Ahmed in 2010
|Born||13 November 1948|
Netrokona, Mymensingh, East Bengal, Pakistan (Present Day Netrokona, Mymensingh Division, Bangladesh)
|Died||19 July 2012 (aged 63)|
New York City, United States
|Resting place||Nuhash Polli, Pirujali, Gazipur, Bangladesh|
|Occupation||Writer, poet, film director, academic, dramatist|
|Education||PhD (polymer chemistry)|
|Alma mater||Dhaka College |
University of Dhaka
North Dakota State University
|Notable awards||Bangla Academy Literary Award |
Humayun Ahmed ([ɦumaijun aɦmed]; 13 November 1948 – 19 July 2012) was a Bangladeshi novelist, dramatist, screenwriter, filmmaker, songwriter, scholar, and lecturer. His breakthrough was his debut novel Nondito Noroke published in 1972. He wrote over 200 fiction and non-fiction books, many of which were bestsellers in Bangladesh. His books were the top sellers at the Ekushey Book Fair during the 1990s and 2000s. He won the Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1981 and the Ekushey Padak in 1994 for his contribution to Bengali literature.
In the early 1990s, Ahmed emerged as a filmmaker. He went on to make a total of eight films - each based on his own novels. He received six Bangladesh National Film Awards in different categories for the films Daruchini Dip, Aguner Poroshmoni and Ghetuputra Komola. He has his own production company named Nuhash Chalachitra.
Early life and background
Ahmed was born on 13 November 1948 in Kutubpur village in the then Netrokona Mahakuma[note 1] under Mymensingh District, East Bengal, Dominion of Pakistan (now in Kendua Upazila, Netrokona District, Bangladesh). His mother, Ayesha Foyez (née Khatun) (1930–2014), was a homemaker. His father, Foyzur Rahman Ahmed (1921–1971), was a sub-divisional police officer in Pirojpur District and was killed in 1971 during the Bangladesh Liberation War. In 2011, politician Delwar Hossain Sayeedi was put on trial for the killing but was acquitted of the charge in 2013 due to a lack of evidence. Humayun's brother, Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, is a writer and academician. Another brother, Ahsan Habib, is a cartoonist. He had three sisters – Sufia Haider, Momtaz Shahid and Rukhsana Ahmed.
Education and early career
Ahmed studied in Chittagong Collegiate School. He passed the SSC examination from Bogra Zilla School in 1965. He then graduated from Dhaka College and earned his bachelor's and master's in chemistry from the University of Dhaka. He joined as a faculty member of the same university. Later he earned his PhD in polymer chemistry from North Dakota State University.
Ahmed wrote his debut novel Nondito Noroke (In Blissful Hell) during the 1971 Bangladesh independence war while he was a university student. The novel was published in 1972 by the initiative of writer Ahmed Sofa under Khan Brother's Publishers. From his very first novel, his themes included the aspirations of average middle-class urban families and portrayed quintessential moments of their lives. His second novel was Shonkhonil Karagar.
Ahmed wrote fictional series featuring recurring characters such as Himu (21 novels), Misir Ali (20 novels), Shuvro (6 novels) He wrote several novels based on the Bangladesh Liberation War – Aguner Poroshmoni, Paap, 1971 and Jochona O Jononir Golpo. His also wrote many romantic novels including Srabon Megher Din, Badol Diner Prothom Kodom Phool, Noboni, Krishnopoksho, Aj Dupure Tomar Nimontran, and Tumi Amai Dekechhile Chhutir Nimontrane.
Ahmed wrote autobiographies - Amar Chelebela, Ballpoint, Fountain Pen, Hiji-biji, Hotel Graver Inn, May Flower, Kath Pencil, Lilabotir Mrityu, New York-er Nil Akashe Jhokjhoke Rod and Rong Pencil. His novel Gouripur Junction was translated in nine languages.
Television and film
Ahmed's first television drama was Prothom Prohor (1983), directed by Nawazish Ali Khan. His first drama serial was Ei Shob Din Ratri (1985). This was followed by the comedy series Bohubrihi (1988), the historical drama series Ayomoy (1988), the urban drama series Kothao Keu Nei (1990), Nokkhotrer Raat (1996), and Aaj Robibar (1999). In addition, he made single episode dramas, most notably Nimful (1997) and Badol Diner Prothom Kodom Ful.Recurring characters in dramas directed and screenplayed by him are Tara Tin Jon and Alauddiner Cherager Doitto.
