Home / Entertainment / Fans pay tribute to Al Mahmud

Fans pay tribute to Al Mahmud

32Al Mahmud is the best living poet of our time and perhaps the most underappreciated and misunderstood too, said poets and literary personalities on Saturday at a programme organised to celebrate his 80th birthday.
Mir Abdus Shukur Al Mahmud, commonly known as Al Mahmud, turned 80 on Saturday. The event, organised by Al Mahmud Club at the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka, brought together literary luminaries and his fans who paid respects to his illustrious career and his lifelong passion for poetry.
Al Mahmud, however, could not attend the programme because of illness.
Among others present on the occasion were poets Asad Chowdhury, Farhad Mazhar, KG Mostafa, Ershad Majumder and Zakir Abu Zafar. Ahsan Ullah, editor of daily Janata, and former MP and columnist Golam Maula Roni also attended the programme.
Asad Chowdhury called Al Mahmud ‘the best living poet of our time,’ saying a poet of his calibre can be evaluated in multiple ways and choosing certain aspects of his poetry to pass judgment on his entire corpus would be unfair.
‘Al Mahmud has never suffered from a crisis of identity. He knew where his roots lie. He is a visionary, a keen observer of the world around him, and a poet from head to toe although occasionally he ventured into other fields of literature too,’ he added.
Farhad Mazhar observed that while it is unfortunate that he had to face ‘imprudent and ungrounded’ criticism from certain sections of society, for reasons not related to his poetry, it is heartening to see that he is still read, discussed and respected by the young generation.
Meanwhile, Ahsan Ullah, who worked with the poet at daily Ittefaq, recalled the publication of Al Mahmud’s first book of poems, Lok Lokantor (1963), with which his literary career took off.
The programme was divided into several segments, including discussion, recitation of poems written by and for Al Mahmud and another segment in which different individuals and organisations presented bouquets as a tribute to their favourite poet.
Among others, veteran recitation artistes Nasim Ahmed and Shayla Ahmed read out poems by the poet, respectively Amader Michhile and Amar Chokher Tolodeshe.
Al Mahmud was born on July 11, 1936. So far, he has written over 30 books of poems, over 30 novels, a number of anthologies of short stories, and two autobiographies.