Homage to a Birangona

“Priyabhashini's artistic legacy should be preserved”

-- Karu Titas
Karu Titas

Ferdousi Priyabhashini is an artist par excellence and a Birangona of 1971. It is the Mother Nature that would drive her the most as she created arts from found objects of nature. She had a great bonding with the younger generations and artists. Many would come to her to seek suggestions to lead a better life. She would give them a patient hearing and give her best suggestions. She dedicated her entire life to establish the sacrifice and status of the Birangona in our society. Was she happy with what she received as an eminent artist and Freedom Fighter?

Priyabhashini's elder son Karu Titas, also a noted artist, recently shared many untold stories of his courageous mother and the struggles she faced in her lifetime with The Daily Star. Excerpts:

“There was an exhibition titled “Shoto Tuchchher Araley” by my mother, who would create arts with objects that other people would overlook. This also symbolically signifies the oppression she faced during the War of Liberation. How will society reject her? Rather she rejected the society. She did the reverse thing. This is significantly related to the harsh tales of her life and artistic pursuit. She would love to create artistic values of the deserted found objects. In one of her previous interviews, I saw her saying, 'I am not an artist. Art is created in nature and I just discover it. The most interesting point of my mother was her striking power of observation. Say for example, forms of two women or the portrait of Rabindranath Tagore would appear at the pedestal of a tree. She would observe meticulously and find what we could not see. It was not like magic. She had great patience, perseverance and artistic insight. These actually led her to become a saint like artist. Though I am an artist, I don't have my mother's uncanny power of observation.”

Freedom fighter Ferdousi Priyabhashini

“We don't have the ability to preserve her works. The way a mother adores her child, Ma would adore her artworks similarly. If any of her art pieces was misplaced at home, she would notice that and lose her temper. It is quite impossible for us to take care of her artworks the way she did. More than 100 artworks of her two previous exhibitions along with some unfinished yet interesting works are kept at my house. In a previous interview, she declared herself as the mother of all the war children. This was her philosophy as she candidly expressed.” 

“Considering the artistic values of her large scale works, and not because she is my mother, I strongly feel that her artworks should be preserved properly as the possessions of the state. There are many sculptures and sculptors, but, Ferdousi Priyabhashini's works are incomparable. I don't know whether there is any artist in the sub-continent whose artworks resemble those done by Ferdousi Priyabhashini. She would always humbly disregard herself as an artist.” 

“My mother would never appeal to anyone during crisis. We are very grateful to our Honourable Prime Minister when my mother faced a crisis. If the premier thinks that Priyabhashini's artworks should be carefully preserved, it would be an honour for our family. Many from private galleries are approaching us to collect her artworks, but we are not interested to do that. My mother would design her own ornaments; these are also beautiful things to preserve. She designed many tip, sari and more. The forthcoming generations would get inspired watching her artworks, memoirs and lifestyle.”

“My mother would often say that the allowance (whatever the amount may be) of the Freedom Fighter is a matter of honour, for which Ma would roam around many offices for a year with ill health. It is a matter of regret that my mother didn't receive of Freedom Fighter's allowance in her lifetime. It was a very painful experience for my mother.”