Humayun Ahmed

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Humayun Ahmed
Humayun Ahmed 13Nov2010.jpg
Ahmed in 2010
Native name হুমায়ূন আহমেদ
Born (1948-11-13)13 November 1948
Mohanganj, Netrokona, East Bengal (now Bangladesh)[1]
Died 19 July 2012(2012-07-19) (aged 63)[2]
New York City, United States
Resting place Nuhash Polli, Pirujali Village, Gazipur District, Bangladesh[3]
Occupation Writer, film director, professor of Chemistry
Nationality Bangladeshi
Ethnicity Bengali
Education PhD in polymer chemistry
Alma mater University of Dhaka
North Dakota State University
Notable works Jostnya O Jononeer Golpo (The Story of a Mother and a Moonlit Night)
Notable awards Bangla Academy Award
Ekushey Padak
Years active 1972–2012
  • Nova Ahmed
  • Shila Ahmed
  • Bipasha Ahmed
  • Nuhash Ahmed
  • Nishad Ahmed
  • Ninit Ahmed


Humayun Ahmed (pronounced: [ɦumae̯un aɦmed̪]; 13 November 1948 – 19 July 2012) was a Bangladeshi writer, dramatist, screenwriter and filmmaker.[4] Ahmed got his break-through by his debut novel Nondito Noroke in 1972.[5] He wrote over 200 fiction and non-fiction books, all of which were bestsellers in Bangladesh.[6][7] Ahmed's writing style was characterized as magic realism.[8] Ahmed's books were the top sellers at the Ekushey Book Fair during the 1990s and 2000s.[9] He won Bangla Academy Award and Ekushey Padak for his contribution to Bengali literature.

In the early 1990s, Ahmed emerged as a filmmaker. He went on to make total 8 films - all based on his own novels. He received six Bangladesh National Film Awards in different categories for the films Daruchini Dwip, Aguner Poroshmoni and Ghetuputra Komola.

Early life and background[edit]

Ahmed was born in Kutubpur, Mymensingh to Foyzur Rahman Ahmed (1921–1971) and Ayesha Foyez (née Khatun) (1930–2014).[10][11] Foyzur served as a sub-divisional police officer in Pirojpur District and was killed during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.[12] In 2011, politician Delwar Hossain Sayeedi was trialed for the killing but was acquitted of the charge in 2013 for lack of evidence.[13][14] Humayun's brother, Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, is a writer and academician. Another brother, Ahsan Habib, became a cartoonist. He had three sisters – Sufia Haider, Momtaz Shahid and Rukhsana Ahmed.[15]

Upon official assignment of his father, Ahmed had lived in Sylhet, Comilla, Chittagong, Dinajpur and Bogra in his childhood.[11]

Education and early career[edit]

Ahmed studied in Chittagong Collegiate School.[16] He eventually passed his SSC examination from Bogra Zilla School in 1967 and was listed as second in merit on the Rajshahi Education Board.[17] He passed his HSC examination from Dhaka College in 1969. Then he attended University of Dhaka and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and later with a Master of Science degree.

After his graduation, he worked as a lecturer at Bangladesh Agricultural University for six months before joining Dhaka College to teach Chemistry.[citation needed] Soon after, he went to the United States to earn his Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry from North Dakota State University.[17]



Ahmed’s debut novel Nondito Noroke was published in 1972 while he was still a university student.[18][19][20] From the very first novel, he brought into play the aspirations of average middle-class urban families and portrayed the quintessential moments of their lives.[19] His second novel was Shonkhonil Karagar.[21]

Ahmed’s novels featured some book series with recurring characters like Himu (15 novels), Misir Ali (10 novels) and less frequent, Shubhro.[21] He wrote several novels based on Bangladesh Liberation War – Aguner Poroshmoni, Srabon Megher Din and Jyotsna O Jononir Golpo.[21] His romantic novels included Badol Diner Prothom Kodom Phool, Noboni, Aj Dupure Tomar Nimontran and Tumi Amai Dekechhile Chhutir Nimontrane.[21]