Ahmed directed films based on his own stories. His first film, Aguner Poroshmoni (1994), based on the Bangladesh Liberation War, won the 19th Bangladesh National Film Awards in a total of eight categories, including the awards for the Best Film and the Best Director. Another film Shyamal Chhaya (2005) was also based on the same war. His last directed film, Ghetuputra Kamola (2012), the story of a teenage boy, was set in the British colonial period.
In 2009, Ahmed appeared as one of two judges for the reality television music competition show Khudey Gaanraaj.
Ahmed composed around 40 songs which he used in his films and television dramas. The songs were based on the folk music of the north-eastern part of Bangladesh. His notable singles include "Lilabali Lilabali Ghoro Joubothi Shoi Go", "'Pubali Batashey", "Ekta Chhilo Shonar Konya", "O Amar Ural Ponkhi Rey", "Jodi Mon Kadey", "Ke Porailo Amar Chokh-e Kolonko Kajol", "Chadni Poshor Raite Ke Anay Shoron Kore", "Ami Aaj Bhejabo Chokh Somudrer Joley", "Cholona Brishtitey Bhiji", "Channi Poshor Raite Jeno Amar Moron Hoy", "Hablonger Bajarey Giya" and "Konya Nachilo Rey". The songs were rendered by Subir Nandi, Selim Chowdhury, S I Tutul, Meher Afroz Shaon and others.
Nobel laureate economist Muhammad Yunus assessed Ahmed's overall impact saying: "Humayun's works are the most profound and most fruitful that literature has experienced since the time of Tagore and Nazrul." Similarly, according to poet Al Mahmud, "one golden age of Bengali literature ended with Tagore and Nazrul and another began" with Ahmed. Writer Imdadul Haq Milan considered him to be "the almighty lord of Bengali literature, controlling all their actions and thoughts". Dawn, Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper, referred to him as the cultural legend of Bangladesh. Times of India credited Humayun as "the person who single-handedly shifted the capital of Bengali literature from Kolkata to Dhaka". Sunil Gangopadhyay described him as the most popular writer in the Bengali language for a century and according to him, Ahmed was even more popular than Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. However, during his lifetime author Shahriar Kabir dismissed him for "always speaking for the establishment." Literary critic Azfar Hussain said: "I am not surprised he talks like a pro-establishment writer. I find him ignorant."
On 11 May 2012, two chapters of Ahmed's future novel Deyal were published in the daily Prothom Alo. 3 days later, Attorney General of Bangladesh Mahbubey Alam drew attention of the High Court on a discrepancy about a detail of the historical event of killing Sheikh Russel in Ahmed's writing. The court later issued a suo moto rule and asked the authorities to provide Ahmed copies of relevant documents and judgements of the killing case, so that Ahmed could rectify the writing.
Ahmed married Gultekin Khan in 1976. Together they had three daughters, Nova, Shila and Bipasha, and one son, Nuhash Humayun. Shila Ahmed went on to become a television and film actress and Nuhash became a writer, film director and producer.He was one of the directors of Iti, Tomari Dhaka. Bipasha also acted as a supporting role in Nokkhotrer Raat and starred in Mayaboti. In 2003, Ahmed divorced Gultekin. He then married actress Meher Afroz Shaon in 2005. He had two sons from the second marriage, Nishad and Ninit.
Ahmed had open-heart surgery at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. A few years later, during a routine checkup, doctors found a cancerous tumor in his colon. On 14 September 2011, he was flown to Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York City for treatment. During his stay there, he wrote the novel, Deyal, based on the life of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Ziaur Rahman after the period of Bangladesh Liberation War. In January 2012, he was appointed as a senior special adviser of the Bangladesh Mission to the United Nations.
On 12 May 2012, Ahmed returned to Bangladesh for two weeks. He died on 19 July 2012 at 11:20 PM BST at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. There was some tension in the family over the selection of his burial site, but eventually his estate, Nuhash Palli was selected.
In 1987, Ahmed founded an estate, Nuhash Palli, named after his son Nuhash, near Pirujali village, 25 km from Gazipur City, in Gazipur District, which grew to cover 40 bigha (approximately 14 acres). He would spend much of his time at the estate when he was in Bangladesh. He formed a collection of statues there by local artist Asaduzzaman Khan and another of plants from around the world, particularly medicinal and fruit-bearing trees.
