- মামলা হলেই এখন আর সাংবাদিকদের গ্রেপ্তার করা যাবে না ঃ প্রধানমন্ত্রী
- একজন সাদা মনের মানুষের প্রয়াণ
- যে সব জেলায় আজ ভারি বর্ষণসহ বৃষ্টিপাত হতে পারে
- ধোয়া তুলসি পাতা কেনো বলা হয়
- ব্যারিস্টার রফিক-উল হকের মৃত্যুতে সিমকী ইমাম খানের শোক
- নায়ক সালমান শাহ ও প্রাসঙ্গিক কিছু কথা
- আরো পাঁচটি দেশ ইসরাইলের সাথে শান্তিপূর্ণ সম্পর্ক চায়: ট্রাম্প
- মৌলভীবাজারে জেলা প্রশাসকের নেতৃত্বে পূজা মন্ডপ পরিদর্শন
- নিরাপদ সড়ক নেটওয়ার্ক গড়ে তোলা সরকারের অগ্রাধিকার: ওবায়দুল কাদের
- আল্লামা শাহ আহমদ শফী ও শায়খে বর্ণভী ছিলেন সর্বজন শ্রদ্ধেয় ব্যক্তিত্ব :আলোচনা সভায় বক্তারা
» Nirmalendu Goon And The Contemporary Histoty Of Bangladesh
প্রকাশিত: ২০. জুলাই. ২০২০ | সোমবার
- by Soumik Dutta Roy
The author would like to acknowledge this work to:
1) Mrittika Goon on occasion of whose birthday the author wanted to share historical and biographical work.
2) Sanjib Dutta Roy , Nirmalendu Goon , Paramita Biswas , Shibabrata Nandi and Soumitra Dev who all encouraged him to write a book on family history.
3) To deceased Binapani Dutta Roy / Goon, Renuka Dutta Roy / Roy ( Binapani’s elder sister) and Asit Ranjan Dutta Roy who were always the invisible source of inspiration and motivation
He had heard of Goon’s father while during his time in East Bengal.He saw Sonali as his own daughter and was a beneficent benefactor to her. He used to come and take Sonali to his home and bring her back.On one such occasion during Durga puja he was to take her to his home on Saturday but he died on Tuesday and the day never arrived.In his death bed he had mourned Sonali’s name again and again.He wanted to arrange her marriage and eat her hand cooked food if Goon’s father would ever arrive.He wanted to give Sonali,like his own daughter,whatever she asked for in puja.But none of these could ever materialize.Sonali had cried so much on loosing him that Goon’s elder brother had refused to take her to his spot of cremation to be a bit courteous to his family.Indeed some real life stories are much more tragic than fictions!
In January 1969 Goon,along with other students of Dhaka University, actively participated in insurrectious agitations by student’s wings of political parties under Democratic Action Committee/DAC (the committee of 8 political parties including PDP, Muslim League,Jamaat e Islami and Awami League), who all,along with DAC,demanded end of Ayub Khan regime.His feelings and experiences of that time have also found place in his poetry verses.On 20th January during such a protest when police was cordoned from all sides and was on the verge of flee;an youth named Assad got shot.Goon accompanied the protestors who took Assad to hospital were he later died. Assad became an eternal figure of the protests and his bloody shirt was,like the flag of revolution,waved and paraded throughout the city by protesters to highlight the thus exposed brutality of Ayub’s impetuous authoritarian regime.All attempts to balk the verve of the irrepressible remonstrance proved to be abortive.The poem “Ayber Shirt” was composed by notable poet Shamsur Rahman highlighting the tragedy.It became very popular among the protestors and repressed resenting public at that time.
The poem “Bhalobashar Taka” by Goon himself has verses manifesting his strong emotional attachment to Rokeya hall which he thinks he must be seeing for the last time as he goes to see it while smoking after having breakfast at his familiar Sharif Mia’s canteen on 24th January.Goon was leaving with Mamun at Freeschool Street of Dacca at that time.Goon sailed himself into the flowing tide of protestors towards the secretariat of police and EPR from were bullets were fired,some of which missed Goon by merely an inch by almighty’s grace!A bullet hit a 14 year old protester moving aside him named Motiur!Goon had accompanied other protesters,who afterwards were taking Motiur to the press club.By that time he had breathed his last breath.Motiur became an immortal martyr in a rhyme by Al Mamun,another notable poet of the time.
