Baul Samrat laid to rest
Baul Samrat Shah Abdul Karim was laid to eternal rest beside the grave of his wife Aftabunnesa Sarola in their village home at Ujandhol of Derai upazila in Sunamganj yesterday afternoon.
Thousands of mourning admirers and disciples of the legendary mystic poet attended the namaz-e-janaza before the burial.
The body of Shah Abdul Karim had been taken from Sylhet to the Shaheed Smriti Soudha in Derai Upazila Parishad complex, where people from all walks of life paid last tributes to the baul maestro for an hour from 11:00am.
His second namaz-e-janaza was held in BADC ground in Derai around midday. Lawmaker MA Mannan, Sunamganj district Deputy Commissioner Zahir Uddin Ahmed, Derail Upazila Chairman Abdul Quddus and Derai Pourasava Chairman Ahmed Miah attended the janaza along with others.
The body was then taken to Abdul Karim's village home where the third and last janaza was held before burial.
Shah Abdul Karim died at a Sylhet hospital on Saturday morning at the age of 93. His first namaz-e-janaza was held at the mosque of Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) shrine after Zohr prayers.
The Sylhet City Corporation mayor, litterateurs, cultural activists, political and social leaders as well as a cross-section of people attended the janaza.
Abdul Karim's body was kept at the Sylhet Diabetic Hospital mortuary until yesterday morning.
Shah Abdul Karim was born in 1916 in Ujandhol of Sunamganj district. He had a brief schooling of just seven days.
Growing up with poverty and hardship, Karim started expressing his thoughts and emotions through music from a very early age.
His all-time companion was the ektara, a traditional single-string musical instrument. His songs sung in a melodic, soothing and pleasingly rustic voice had spellbinding effect on people in and around his village.
Abdul Karim received training on spiritual and baul music from Kamal Uddin, Shadhak Rashid Uddin and Shah Ibrahim Mastan Baksh.
Baul Abdul Karim wrote and composed over 1,600 songs. A few of his most famous numbers include "Agey ki sundor din kataitam", "Gari cholena cholena", Jhilmil jhilmil korey", "Ashi boley gelo bondhu", "Maya lagaichhe", Ami kulhara kalangkini", "Shokhi kunjo sajao", "Ailai na ailai na" and "Basanta batashey shoi-go".
Baul Samrat Shah Abdul Karim was awarded the Ekushey Padak in 2001 for his outstanding musical achievements. He also received the Prothom Alo-Meril Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, among other recognitions.