Exim Bank, a commercial bank and Anyadin, an entertainment magazine jointly introduced an award program, Humayun Ahmed Sahitya Puruskar, which would be conferred to two writers every year on Ahmed's birth anniversary – 12 November.
Several cinematographic adaptations of Ahmed's stories are made after his death. Anil Bagchir Ekdin (2015), directed by Morshedul Islam, won six Bangladesh National Film Awards. Krishnopokkho (2016) was directed by Meher Afroz Shaon. In October 2016, she announced the production of her next film based on Nokkhotrer Raat. Debi (2018) is produced by a grant from the Government of Bangladesh.
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- In Bengali
- Aaj Ami Kothao Jabo Naa 
- Aaj Chitrar Biye
- Aaj Dupurey Tomar Nimontron
- Aaj Himur Biye
- Adbhut Sob Golpo
- Aj Dupure Tomar Nimontran
- Akash Jora Megh
- Amar Ache Jol
- Amar Chelebela
- Aguner Poroshmoni
- Amar Priyo Bhoutik Golpo
- Ami Abong Koakti Projapoti
- Ami Ebong Amra
- Ami-ee Misir Ali
- Andhokarer Gaan
- Angul Kata Jaglu
- Anonto Nakhotro Bithi
- Asmanira Tin Bon
- Ayna Ghor
- Badol Diner Prothom Kodom Phool
- Badol Diner Ditiyo Kadam Ful
- Badshah Namdar
- Baghbondi Misir Ali
- Botol Bhoot
- Brishti Bilash
- Bristi O Meghomala
- Chader Aloi Koikjon Jubok
- Chokkhe Amar Trishna
- Chole Jay Bosonter Din
- Choto Golpo
- Daruchini Dwip
- Dekha Na Dekha
- Dighir Jole Kaar Chayago
- Dwitiyo Manob
- Dorjar Opashe
- Dui Duari
- Ebong Hemu
- Ei Ami
- Ei Megh Roudro Chaya
- Ei Shuvro Ei!
- Eki Kando!
- Ekjon Himu Koekti Jhin Jhin Poka
- Ekjon Mayaboti
- Ekattor Ebong Amar Baba
- Fiiha Somikoron
- Fountain Pen
- Gouripur Jongshon
- Grihotagi Jyotsna
- Hartan Ishkapon
- Himu Ebong Ekti Russian Pori
- Himu Ebong Howard Ph.D Boltu Bhai
- Himu Mama
- Himu Remand-E
- Himur Achhe Jol
- Himur Ditiyo Prohor
- Himur Ekanto Sakkhatkar
- Himur Hate Koekti Nilpodmo
- Himur Maddyha Dupur
- Himur Rupali Ratri
- Holud Himu, Kalo RAB
- Hotel Graver Inn
- Humayun Ahmed-er Premer Golpo
- Jalil Shaheber Petition
- Jibonkrishno Memorial High School
- Jochona O Jononir Golpo
- Jodiyo Sandhya
- Jol Jochona
- Jonom Jonom
- Kalo Jadukor
- Ke Kotha Koy
- Kichu Shoishob
- Kohen Kobi Kalidas
- Kothao Keu Nei
- JibonKrishnopur Memorial High School
- Kutu Mia
- Lilabotir Mrittu
- Lilua Batash
- Magic Munshi
- Matal Hawa
- Mayurakkhi (1990)
- Mayurakkhir Tire Prothom Himu
- Megh Boleche Jabo Jabo
- Megher Chaya
- Mirar Gramer Bari
- Misir Ali Aapnii Kothay
- Misir Alir Amimangsito Rahasya
- Misir Alir Choshma
- Misir Ali Unsolved
- Mojar Bhoot
- Mrinmoyir Mon Bhalo Nei
- Nalini Babu BSc
- Neel Hati
- Neel Manush
- Neel Oporajita
- Neel Poddo
- Nirbachito Bhooter Golpo
- Nokkhotrer Raat
- Nondito Noroke
- Omega Point"
- Onno Bhubon
- Pakhi Amar Ekla Pakhi
- Parul O Tinti Kukur
- Putro Nishad
- Rakkhoss Khokkhoss Ebong Bhokkhoss
- Rodonbhora E Boshonto
- Rupar Palanko
- Sanaullar Mohabipod
- Se Ashe Dhire
- Se O Nortoki
- Sedin Choitramas
- Sheet O Onyanno Golpo
- Shonkhonil Karagar
- Shuvro Gechhe Bone
- Shyamol Chaya
- Sobai Gechhe Bone
- Sokol Kata Dhonno Kore
- Tara Tin Jon
- Tetul Bone Jochna
- The Exorcist
- Tithir Neel Toale
- Tomader Jonyo Bhalobasa
- Tondra Bilash
- Tumi Amai Dekechhile Chhutir Nimontrane
- Uthon Periye Dui Paa
- Nabiji (incomplete)
- In English
- Lekhak Shibir Prize (1973)
- Bangla Academy Literary Award (1981)
- Shishu Academy Award
- Zainul Abedin Gold Medal
- Michael Madhusudan Medal (1987)
- Bachsas Award for Best Story (1988)
- Humayun Qadir Memorial Prize (1990)
- Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Story (1994)
- Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Film (1994)
- Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Dialogue (1994)
- Ekushey Padak (1994)
- Sheltech Award (2007)
- Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Screenplay (2007)
- Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Director (2012)
- Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Screenplay (2012)
- Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Dialogue (2015)
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- "হুমায়ূন আহমেদ স্বপ্নকারিগরের স্বপ্নগাথা". Jai Jai Din. 15 November 2013.