Goon’s pain of repentance of returning back safely and not being able to get enlisted into the list of martyrs was well manifested in a poem “Amra o Shaheed” ( English meaning : We too are martyrs) that had then got published by a new weekly journal in their Ekhushey February section in reverse manner.The Morning News newspaper, published in English and Bengali by Press Trust,was the cause of resentment of protestors for being biased towards Ayub Khan and Abdul Monayem Khan ( the then Governor of East Bengal) and for trying to suppress the voice of the opposition.That day Goon accompanied the protestors to Press Trust office who then set it on fire.Goon partially succeeded in resisting a similar attack on the adjacent office of Dainik Pakistan by convincing the protestors that there poetry of him, Abul Hasan and many other poets got published who were also part of the then ongoing protest.So Dainik Pakistan press building wasn’t damaged that much but the Morning News press building /Press Trust building was utterly burned down and seeing the flames of this holocaust Goon remembered the first line of the poem “Premangshur Rokto Chai ” composed by him a few days earlier.He had then read out that poem to poet Hasan Hafizur Rahman who liked it and got it published in “Parikram” journal of the writer’s association.
Seeing the protests diminishing after 24 th January Ayub Khan made it to Dhaka on 6 th February to attend the Muslim League summit after being reelected as it’s party chief and also after his 1st February statement on radio where he had addressed about thinking to withdraw emergency that was in place since 1965 Indo Pak war and about his willingness to make positive constitutional amendments and to sit in dialogue with responsible political parties.He offered Round Table conference at Lahore, whose arrangements he used as an excuse to leave Dhaka on 10th February;i.e. four days prior to his schedule in order to escape the protests on 8th & 9th February by student’s revolutionary group at Dacca University and Polton Ground respectively, where Mujib’s release from prison was set as the conditional for Awami League affiliated DAC parties to attend Round Table Conference.Goon was then staying at the Freeschool Street home and following hearings of the Agartala Conspiracy case on radio and newspapers.On 14th February strikes were held throughout East Bengal and an evening assembly was held at Polton Ground by DAC parties.Here the leaders of Awami League affiliated DAC parties,including the last day released political prisoner Tajauddin Ahmed of Awami League,vowed to attend Round Table Conference were Ayub Khan had agreed to succumb to the 8 point demand over previous 6 point demand of Awami League and 11 point demand of student’s groups.Despite many speakers having faced unsatisfactory,unwelcoming and rude gestures from the crowd;the love and compassion for Mujib was evident.Mujib ur Rahman now seemed to be the solitary key to solving the ongoing crisis.Goon,who was also an audience of the then ongoing assembly,felt pity for those leaders who were facing negative gestures as everyone was supportive of the same set of demands as Mujib himself.
Goon was part of the boisterous protests that broke out next day night after the news of assassination of Jahirul Haq,one of those convicted in the Agartala Conspiracy Case,was broadcasted on radio.The protests lasted all night and till next day.The body of the martyr was rallied upto Azimpur graveyard.Houses of several ministers were burned.The situation became so unwieldy that military had to be deployed to bring the situation under control.Finally Ayub Khan was compelled to succumb to the demands of protestors.He acceded to release Mujib and all other political prisoners,retract martial law and reestablish rights of citizens. The round table conference of Rawalpindi was now to be held to be held 19 th March and Mujib was given permission to attend the same. For all the then ongoing chaos the conference was already delayed by two days by this decision; and finally it got tarried upto 26th March.
On 21st February, one day before release of Shekh Mujibur Rahman and all other political prisoners, Goon along with many other poets recited out their self composed poems to the crowd of students from a stage set below the banyan groove at Bangla Academy.The crowd of students heard with forbearance two consequent recitations of Goon before complementing him with ovation. Two of Goon’s poems that he recited out there were “Gonotontro” (which means “Democracy” in English) and “Premangshur Rokto Chai”.The stage of bountiful poets was under chairmanship of poet Sikandar Abu Jafar.