Ahmed wrote three autobiographies - Amar Chelebela, Rong Pencil and Fountain Pen.[22][23][24]

Television and film[edit]

Ahmed's first television drama was Prothom Prohor (1983), directed by Nawazesh Ali Khan.[25] His first drama serial was Ei Shob Din Ratri (1985). It 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). Besides, he made single episode dramas including Nimful notably.[citation needed]

Ahmed directed films based on his own stories. His first film, Aguner Poroshmoni, based on Bangladesh Liberation War, won the National Film Award in total eight categories, including the awards for Best Picture and Best Director.[26][27] Another film Shyamal Chhaya was also based on the same war.[28] His last directed film, Ghetuputra Kamola, was set in the colonial period − the story was about a teenage boy.[29]

Shyamol Chhaya and Ghetuputra Kamola were selected as the Bangladeshi entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006 and 2012 respectively, but were not nominated.[30][31]

Ahmed also wrote songs for few of his own films and plays. Some of the notables are titled as Ami Aaj Bhejabo Chokh Somudrer Joley, Chadni Poshor Ratey and Amar Achey Jol.[citation needed]

In 2009, Ahmed served as a judge on Channel i's reality talent show Khudey Gaanraaj.[32]

Critical response[edit]

Nobel laureate economist Muhammad Yunus assessed Ahmed's overall impact by saying "Humayun's works are the most profound and most fruitful that literature has experienced since the time of Tagore and Nazrul."[33] Similarly, according to poet Al Mahmud, “one golden age of Bengali literature ended with Tagore and Nazrul and another began" with Ahmed.[33] Writer Imdadul Haq Milon considered him to be "the almighty lord of Bengali literature, controlling all their actions and thoughts".[33] Dawn, Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper, referred to him as the cultural legend of Bangladesh.[34] Sunil Gangopadhyay described him as the most popular writer in the Bengali language for a century[35] and according to him, Ahmed was even more popular than Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Ahmed married Gultekin Khan in 1976.[37][26][27] Together they had three daughters, Nova, Shila and Bipasha, and one son, Nuhash. Shila Ahmed went on to become a television and film actress. In 2003, Ahmed divorced Gultekin and married actress Meher Afroz Shaon in 2005. He had two sons from the second marriage, Nishad and Ninit.[38]

Cancer and death[edit]

Ahmed had an open heart surgery at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.[39] Few years later, during a routine checkup, the doctors found a cancerous tumor in his colon. On September 14, 2011, he was flown to Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York City for treatment.[39] During his stay in New York City, he wrote a novel, Deyal, on the life of the first President of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.[40] In January 2012, he was appointed as a senior special adviser of Bangladesh Mission to the United Nations.[41] On May 12, 2012, he returned to Bangladesh for two weeks.[42]

He died on July 19, 2012 at 11.20 PM BST at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.[43] After resolving a tension in his family over the selection of burial site, he was finally buried in his estate Nuhash Polli.[3][44]

Other interests[edit]

Ahmed at Nuhash Polli (2010)

In 1987 Ahmed founded an estate called Nuhash Polli near Pijulia village, in Gazipur Sadar Upazila of Gazipur District,[45] which grew to cover 40 bigha[45] (approximately 14 acres). He would spend much of his time at the estate when he was in Bangladesh, formed a collection of statues there by local artist Asaduzzaman Khan, and of plants from around the world, particularly medicinal and fruit-bearing trees.[45]


Exim Bank, a commercial bank and Anyadin, an entertainment magazine jointly introduced an award program, "Humayun Ahmed Sahitya Puruskar", which would be granted to two writers every year on November 12.[46]


