Cultural arena mourned the death of Ekushey Padak winning poet Belal Chowdhury terming his demise as a great loss to the contemporary Bangla literature.
Poet, writer and journalist Belal Chowdhury passed away on Tuesday noon at the age of 79 at Anwar Khan Modern Hospital at Dhanmondi after suffering from kidney diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes. He is famous for his poems such Tumi Sei Brikkha, Atma Pratikriti, Swadesh, Selai Kora Chhaya and others.
Born in 1938 in Feni, Belal Chowdhury emerged as a poet in the 1960s. A prolific writer Chowdhury has over 50 books to his credit including collections of poems, stories, essays and translations. His famous collections of poems include Nishad Prodeshe, Atmoprotikriti, Sthirjiban O Nisarga, Swapnabandi, Selai Kora Chhaya, Kabitar Kamolbone, Jabojjiban Sashram Ullase and Batrish Nombor.
Commemorating Belal Chowdhury’s death Sammilita Sangskiritik Jote will organise a public mourning for the poet at Central Shaheed Minar at 11am this morning.
‘We have organised the programme to pay respective to the poet,’ said Ghulam Quddus, president of Sammilita Sangskritik Jote.
Jatiya Kabita Parishad president poet Muhammad Samad said, ‘Belal Chowdhury was a guide and a mentor to many of us. He inspired us through his writings and encouraged us to explore and experiment with in our writings’.
Belal Chowdhury was also vocal against the autocratic government of the 1980s and showed a great sense of patriotism in his experimental poems, stories and essays, added Samad.
Poet-architect Rabiul Hussain said Belal Chowdhury was very friendly to his young contemporaries and helped publish their writings in the weekly and fortnightly magazines in which he worked in Bangladesh and India.
‘He was a discoverer of many young talents. He gladly inspired and encouraged poets and writers’, Hussain added.
Belal Chowdhury also translated works of many famous western poets and writers such as Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, Dylan Thomas and Jorge Luis Borges, which had influence on his experimental poems, added Hussain.
Fellow poet Nirmalendu Goon termed Belal Chowdhury’s death as ‘a personal loss’. ‘A very humble and gentle man, Belal Chowdhury was a mentor to me and many of our generation. He also worked as a bridge between local and foreign poets’, said Nirmalendu Goon.
Poet Tariq Sujat, also Jatiya Kabita Parishad general secretary said, ‘I have lost my mentor and guide. He was not only a refined poet but also a kind-hearted man. He wrote the introduction to my first collection of poems’.
Belal Chowdhury was also the editor of fortnightly magazine Bharat Bichitra, published by Indian High Commission. Earlier, he had worked with the Kolkata-based literary magazine Krittibas.
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