Turn the Pages, be Your Heroes | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 29, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 29, 2016

Lit-bits

Turn the Pages, be Your Heroes

The 4th death anniversary of Humayun Ahmed, the prolific author, playwright, storyteller, and filmmaker was celebrated countrywide, on July 19, 2016. But is Humayun Ahmed really gone?

This great man is forever with us and will always survive through his literary contributions. The characters he created the television in most of his literary works or screen will live forever in our hearts. Definitely, these characters can be some of the best sources of inspiration for our youth, through which we can change the society as a whole.

Let's take Himu, for example. There are very few people who don't know the name 'Himu'. Himu is an independent young man, who first appeared in the novel titled 'Mayurakkhi' published in 1990. Perhaps, this character of a vagabond, reckless youth is the most influential character in the history of modern Bengali literature. Himu's real name is 'Himalay' and his psychopathic father wanted him to be a great man. 

His appearance is odd, since he lives like a vagabond, wears a yellow panjabi without any pockets and unintentionally walks barefoot on the streets of Dhaka. He is unconventional, believes in anti-logic and has some spiritual powers of soothsaying, for which, Badal, Himu's cousin had become a fan of his. He is beyond self-centerdness, lives in the present, and has no headache about the future. He is a protagonist, with the power of speaking the unpleasant truth with an air of indifference. He also has abundant knowledge on politics, literature and contemporary events.

His way of life attracts many of our educated and talented youths, and for this, Himu inow lives beyond the pages. Impressed with his personality, many young people love to lead their lives like Himu.

“Himu embodies the essence of those youths who like to defy the chains of tradition”, says Ashim Kumar Paul (29), a cadre, General Education, at 34th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) Examination. “His aimless wandering and capricious acts draw me so forcibly, that a Himu has been already born inside me”.

On the contrary, 'Misir Ali', another famous character of the writer is a complete opposite. Misir Ali tries to solve everything in this world with his logic. He never believes in any mystery, preconception and miracles. Misir Ali, the intelligent one, is portrayed as a 40 to 50 years old psycho-analyst, who works as a part-time professor of Psychology, at the University of Dhaka. He has a great interest in Parapsychology, solves many unexplainable events and that's why people love to come to him for psychiatric treatment. Normally, he seems to be emotionless and cold-hearted, but his deep love for humans is reflected in many of his activities.  He often needs to be hospitalised for his physical illness but he gets out of all troubles in the end.

Misir Ali was the most preferred character of the writer himself and he had stated it many times. Because of his solitude, soft heart and sharp intellect, he has become a man of flesh and blood to the readers.

Now it's 'Baker Bhai's turn. Do you remember 'Kothao Keu Nei', the most popular drama series aired on Bangladesh Television in 1990? Baker Bhai was the central character of the drama and he was not just any character! He is a thug, who lives just outside of the law and the mainstream society and tries to keep control of his territory, through a series of dangerous adventures. But ultimately, he is known as a fair and just person, who tries to distinguish between right or wrong. He gives protection to the weak and won't hesitate to right the wrong. He had become a defender of the defenceless.

The popularity of Baker Bhai was so immense that people took to the streets and protested their beloved character's wrongful death sentence in this show, which was given to him after he killed a man trying to protect the innocent. They even threatened Bangladesh Television and called for the writer to change the story!

Remember 'Shuvro'? The boy who loves to dream and who is not willing to think about the day-to-day problems or any kind of complexity? Shuvro, the purest human being and one of the most popular characters of Humayun Ahmed, is portrayed wearing thick framed glasses, without which he cannot see the world properly. Shuvro used to be called “Kanababa” by his friends.

Nowadays, many of our youths think that they have no role model and there is no one to idolise. These iconic characters, that Humayun Ahmed blessed us with, can help us get out of this misconception. We should keep in mind that, to change the society, we don't need to have so many things. Some clean thoughts, intentions and ideologies can help make our society a significantly pleasant one. In such a dark time, we are in dire need of our Himus, Misir Alis, Baker Bhais and Shuvros.

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