Year Film Director Screenwriter Notes
1992 Shonkhonil Karagar Yes Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Story
1994 Aguner Poroshmoni Yes Yes Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Film
Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Story
Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Dialogue
1999 Srabon Megher Din Yes Yes Bachsas Awards for Best Lyrics
Bachsas Awards for Best Story
2000 Dui Duari Yes Yes
2003 Chandrokotha Yes Yes
2004 Shyamol Chhaya Yes Yes Bangladeshi submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
2006 Durotto Yes
Nondito Noroke Yes
Nirontor Yes
Noy Number Bipod Sanket Yes Yes
2007 Daruchini Dwip Yes Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Screenplay
Saajghor Yes
2008 Amar Ache Jol Yes Yes
2009 Priyotomeshu Yes
2012 Ghetuputra Komola Yes Yes Bangladeshi submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Director
Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Screenplay
Meril Prothom Alo Awards - Best Film
Meril Prothom Alo Awards - Best Director
Meril Prothom Alo Awards - Best Screenplay


In Bengali
  • 1971
  • Aaj Ami Kothao Jabo Naa [47]
  • Aaj Chitrar Biye
  • Aaj Dupurey Tomar Nimontron
  • Aaj Himur Biye
  • Achinpur
  • Adbhut Sob Golpo
  • Ahok
  • Akash Jora Megh
  • Amar Ache Jol
  • Amar Chelebela
  • Amar Priyo Voutic Golpo
  • Ami Abong Koakti Projapoti
  • Ami Ebong Amra
  • Ami-ee Misir Ali
  • Andhokarer Gaan
  • Angul Kata Jaglu
  • Anonto Nakhotro Bithi
  • Anyodin
  • Aporahnyo
  • Ashabori
  • Asmanira Tin Bon
  • Ayna Ghor
  • Ayomoy
  • Badol Diner Ditiyo Kadam Ful
  • Badhshah Namdar
  • Baghbondi Misir Ali
  • Ballpoint
  • Basor
  • Bhoy
  • Bipod
  • Bohubrihi
  • Botol Vut
  • Brihonnola
  • Brishti Bilash
  • Bristi O Meghomala
  • Chander Aloy Koekjon Jubok
  • Chayabithi
  • Cheleta
  • Chokkhe Amar Trishna
  • Chole Jay Bosonter Din
  • Choto golpo
  • Daruchinir Dip
  • Debi
  • Dekha Na Dekha
  • Dighir Jole Kaar Chayago
  • Ditiyo Manob
  • Doiroth
  • Dorjar Opashe
  • Dui Duari
  • Deyal
  • Ebong Hemu
  • Ei Ami
  • Ei Megh Roudro Chaya
  • Ei Shubro Ei!
  • Eki Kando!
