Poet Rudra Mohammad Shahidullah, born as Sheikh Mohammad Shahidullah, was born in Barishal, but his ancestral home is in Mongla upazila of Bagerhat, on October 16, 1956. Today is his 29th death anniversary.
In poetry, in art and literature, the people have lived a crazy life in the ‘70s, Rudra is the foremost among those who have left their footprints on the streets of the city of Dhaka in a frenzy of poetic madness.
Rudra was not only a poet of resentment and love, but also a history-conscious poet with a sea-like heart. Rudra held the war of liberation in his heart. As a result, he became deeply involved in the anti-authoritarian movement and wrote all the unique poems like ‘Concentration Camp’, ‘Day-book/Khatian’, ‘Batase Lasher Gandho/The smell of corpses in the air’ ‘Afim Tobuo Valo, Dhormo Se To Hemloc Bish/ Opium Is Still Better, Religion Is Hemlock Poison’, ‘Amar samosto Parajoy/ All My Defeats’, ‘Bish/Poison’, ‘Ishtehar/Proclamation’, ‘Katha Chhilo Subinay/ There was talk, Subinay’, ‘Manusher Manchitro/ Map of the People’, ‘Michhile Notun Mukh/New Face in the Procession’ and others.
He fell in love with Taslima, married her and divorced. Later, fell in love again with a girl named Shimul from Lalbagh. Apparently, rebellion, love, madness were in his blood, in his brain, in his neuron; and for those reasons he may have written ‘Amar Samrajye Adhishwari Chhile/You Were a Goddess in My Kingdom’, ‘Chole Gele Mone Hoy Tumi Esechhile/ Think You Came When You Left’, ‘Khub Kachhe Eso na Kono Din/ Don’t Come Too Close’, ‘Bhalobasar Samay Toh Nei/ There is No Time For Love’, ‘Thakuk Tomar Ektu Smriti Thakuk/Let There Be a Little Memory of You’. These poems tell whether Rudra had a deep lover’s heart.
In his student life, two of his poetry books namely Upodruta Upakul (Affected Coast, 1979) and Firey Chai Swarnagram (Looking back at my Golden village, 1981) were published and these earned him instant reputation. He soon came in limelight as a vigorous poet in the 1970s.
Other notable poetry books by Rudra Mohammad Shahidullah are: Manusher Manchitra (Map of the People, 1984), Chhobal (Snap, 1986), Galpo (Story, 1987), Diyechhile Sakol Akash (You Gave the Entire Sky, 1988), Maulik Mukhosh (Original Mask, 1990) and Ek-glass Andhokar (A Glass of Darkness, 1992).
Although he was mainly a poet, he had profound interest in composing music, and in writing drama, short story and essay.
He received Munier Choudhury Memorial Award in 1980.
Insanity, insane life keeps the mind alive but the body will not count its comfort. The body did not even count its comfort. The arrogant lover Rudra once wrote about the deep resentment of love, ‘Inside me, outside, in my heart, you are all over my heart’.
He passed away on June 21, 1991.
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