Humayun Ahmed || Biography of A Modern Bengali Literature Legend

About Humayun Ahmed:

Modern Bengali literature reshaped by one person and he was Humayun Ahmed. He, himself was a movement to change the entire literature of Bangladesh. Humayun made literature easy for everyone. His novels were more like storytellers where people could imagine themselves. It was more like to turn the fantasy into reality. He was the master to create characters. These characters had the charisma to make people think. These characters are the icons of Humayun Ahmed who made him immoral in the mind of readers. Humayun Ahmed is not only a literary but also a director, songwriter, scholar and many more.

humayun ahmed
Image Source: Famous People

The life story of Humayun Ahmed:

Humayun Ahmed (Kajol was his nickname) was born on 13th November 1948 in Kendua, Netrokona. His parents were Foyzur Rahman Ahmed and Ayesha Foyez. Foyzur Rahman Ahmed was a sub-divisional police officer (SDPO). Apart from the regular job, Foyzur Rahman was also a writer and used to write in the newspaper. His mother was a housewife. In the early life of Humayun, his mother affected by typhoid fever and it caused her memory loss. During the recovering time of Ayesha Foyez, Humayun used to live with his grandparents. After two years, his mother’s health condition improved and so Humayun returned to his parents.

Siblings:

Foyzur Rahman Ahmed and Ayesha Foyez had 6 children. Foyzur Rahman always had the wish to have a girl as a first child but Humayun was the first one. Other are Muhammad Zafar Iqbal (renowned academician and writer), Ahsan Habib (renowned cartoonist and editor of a satire magazine, Unmad), Sufia Haider, Momtaz Shahid, and Rukhsana Ahmed.

The struggle of Humayun’s mother:

During the time of liberation war, Foyzur Rahman Ahmed died and since then Ayesha Foyez struggled a lot to brought up her kids. For the greater contribution of the child’s of Ayesha, she used to call “Rotnogorva” (Who gave birth of gem-like children). In 2014, Ayesha Foyez died and laid to rest beside her mother.

Education Life:

Humayun’s father, Foyzur used to transfer from one place to another a lot. It affected the education life of Humayun. Initially, he studied in different districts including Sylhet, Chittagong, Cumilla and many more. However, he completed matric (Currently SSC) from Bogra Zilla School and intermediate from Dhaka College. Humayun was an admirable student from the beginning and stood second in the Rajshahi Education Board in matric. Then he completed his graduation and post-graduation from Dhaka University in Chemistry, despite he wanted to study accounting in childhood. Later he also took a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry from  North Dakota State University. He changed his subject of a doctorate at the last stage and with the new subject, he completed the Ph.D. Despite having a Doctorate degree, he never used it with his name.

Married Life:

Humayun Ahmed was married to Gultekin in 1973. Gultekin was the grand-daughter of Principal Ibrahim Khan. She supported Huayun Ahmed in his writing and taking higher education. This couple had five children. Three daughters and two sons (One son died ). Their children were  Nova, Shila and Bipasha, and Nuhash. Shila and Nuhash followed the footstep of their father and entered into media. In 2003, Humayun Ahmed and Gultekin got divorced.

After the divorce, Humayun got married to Meher Afroz Shaon in 2005. Shaon was the friend of Humayun’s second daughter Shila. Earlier, Shaon and Shila worked in a television drama “Aj Rabibar”, directed by Humayun Ahmed. Humayun and Shaon had two sons, Nishad and Nitin.

Death

Previously, Humayun Ahmed had open heart surgery at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore. Following that Humayun was having a regular check-up in Singapore during 2011 and found 4th stage cancerous tumor. Immediately he moved into Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, New York for Cancer Treatment. During his stay in New York for treatment, he continued his writing work. There Humayun had multiple operations and chemotherapy. On 19th July 2012, he died in New York.

After the death of Humayun, a complication created among his family members. His family members from the first marriage wanted to buried in Dhaka. They wanted everyone to have access to Humayun Ahmed’s grave. On the other hand, his second marriage’s family members wanted to bury him at Nuhash Palli.  Finally, Humayun Ahmed buried at Nuhash Palli.

humayun ahmed
Image Source: observerbd

Work-Life:

As University Teacher:

Initially, Humayun Ahmed joined the teaching profession. He worked at Agriculture University & Dhaka University as a teacher. He was a teacher of Chemistry. Later in 1990, he left the teaching profession in order to focus more on writing and media related activities.

As Writer

While Humayun Ahmed was a student, he wrote the novel “Nondito Noroke” in 1971. Later it published in 1972 with the help of Ahmed Sofa. “Shongkhonil Karagar” was his second novel published in 1974. After these two novels were successfully accepted by the reader, he became popular among the writer’s zone. Humayun created a new form of writing where he focused on Bengali society. His writing emphasized by the Bangladesh liberation war, romance and fantasy. He was the master of creating a fictional character. In his lifetime he wrote more than 200 articles and many of them were best sellers of the country. Some of his writing translated into other languages as well.

In media:

In 1983, Humayun’s first drama Prothom Prahar aired. Nawazish Ali Khan directed drama. Following that Ei Shob Din Ratri (1985), Bohubrihi (1988), Kothaw Kau Nei (1990), Aaj Rabibar (1999) aired and all of these were highly successful. Humayun Ahmed also poised as a film director and mostly based on his previous writings. In 1994, he directed Aguner Parashmoni for the first time. This movie inspired and based on the Bangladesh Liberation war. It won Bangladesh National Film Awards in 8 different categories. He also directed Shaymol Chaya and Ghetuputra Kamala. In his lifetime, Humayun Ahmed composed in around 40 songs. These songs rendered by some top names including S I Tutul, Subir Nandi and many more.

Major Fictional Characters:

Humayun Ahmed is the creator of many iconic fictional characters. Many fans inherited these characters in their lifestyle. The influence of these characters expanded beyond time. Some of the major characters mentioned below.

Himu: This character wears a yellow pocketless Punjabi. He walks barefoot and does not use any sorts of transportation. Himu has a destination less journey. He prefers to beg rather than work hard. This character poses some mystical power to predict the future as well. Himu appeared in the Humayun’s novel mainly and however had few telepresences as well.

Misir Ali: This is the character of a brilliant part-time professor who loves to solve the mystery. Misir Ali had a hard childhood and addicted to smoking. He tried to quit it. Misir solves cases without any charges. He is in love with a girl “Nilu”. Misir Ali character portrayed in novel, TV screen and big movie screen.

Baker Bhai: This character came from a TV series of Humayun “Kothao Kau Nei”. Baker Bhai is a gangster and leading a group of people. Despite his living outside the law, he used to take fair decisions.  Baker Bhai’s character portrayed Bhai Asaduzzaman Noor. At the end of the show, Baker Bhai was going to hang as capital punishment. However to prevent that people actually hit the road but the show moved as it was.

List of Major Novels:

Aguner Poroshmoni, Ami-ee Misir Ali, Badol Diner Prothom Kodom Phool, Bohubrihi, Chader Aloi Koikjon Jubok, Chayabithi, Daruchini Dwip, Debi, Dui Duari, Debi, Himu Series, Misir Ali series, jochona O Jononir Golpo, Kobi, Shyamol Chaya and many more.

Purchase all Humayun Ahmed’s books here: Rokomari

Major Awards

Ekushey Padak (1994)
Bangladesh National Film Award (for best screenplay, director, film and dialogue in 1994, 1997, 2007, 2012, 2015)

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