When Humayun Ahmed left us five years ago, Aarif Chowdhury, a young sports writer told me that Humayun had been Rabindranath to him and to many of his age.
I asked, why?
‘We did not see Rabandranath. But, we saw Humayun who was as prolific as Rabindranath had been. So, he is our Rabandranath Tagore whom we did only not read, whom we saw, whom we talked to and who touched our life in so many ways,’ Aarif told me.
As I was editing some scripts on last journey of Humayun Ahmed, Aarif continued: May be end of the day, Humayun Ahmed is a human being, but he was something more than that, he was so prolific, he was so powerful….
Comparing Humayun Ahmed with Rabindranath Tagore, especially from the perspective of philosophical aspects might sounds childish, but we can consider what Suneel Gangopadhyay had said: Humayun is the most powerful writer in Bangla literature.
If popularity is one indicator, Humayun Ahmed is obviously the most popular writer in recent time. If number of readers is counted, he was one of the most popular writers in the world history, too.
Do you want a proof?
See what Google said today in making a Doodle paying rich tributes to late Humayun Ahmed on his birth anniversary.
It said: Today’s Doodle celebrates the life of prolific Bangla writer, Humayun Ahmed, who would have turned 69 today. Although formally trained as a chemist, Ahmed found his true calling as a writer. He authored over 200 books, many of which were best sellers and eight of which were made into films.
‘Ahmed is often credited with revitalising Bengali literature. His unique storytelling style captures the oral tradition and rhythm at the root of Bangla, bringing to life the stories and aspirations of traditional middle class and rural families.’
Remembering the great writer, Google also said: A nature lover, Ahmed found refuge in his estate of Nuhash Polli, a wonderland he designed himself and where he collected statues, flora, and fauna from all over the world.
When the search engine giant mentions him in such a way, goes for a Doodle imagining he meets his creature Himu and says ‘Happy Birthday, Humayun!’ it means Humayun’s popularity is understood through technology, too.
We knew and we know that Humayun’s books had been and are always the best sellers, but Google does not come to know about his popularity through any human communication, rather through the artificial intelligence (AI) that cannot be wrong anyway.
The brief and techie announcement of Google, in fact, talked about everything about Humayun. We were fortunate to have Humayun Ahmed in our time. Question is how long he will be remembered for his literary works?
I can remember an interview of the late writer Syed Shamsul Haq where he highly praised Humayun Ahmed after his sad demise and said: We can’t say now whether his works are classics or not. We have to wait for another 100 or 150 years.
Very right Syed Shamsul Haq was. Future will judge whether Humayun Ahmed was a classic writer or not. Till then we can keep reading his magical realism by which he takes us to a magical world. That is why he is so dear to us.
We love you, man.