On 22nd February, after being behind bars for an eon of 33 months, Shekh Mujibur Rahman and those convicted in Agartala Conspiracy Case were all able to see the light of the day. Mujib was rallied on a truck from his Dhanmondi residence upto Shaheed Minar where he payed homage to martyrs of 21st February 1952. From there he went on to the grave of Jahirul Haq at Azimpur Graveyard and then to the mausoleums of A K Fazlul Haq, Shahrawurdy and Khwaja Nizamuddin and payed his reverence to them all and finally went to the house of Jahirul Haq to meet the family members of the martyr. He couldn’t attend the hundreds of thousands of people at the Polton Ground that day who were also awaiting with enthusiasm to get a glimpse of him.The other acquitted members of the now recanted Agartala Conspiracy case were still greeted with uttermost reverence at the same venue.Goon was also among the people who went to Polton Ground in vain that day to get a glimpse of Mujib.That day Mujib also vowed to attend Round Table Conference if permitted.
Next day on 23rd February Goon made it early to the Race Course ground,the largest ground of Dacca,to get a glimpse of Mujib.
Abul Hasan differed with Goon in outlook towards politics.Hasan perceived politics as an execrable inscrutable and inane philosophy. But Goon had a bent towards politics.Both were adamant in their views in regard to politics although they enjoyed heated discussion with each other in this regard.Goon could ascribe Hasan’s erstwhile composed poem “Oshobbho Dorshon” (which means “uncivilized philosophy” in English) to his own natural predilection towards politics. Yet, even after being so apolitical,Hasan had a core of compassion towards Mujibur Rahman,Mujib’s birthplace Tungipara being just five miles from his native village. Needless to say that despite not accompanying Goon at the rally towards race course;Hasan was still there with Goon to listen to the Race Course ground speech of Shekh Mujibur Rahman.Mujib was honoured there by the Central Student’s Revolutionary Organization and after end of his heart touching spontaneous speech he was exalted to the title of “Bangabandhu”(which means “friend of Bengal” in English),the name with which he is now known more popularly,with utter buttress of the ocean of one million people who had greeted with ovation his historic 23 rd February speech.Goon stipulates in his autobiography that it seemed to him as if the ground of Race Course was waiting all these years for this day.It was the largest crowd gathering in the history of Dacca, Bengal and the Indian subcontinent as a whole till 1967 as per Goon’s autobiography “Amar Kanthshwar” and Ittefak journal’s 24th February 1969 report.
On the night of 24 th February,the day when Mujib left for Rawalpindi to attend the round table conference, Goon saw, for the first time,
the veteran Communist leader of East Bengal Moni Singha whom he had always pined to see.Known more popularly as the Moniraj , the nephew of the landlord king Shunshunga, he was known for his adamant sedition to execution of communal and religiously partial laws in East Bengal even in those days when Communist party was banned in the Islamic Republic.He refused to flee West Bengal and kept absconding from home to home fighting for the cause of the poor,the impoverished and the underprivileged.
On 25 th February, when Bangabandhu was engrossed in discussions with DAC leaders about propounding his six point demand and eleven point demand of the students, the All Party Student’s Revolutionary Organization publicly honoured Moni Singha and all the rest of those exculpated in the Agartala Conspiracy case at the Polton Ground.Goon was there too witnessing the remunerative ceremony.Most of the people in the ground were seeing their familiar leader Moni Singha for the first time.He was a Robin Hood absconding from home to home and fighting for the cause of the poor before being arrested and put behind bars.
Before leaving for Lahore on 24th February for the round table conference;Mujib stressed on the need to legalize Communist Party to allow them into mainstream Pakistani politics.By telling this he had alluded to his desire to bring Moni Singha to the round table conference.