  • Ekjon Himu Koekti Jhin Jhin Poka
  • Ekjon mayaboti
  • Elebele
  • Ema
  • Epitaph
  • Fiiha Somikoron
  • Fountainpen
  • Gouripur Jongshon
  • Grihotyagi Josna
  • Hartan Ishkapon
  • Himu
  • Himu Mama
  • Himu Remand-E
  • Himur Ditiyo Prohor
  • Himur Ekanto Sakkhatkar
  • Himur Hate Koekti Nilpodmo
  • Himur Madhyadupur
  • Himur Rupali Ratri
  • Holud Himu Kalo Rab
  • Humayun Ahmed-er Premer Golpo
  • Ireena
  • Ishtishon
  • Jalil Shaheber Petition
  • Jibonkrishno Memorial High School
  • Jochna O Jononir Golpo
  • Jodiyo Sandhya
  • Jol Jochona
  • Jolpoddmo
  • Kalo JAdukor
  • Kathpencil
  • Ke Kotha Koy
  • Kichu Shoishob
  • Kichukkhan
  • Kobi
  • Kohen Kobi Kalidas
  • Kothao Keu Nei
  • KrishnoPokkho
  • Kuhak
  • Kutu Mia
  • Lilaboti
  • Lilua Batash
  • Maddhanya
  • Magic Munshi
  • Manobi
  • Matal Haowa
  • Megh Boleche Jabo Jabo
  • Megher Chaya
  • Mirar Gramer Bari
  • Misir Ali Aapnii Kothay
  • Misir Alir Amimangsito Rahasya
  • Misir Alir Choshma
  • Mojar Bhoo
  • Moyurakkhi
  • Moyurakkhir Tire Prothom Himu
  • Mrinmoyee
  • Mrinmoyir Mon Bhalo Nei
  • Nalini Babu BSc
  • Nandito Noroke
  • Nee
  • Neel Hati
  • Neel Manush
  • Neel Oporajita
  • Neel Poddo
  • Nirbachito Bhooter Golpo
  • Nirbason
  • Nishad
  • Nishithini
  • Noboni
  • Nokkhotrer Raa
  • Nondito Noroke
  • Omanush
  • Omega Poin
  • Onish
  • Onno Vubon
  • Opekkha
  • Paap
  • Pakhi Amar Ekla Pakhi
  • Parapar
  • Parul O Tinti Kukur
  • Pilkhana Hottakando
  • Poka
  • Priotomeshu
  • Putro Nishad
  • Putul
  • Rakkhoss Khokkhoss Ebong Bhokkhoss
  • Rupa
  • Rupar Palanko
  • Sajghor
  • Sanaullar Mohabipod
  • Se Ashe Dhire
  • Se O Nortoki
  • Sedin Choitramas
  • Sheet O Onnanno Golpo
  • Shonkhoneel Karagar
  • Shunya
  • Shuvro
  • Shuvro Gechhe Bone
  • Shyamol Chaya
  • Sobai Gechhe Bone
  • Sokol Kata Dhonno Kore
  • Sourov
  • Tara Tin Jon
  • Tetul Bone Jochna
  • The Exorcis
  • Tithir Neel Toale
  • Tomader Jonyo Bhalobasa
  • Tomake
  • Tondrabilas
  • Tumi Amai Dekechile Chutir Nimontrone
  • Uralpankhi
  • Uthon Periye Dui Paa
  • Nabiji (incomplete)[48]
In English


