillur Rahman joined Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in paying tribute to Ahmed, saying his death was “an irreparable loss for Bengali literature”.

Hasina said that “Bangladesh would ever remember Humayun Ahmed for his outstanding contribution to the fields of literature, cinema and drama”.

The son of a police officer who was killed during the country’s liberation war against Pakistan in 1971, Ahmed was born in 1948 and became a chemistry professor at Dhaka University before becoming a full-time writer.

He shot to fame with his first novel “Nondito Naroke” (In Blissful Hell), published in 1972 while he studied at the university.

In a sign of his popularity, at the country’s largest annual publishing event, the Ekushey Book Fair, tens of thousands of fans would queue for hours for his autograph.

In recent years he had stopped attending to help the authorities control the crowds.


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Comments (16) Closed

KhanChangezKhan Jul 21, 2012 10:29am
Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Elaihe Rajeoon>>>>>>>> In general this is one of the great losses of Bangla people and in particular the death of world's literature loving inviduals.
Mahinn Islam Jul 20, 2012 04:52pm
we are very sad..... and miss is not possible to fill up his place in our country......
Masud Khan Jul 20, 2012 04:45pm
The legend is gone. He was/is much more than what it appreard he was. He was /is one of the best things in our lives.
talha Jul 20, 2012 04:58pm
we will miss u sir
Cyrus Howell Jul 20, 2012 03:51pm
The struggles of the middle class? Apparently the struggles of the poor would not be all that amusing.
lutfur Jul 23, 2012 03:27pm
Post sharat chandra age Humayan ahmed accomodated all works of life bangali readers in his novels,dramas,films and other literatures .
MD.Mizanur Rahman Jul 20, 2012 06:18pm
Bangladesh has lost one of the best child is also an irreparable lost for literature in the world not only Bangla..
Sarwar J. Chowdhury Jul 20, 2012 07:33pm
Our tribute to the great Bangladeshi novelist, tv drama writter, film maker Humayun Ahmed, the literary person widely credited to create the literature reading habit amongst Bangladeshis . Who can forget his classic storytelling in "Shyaka Neel Karagar, Nadito Noroke, Aoyomoy, Amar Ache Jol and immortal tv dramas like Ei Shob Din Ratri, Bohubrihi, Aoyomoy and some wonderful pieces of films especially in the context of Liberation War of Bangladesh .... all that captured the imagination of a relatively new nation born in 1971.
Nazmul Hoda Jul 21, 2012 05:37pm
May Allah keep him in Jannatul Ferdous . Nazmul hoda
Munir Jul 22, 2012 08:28am
It is a great loss to Bangladesh cultural sector. May Allah allow him heaven. Munir, Azimpur, Dhaka
Haji Amin Jul 21, 2012 07:35pm
May Allah STW grant him jannah. Ameen" Haji Amin USA
rowshon Jul 22, 2012 08:57am
May Allah keep him in Jannatul Ferdous
Sabbir khan Jul 24, 2012 03:30am
We ll always miss you
md. khan Jul 24, 2012 12:23pm
shocked news for all bengali
FARJANA Jul 26, 2012 04:36am
this is the one biggest losses in Bangladesh people..... nothing else in my mind in the moment...... MAY ALLAH GIVE HIM JANNAT..... AMEN......
Razu Aug 01, 2012 07:20am
May Allah keep him Jannat.............