The round table conference was chaired by Ayub Khan on 26th February and again after Eid on 10th & 11th March.Out of the six people who sat on the round table with Ayub Khan;four were Bengalis!Zulfikar Ali Bhutto didn’t attend the conference and made all possible attempts to vilify Ayub Khan and the conference.Ayub seemed to have realized that the final solution to widespread agitations and tumult of resentment in Pakistan had to be worked out with Mujib and not Bhutto as the former was much popular than the later.Also Mujib,unlike Bhutto,seemed to rely on Ayub and didn’t press for interim government or abdication of the autocratic Ayub.The son of one of the sitting participants at the round table conference was a classmate of Goon in his school days.On 10th March Mujib propounded the six point and eleven point demand.He objected to the one unit dictarship that empowered the NWFP, Baluchiustan and Sindh provinces more than Punjab and Bengal.The next day Mujib stipulated the causes behind his stands to Ayub.Ayub concluded without taking any final decision on the matter telling that the newly elected Parliament after upcoming elections would talk further on implementing the six point and eleven point demand.Mujib was disheartened to see a section of the Bengali politicians at the conference deprecated the demands he put forward.He felt that Ayub could himself have ceded to the demands had there been no objections. This later became the reason for Mujib estranging himself from Democratic Action Committee.
A few days later on 25 th March Ayub finally abdicated and ceded his position to Yaya Khan under pressure from the later.Yaya imposed Martial law ostracizing all political movements and agitations to eliminate the then prevailing political turbulence and to restore back the normal course of life in Pakistan.But he pledged to soon restore parliamentary democracy and retract military back to the barracks. Although Yaya seemed to have partiality towards Bhutto ;Mujib felt that people’s decisive mandate would eclipse the effect of that partiality.So nothing at that time prompted Mujib to arouse the masses of East Bengal into any consequent rebellion.The martial law,for a temporary epoch,ameliorated the turbulent crisis situation of remonstrances and agitations that had engulfed Pakistan during the last months of Ayub regime.
At this point of time Goon sighed a sigh of relief after letting himself get flowed along with the tide of political movements for last three months.He and Mamun now shifted from the Freeschool Street address to another rented home at Motlab Colony.Abul Hasan and many other poets,who were friends of Goon,have spent nights there with Goon during his stay at the Motlab Colony address.
Goon’s father used to write to him at various address at various points of time but only for just some of them to be received by him.But after Goon having developed a good rapport with Purvi Basu,a student at Pharmacy school of Dacca University whom Goon got know as a story and literature lover after her name and password size picture came out in top ten list in HSc exams with a short note on her below it;Goon’s father used to write letters to him via Purvi.Goon had a soft heart towards her due to she having the title “Basu” as his two personalities of inspiration: scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose and Indian freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose. Goon’s father was also alike him in this regard!Goon broached himself,via a letter to her at her Rokeya hall address of Dacca University,as the editor of Shurjo Foshol asking for a story of her.He also thought of writing a second column of Shurjo Foshol to catch her attention.Goon gradually got so emotionally attached to her that he got disheartened on suddenly knowing one day that she was getting married to his familiar friend and story writer Joytiprokash Dutta. This had distanced Goon from Joytiprokash although the later didn’t know anything about the emotions of the former.But later on Goon was able to accept the reality as fatalism and yet maintain a more than friendship relation with Purvi and make her and Joytiprokash his most regular readers.Goon’s melancholiness of loosing Purvi further aggrandized and enriched his poetic and philosophical thoughts.Sometimes,through Goon’s poems,his compassion towards Purvi also got manifested,of which now the later also got slight insinuation of.Also Goon’s father’s letters to him via Purvi acted as a liaison between Goon and Purvi.This emotional closeness of Goon to Purvi gifted Goon’s father a permanent address to be able to write to Goon.
During the time of Yaya Khan’s martial law Goon went back home for a few days and after returning decided,after an informal discussion with Purvi,to satiate his father’s wish by appearing in BA exams,digressing away from his counterpart Hasan’s “no more exams” policy.He targeted second division but finished third division in BA exams.He was satiated with the achievement of the pass certificate which was,for him as a poet, nothing more than a titular achievement, sending which to his father would reparate his father’s heart of empty and unfulfilled expectations from him.After sending this certificate to his father Goon reverted to his older ways as a poet.Seeing Goon’s natural bent towards argument his father wanted to persuade him via Purvi to start preparation for becoming a barrister.But Goon was utterly disinclined to carry on education any further.
