12:00 AM, May 19, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 19, 2011

A Wonderland called Nuhash Palli

The world of Humayun Ahmed

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Shah Alam Shazu

Although it may sound strange to most people, Nuhash Palli has trees “specially designated for ghosts,” according to Humayun Ahmed.

Amidst the verdant landscape of Gazipur (Mirzapur Union), lies a wonderland called 'Nuhash Palli'. Humayun Ahmed's Nuhash Palli is a place where the eminent writer has built a retreat unlike any other.
Hundreds throng the site, which is also used as a shooting spot, each day to get a glimpse of the 'world of Humayun Ahmed'. No ticket required. All that needs to be done to gain entry is to convince the security personnel. The lucky ones visiting the site may also come face to face with the writer, who is never hesitant to strike up a conversation. If Lady Luck does not shine, there might still be a filming on inside the premises, which is open for viewing.
Humayun Ahmed introduces first-timers to Nuhash Palli with its wide variety of flora. Once, officials from the Forest Department came to visit, and were amazed by plants which were not even in their own collection. They later borrowed some tree samples from the writer and gifted an entire orange garden, recalls Ahmed.
Although it may sound strange to most people, Nuhash Palli has trees “specially designated for ghosts,” according to Ahmed.
The site is built inside a forest of dense Shaal and Gojari trees. To come here, one has to get off the bus near Hotapara, on the way towards Mymensingh. The distance from Dhaka GPO to Hotapara is around 40 kilometers. From there, a Taka 150-200 ride on a CNG three-wheeler will take one to Nuhash Palli.
A sculpture of a woman standing with her child welcomes visitors. A few steps ahead a small pool with crystal clear water splashes a tempting invitation for a dip. A brick house which looks as it is made of mud, stands next. This is where Ahmed stays when he visits Nuhash Palli. A garden adds to the aesthetic appeal of the house, while a living room-library acts as the centre of all adda.
Among the celebrities who have paid visits to Nuhash Palli are West Bengal writers Sunil Gangopadhyay (who took a dip in the pool) and Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay.
There is another small pond past the house, where lotuses float. After that, gardens of different varieties of plants follow. Those who saw the movie “Noy Number Bipod Shongket” will see many familiar places, as most of the shooting was done in Nuhash Palli.
Lawmaker and media personality Asaduzzaman Noor says that there was once a time when a journey to Nuhash Palli meant a long boat ride, but now the travelling is easier.
There is also a 'dighi' or a mini-lake inside the premises, which one can cross by a wooden bridge. A garden of herbs is another attraction of Nuhash Palli, where a stone plaque says 'Rashed Humayun Oushodhi Udyan'. Fairytales spring to life in the form of a statue of a mermaid, while there are brick elephants and tiger heads to entertain the young. Special rooms for children also stand across the area.
No one but Humayun Ahmed himself is allowed to film inside Nuhash Palli -- named after the writer's eldest son.
On his birthday a couple of years back, Ahmed said that he wants to be laid to rest at Nuhash Palli.

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