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- Ershad Kamol (14 September 2005). "Shyamol Chhaya going to the Oscars". The Daily Star. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
- "'Meridian Channel i Khudey Gaanraaj' to go on air soon". The Daily Star. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
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- "'Deyal' publication after correction, HC hopes". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
- বাংলা, কাদির কল্লোল বিবিসি; ঢাকা. "'দেয়াল' উপন্যাস নিয়ে আদালতের নির্দেশ". BBC News বাংলা (in Bengali). Retrieved 6 April 2019.
- Tanvir Sohel (5 February 2016). লেখালেখিতে অনুপ্রেরণা শুধুই দাদা: গুলতেকিন. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). Retrieved 5 February 2016.
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- Shah Alam Shazu (10 February 2012). "Still Going Strong". The Daily Star. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- "Humayun Ahmed made UN Bangladesh mission adviser". bdnews24.com. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- Shah Alam Shazu (12 May 2012). "Humayun Ahmed back in town". The Daily Star. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
- "Tears for Humayun Ahmed". New Age. Dhaka. 27 July 2012. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
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- Shah Alam Shazu (25 July 2012). "Home was his heart: Humayun Ahmed and his Nuhash Polli". The Daily Star.
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- "Literary award after Humayun introduced". New Age. Dhaka. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
- Shazu, Shah (20 May 2017). ""Bapjaner Bioscope" sweeps Nat'l Film Awards '15". The Daily Star. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
- ""Krishnopokkho" to release Feb 26". The Daily Star. 13 February 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
- Shazu, Shah (10 October 2016). "Another Humayun Ahmed classic coming to big screen". The Daily Star. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
- "Government sponsors Humayun Ahmed's Devi". The Daily Star. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
- "মিসির আলির একঝলক". প্রথম আলো (in Bengali). Retrieved 10 August 2018.
- "1971 by Humayun Ahmed". Bangla Books. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "আজ আমি কোথাও যাব না". rokomari. অন্যপ্রিকাশ. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015.
- Aj Dupure Tomar Nimontron. Amazon.ca. ASIN 984868509X.
- Āhameda, Humāẏūna (2007). Aj Himur Biye. ISBN 978-9848684153.
- "Achinpur By Humayun Ahmed". Bangla PDF eBooks. Archived from the original on 13 July 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "Adbhut sob golpo(অদ্ভুত সব গল্প)". digitallibraryonline.com. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "Ahok(অঁহক)". digitallibraryonline.com. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "Aguner Poroshmoni by Humayun Ahmed". Bangla Books Pdf. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
- "Bhoy(ভয়)". digitallibraryonline.com. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
- "Munmun: Lighting up the small screen". The Daily Star. 7 February 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
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- "The Curtain Falls". The Daily Star. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
- "'Himur Maddyha Dupur' launched". The Daily Star. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
- "Turn the Pages, be Your Heroes". The Daily Star. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
- "The petition". The Daily Star. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
- "নবীজী - হুমায়ূন আহমেদ (অপ্রকাশিত ও অসমাপ্ত রচনা)". www.amarboi.com. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
- 1971: A Novel. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Mowla Bros. 1993. ISBN 9789844100138.
- In Blissfull Hell. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Somoi Prokashan. 1993. ISBN 9789844580459.
- Gouripur Junction. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Anyaprokash. 2007. ISBN 9789848684382.
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- List of prolific writers