Ahmed signing books (2010)
  • Lekhak Shibir Prize (1973)
  • Bangla Academy Award (1981)
  • Shishu Academy Award
  • Jainul Abedin Gold Medal
  • Michael Madhusudan Medal (1987)
  • Bacsas Prize (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)[49]
  • Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Screenplay (2007)
  • Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Director (2012)
  • Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Screenplay (2012)


  1. ^ "Humayun Ahmed Life Story". Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  2. ^ "Humayun Ahmed dies". 19 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-19. 
  3. ^ a b "Humayun Laid to Rest at Nuhash Polli". Taza Khobor. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  4. ^ priyodesk (13 November 2011). "Humayun Ahmed turns 63- Absence makes the heart grow fonder". Priyo. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Mahmudul Hasan Hemal (September 4, 2012). "Book reviewNondito NorokeMasterpiece of a master storyteller". Daily Sun. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Tears for Humayun Ahmed". 27 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  7. ^ Rashidul Bari (16 August 2012). "Tears for Humayun Ahmed: The Shakespeare of Bangladesh – Times Of India". Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  8. ^ Faizul Latif Chowdhury (2007), Review of Lilaboti, Prothom Alo, Dhaka.
  9. ^ Ahsan, Shamim (21 February 2004). "A Grand Convergence of Minds". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  10. ^ "Humayun Ahmed's mother passes away". The Daily Star. September 27, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "Humayun Ahmed at a glance". The Daily Star. July 21, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Hindus attacked, raped". The Daily Star. November 22, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2015. 
  13. ^ "All eyes on Sayedee - War trial verdict today". The Daily Star. February 28, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  14. ^ "সাঈদীর বিরুদ্ধে রায়ের সারসংক্ষেপ পড়তে ক্লিক করুন". Prothom Alo. February 28, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  15. ^ "হুমায়ূনের কবরে স্বজনেরা". Prothom Alo. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  16. ^ Pranabesh Chakraborty (December 22, 2011). "Collegiate School to celebrate 175 years". The Daily Star. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Humayun Ahmed Biography". Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  18. ^ Ashik Hossain and Sulaiman Niloy (July 20, 2013). "Book industry still gloomy". Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Rayaan Ibtesham Chowdhury (July 24, 2014). "The Essential Humayun Ahmed". The Daily Star. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  20. ^ Mahmudul Hasan Hemal (January 30, 2016). "Humayun Ahmed:A Moonlit Writer". The Daily Observer. 
  21. ^ a b c d Shah Alam Shazu (February 23, 2014). "Humayun Ahmed's works sell big at Ekushey Book Fair". The Daily Star. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  22. ^ "হুমায়ূন আহমেদ স্বপ্নকারিগরের স্বপ্নগাথা". Jai Jai Din. November 15, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Humayun Ahmed Book Fest in full swing". The Daily Star. November 15, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  24. ^ Jamil Mahmud (February 5, 2011). "Steady start at ‘Ekushey Boi Mela’". The Daily Star. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Humayun Ahed". 
  26. ^ a b Culture Desk. "Humayun Ahmed's first death anniversary today". The Daily Sun. Retrieved 2013-11-29. 
  27. ^ a b New York Correspondent. "Humayun Ahmed passes away". Retrieved 2013-11-29. 
  28. ^ Shukla Mirza (10 December 2004). "Kudos to Humayun Ahmed". The Daily Star. 
  29. ^ Yusuf Banna (July 19, 2013). "TOP 10: Humayun Ahmed’s works". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Humayun's 'Ghetuputra Kamola' to compete for Oscar". Daily Star. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  31. ^ Ershad Kamol (September 15, 2005). "Shyamol Chhaya going to the Oscars". The Daily Star. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  32. ^ "‘Meridian Channel i Khudey Gaanraaj’ to go on air soon". The Daily Star. October 26, 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2015. 
  33. ^ a b c Rashidul Bari (August 16, 2012). "Tears for Humayun Ahmed: The Shakespeare of Bangladesh". The Times of India. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  34. ^ AFP (20 July 2012). "Bangladesh mourns death of cultural legend Humayun Ahmed". Dawn.Com. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  35. ^ Mustafa, Sabir (20 July 2012). "BBC News – Bangladesh's most enduring storyteller". Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  36. ^ "'End of a new era in Bengali literature'". 22 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  37. ^ Tanvir Sohel (February 5, 2016). "লেখালেখিতে অনুপ্রেরণা শুধুই দাদা: গুলতেকিন". Prothom Alo. Retrieved February 5, 2016. 
  38. ^ "Humayun Ahmed's life history | History of Famous people's lifestyles". Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  39. ^ a b "Humayun Ahmed flies to New York for cancer treatment". The Daily Star. September 15, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  40. ^ Shah Alam Shazu (February 10, 2012). "Still Going Strong". The Daily Star. Retrieved December 25, 2015. 
  41. ^ "Humayun Ahmed made UN Bangladesh mission adviser". January 13, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  42. ^ Shah Alam Shazu (May 12, 2012). "Humayun Ahmed back in town". The Daily Star. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Tears for Humayun Ahmed". New Age. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-25. 
  44. ^ "Humayun Laid to Rest At Nuhash Polli". Tazakhobor. July 24, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 
  45. ^ a b c Shah Alam Shazu (25 July 2012). "Home was his heart: Humayun Ahmed and his Nuhash Polli". The Daily Star. 
  46. ^ "Literary award after Humayun introduced". May 18, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  47. ^ "আজ আমি কোথাও যাব না". rokomari. অন্যপ্রিকাশ. 
  48. ^ – humayun ahmed (incomplete writing)
  49. ^ "Humayun Ahmed, Mainul receive Sheltech awards". The Daily Star. September 10, 2008. Retrieved December 29, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]