Recently demised Ekushey Padak winning poet Hayat Saif was remembered at a memorial meeting held at Poet Shamsur Rahman Seminar Room of Bangla Academy on Monday.
Hayat Saif passed away while undergoing treatment at the United Hospital in the capital at 12:04am on May 13. He was 76.
The programme titled ‘Kobi Hayat Saif Er Proyane Shoronshava’ was organised by Bangla Academy.
Bangla Academy director general Habibullah Siraji delivered the welcome speech at the programme, presided over by honorary president of International Theatre Institute Ramendu Majumdar.
Renowned poet Asad Chowdhury, writer Anwara Syed Haq, poet Zahidul Haque, thespian Ferdousi Majumdar, Hayat Saif’s youngest son Mehran Saif and poet and translator Aminur Rahman, among others, spoke at the event.
‘Hayat Saif was greatly inspired by Sudhindranath Dutta and Jibanananda Das. He was not only a good writer but a skilled translator too. He enriched Bengali literature through his works. His death has left a huge void in country’s literary scene,’ said poet Asad Chowdhury.
‘He was my classmate and one of my close friends during student life. He didn’t get the recognition he deserved. He was an honest, kind, studious and wise person,’ said Ramendu Majumdar.
‘I had known Hayat Saif for the last thirty five years. He was always there for me whenever I needed him,’ said Aminur Rahman.
‘My father was a wonderful person. He deserved so much more. I urge everyone to pray for his departed soul,’ said Mehran Saif.
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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