Friends, peers and well-wishers paid their last respects to Ekushey Padak winning poet Hayat Saif at Nazrul Mancha of Bangla Academy on Tuesday.
Hayat Saif passed away while undergoing treatment at the United Hospital in the capital at 12:04am on Monday. He was 76.
He is survived by his wife and three sons namely Zeeshan Saif, Mehrab Saif and Mehran Saif.
Hayat Saif’s first namaz-e-janaza was held at Uttara sector 13 after the Fajr prayer. His second namaz-e-janaza was held at Bangladesh Scout Bhaban at 10:00am.
Following which, his body was taken to Bangla Academy at around 11:00am and was kept there till noon where his third namaz-e-janaza held at 12:00pm.
Bangla Academy, Nazrul Institute, Jatiya Kabita Parishad and others paid tribute to the poet at Bangla Academy premises.
National professors Anisuzzaman and Rafiqul Islam, prime minister’s political advisor HT Imam, election commissioner Mahbub Talukder, honorary president of International Theatre Institute Ramendu Majumdar, Jatiya Kabita Parishad general secretary Tarik Sujat, poet Kamal Chowdhury and Bangla Academy director general Habibullah Siraji, among others, paid their last respects to Hayat Saif.
‘I worked with Hayat Saif in the literary magazine Padabali during the 1980s. He was not only a talented writer but also a seasoned translator. His death has left a void in the country’s literary scene,’ Habibullah Siraji told New Age.
‘Though he was a student of English literature, he made significant contribution to Bengali literature. He always encouraged the youths to pursue Bengali literature. I hope the younger generation of the country will follow in his footsteps,’ Tarik Sujat told New Age.
‘He was my class mate and close friend at Dhaka University. Hayat Saif ignited a passion for literature in me,’ Ramendu Majumdar told New Age.
Hayat Saif’s body was later taken to Gulshan Azad Masjid where his 4th namaz-e janaza was held. Following which, he was buried at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard.
Born in 1942 in Dhaka, Hayat Saif studied English literature at Dhaka University.
After graduation, he taught in different colleges, including Rajshahi College, for about three years and then joined the Pakistan superior service in the finance cadre in 1968. He was involved in the revenue administration and tax policy making for more than three decades. He retired in 1999 as chairman of the National Board of Revenue.
He has eight collections of poems including Rasunbonar Itikotha, Santrashe Subash and others. Saif was also prolific in translation and essays with seven titles of translations and essays to his credit.
He was conferred Ekushey Padak in 2018.
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