Goon was desperate for being offered a chance to read on radio when he suddenly was summoned to a radio – recitation ceremony “Adhunik Kobita – Koyekti Kanthshwar”,organized by editor of Kanthshwar Abdullah Abu Sayed,where Goon along with four other prominent young generation poets of 60s decade were invited. The others who were invited were Abul Hasan, Abu Kaiser, Humayun Kabir and Humayun Azad.After describing their circuitous outlook and understanding of poetry they all recited their self composed poetry.Goon recited two of his poems “Fuldani” and ” Municipality Truck “.The program was broadcasted that very night and aroused mixed responses.In those days only mostly senior poets were more privileged to be able to recite their poetry on radio.Needless to say that Goon’s father told Goon that he wouldn’t perceive Goon as a great poet unless and until he would hear him reciting on radio.Even after Goon’s that recent recitation;his father rebuked him in a sarcastic letter that he wouldn’t accept him as a great poet unless he recited aside great poets of the time like Sikandar Abu Jafar and Sufia Kamal.His father always disparaged Goon’s aspiration of becoming a poet due poetry always being an inconsistent source of livelihood.
In 1969-70 many of Goon’s poems got published in the journal “Pak Jamuriyat” by his favorite editor Humayun Kadir who lived a life of loneliness bereft of his then estranged wife who had desolated him taking away even their son along with her.Goon’s ties with him gradually got severed during 1971 Bangladesh liberation War.In 1980, three years after his demise, he was honored with Maranuttar Sahitya Puroshkar by the Bangla Academy.
Goon’s poetry also got published in the state owned journal “Pakistani Khobor” which was noted for it’s singular literary section with writings of erstwhile notable poets.
Goon,under editor Gulam Mustafa, also wrote with full liberty the “Autograph Photograph” column of the literary section of the Azad Patrika. Goon’s father came to Netrakona to get a glimpse this column and know about Goon’s thoughts and future plans through his writings.
Later on Goon, following Mustafa’s course, joined the literary section of Purbodesh Patrika.Many prominent writers of that time were also joining “Purbodesh Patrika” at that time which then became a cliche of erstwhile literary gems.These included Mahadeb Saha who made it to Dacca from Rajshahi after being offered the post of assistant editor there.He was introduced to Goon by Malay Bhaumik and soon they became great friends who differed in poetic thoughts and way of living but were alike in views on means and ways of tackling political oppression.
From November 1969 Goon got himself associated with the monthly film journal “Jonaki” during first few incipient months of the journal as it’s editorial adviser and also as a story writer, pen named Subhendu, under his self named column “Foshol Bilashi Hawa” under the journal.Due to Goon joining a film journal;he had then come across many people from the contemporary Bengali film industry like film director Al Mahsud and many others.During this time Goon,along with many other contemporary literary figures,also got busy with remonstrances and rallies against banning of certain books by the then authoritarian Yaya Khan regime.
Goon’s first successful poem was “Hulia”.His friend and counterpart Abul Hasan had initially torn apart the page on which Goon wrote the poem,not being able to accede to or flout away Goon’s singular view of poetry that got manifested through the poem, leaving Goon with no options but to rewrite the poem,although with slight amendations. The poem got published in the “Boi” journal of the National Library.Goon recitated this poem at a poetry recitation assembly of young poets at the National Library on 21st July 1970 were young poets like Abul Hasan, Abu Kaiser and Humayun Kabir also participated.According to Abdul Gaffar Choudhuri’s views on “Hulia”,which he published subsequently in his popular column “Tritio Mot”, the rendition of this poem was a diversion from the plebeian rendition of most poems of contemporary young poets of the time,which were basically centered around society and family all being a mere deceptive illusion eclipsing harsher realities.The poem “Hulia” has the voice of the youth resonating in it’s verses and at the same time stipulates the erstwhile prevalent political scenario.The poem talks about a young man returning to his familiar native village after so long an epoch that no one in the village can recognize him and he has fallen into utter oblivion.Gossips are rife at the moment all around about ;”What will happen to the country? What will Shekh do?”. The boy answers ;”I am ignorant about all the issues rife at the moment. Neither do I want to fathom them.”
