Professor Momtazuddin Ahmed, a luminary in the field of theatre and literature, turned 80 on January 18. To mark his birthday, noted theatre and cultural personalities gathered at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shikpakala Academy on Sunday evening and paid tribute to the playwright. Momtazuddin Ahmed Jonmo-joyonti Udjapon Parishad arranged the programme.
Eminent litterateur Syed Shamsul Haq, noted theatre personalities Ramendu Majumdar, Ataur Rahman, Ferdousi Majumdar, Keramot Maola, Sammilito Sangskritik Jote (SSJ) president Golam Kuddus, Cultural Affairs Secretary Ranjit Kumar Biswas, media personality Abed Khan were on the stage along with Momtazuddin Ahmed. Ramendu Majumdar presided over the programme, while former FBCCI president Anisul Haq emceed it.
As Momtazuddin Ahmed came on the stage, Afroza Banu, who used to be a regular actress in Momtazuddin's plays, read the welcome address. Meanwhile Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor arrived at the scene to surprise the playwright. Then cultural organisations and theatre troupes came on the stage one by one and wished the playwright with bouquets.
Later, guests remembered their memories with Momtazuddin. Syed Shamsul Haq said, “Momtazuddin Ahmed is indispensable from stage. Theatre connects two lives of a person. Though he was born in Maldah, British India, his heart remains with Bangladesh.”
Ferdousi Majumdar walked down the memory lane: “Sir calls me sister from the very beginning of our introduction. He used to say 'I'll write plays if sister agrees to act in it.' Sir is an upbeat man incredible sense of humour. He can take everything easily and make any situation lighter. I am indebted to him.”
Ataur Rahman said, “He is the most senior playwright in the country. He initiated group theatre movement in Chittagong. Momtazuddin Ahmed is a teacher who can teach complicated things very simply. I wish him good health so that he keeps enlightening the society.”
Noted Nazrul sinegr Ferdous Ara then came up on stage and sang two songs: “Pothohara Pakhi” and “Ami Chirotorey Durey Chole Jabo” for Momtazuddin Ahmed. SSJ Secratry Hasan Arif also recited a poem for him.
Professor Momtazuddin Ahmed is equally adept in writing, acting and directing. His vibrant career as a professor earned him honour, but it is theatre and his acting that elevated him to an echelon of excellence. In addition to novels, he has penned more than two dozen plays, and directed several of them. He has also appeared in many television plays and films. He is still with his theatre troupe Theatre (Baily Road).
As recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field of theatre and literature, Professor Momtazuddin Ahmed received Bangla Academy Award in 1976 and Ekushey Padak in 1997.