The column of Abdul Gaffar Choudhuri was very popular among the readers of the time and gave Goon the initial impetus towards becoming a successful poet.This poetry not only made Goon famous as poet but also allured the first publishing house to his doorstep;i.e Khan Brothers and Co. .
It’s owner Moslem Khan got interested in Goon’s surname,which was the same as that of a former school teacher of him named Munindra Goon,and asked his sons to look for the poet of Hulia.On meeting Goon;Khan not only admired his poem “Hulia” but also came to know of Munindra Goon being Goon’s paternal cousin on asking Goon about association of his that former school teacher to Goon.Poem “Hulia” also caught the eyes of Bangabandhu and and he even wanted to talk to Goon about this poem that he had liked reading so much. But Goon couldn’t give him some time at that point of time.On 25 th March 1971 Goon was on the way to Mujib’s Dhanmondi residence to talk to him about the poem.But that couldn’t ever happen as he came to know at Dhanmondi that the police had arrested Mujib that very day and put him behind bars alleging that Mujib’s statements were instigating divide between the masses of East and West Pakistan.In the poem “Hulia” Goon wrote a line ” Punorbar chini dite esheo Rafeeze amake chinlo na.” ( English translation: Even after coming to give sugar again Rafeeze couldn’t recognize me). He was talking about the central character of the poem who had fallen into oblivion at his own village due to his staying away from home for a grand long epoch.Goon had just mentioned in his poem the very same tea stall of Rafeeze at Barhatta station that was Goon’s familiar place of retreat and rest at his home.But the people from Barhatta who read the poem misconstrued it thinking that Goon was alluding to the fact that he was once unethically ignored by Rafeeze at his tea stall.They assailed Rafeeze about how could he ignore people like Goon.Rafeeze felt so penitent about it that while being apologetic to Goon on seeing him ;he wouldn’t believe Goon’s consoling words that these words were just words of the fictitious central character of his fictitious poem and that they weren’t alluding to any real life experience of Goon with Rafeeze.Goon had to have tea at his stall against the interests of his degenerated health,which was the veritable reason for his homecoming.He had to behave ostentatiously to show to Rafeeze that he had forgotten and forgiven him in regard to this incident of being ignored by Rafeeze,that virtually hadn’t even materialized ever.The best part of the hilarity is that soon the rumor spread of Goon having condoned Rafeeze in a matter of unethically being ignored by Rafeeze at his tea stall.No one except Goon knew that the matter of being ignored was just a fictitious part of his poetry and that it had no resemblance to any real life incident sustained by him till date.
While being regular writer for Jonaki journal, during his time at Dhaka University,Goon joined as sub editor at the English journal “The People”.It was the first press to be opened in the region of Shahbaag.His partiality, predilection and politeness towards poetry and the huge acclaim of his poem Hulia succored Goon in bagging this prolific profession with a stable and moderately bountiful stipend that obviated his need of staying with Mamun.Goon now shifted from the Motlab home to a solely self rented and more voluminous home at Green Lane in New Polton Line, slept in self purchased bulky pillows and ate on glittering self purchased plates; thanks to his vicissitude.He had predilection towards night shift duties.He choose to work at “The People” journal,which was initially a weekly journal but later became a monthly one after 14 th August 1970,due to it being at close proximity to the Dhaka University.Goon lived around that location for more than thirty years.His poems “Green Lane e Ratri” and “Bhara barir Golpo” have scrupulous descriptions of that locality.Soon the mess of his new address became the rendezvous of many erstwhile contemporary notable poets including Abul Hasan. Goon was frequent to the house of Mahadeb Saha who, quite recently after him,had shifted to a home in the near vicinity of Goon’s new address.Goon’s new locality was also close to the Azimpur graveyard.That’s why these lines once came to his mind while staying there ;
“Koborer pase theke hoy gechi nijei kobor;
Saheeder pase theke hoy gechi nijei saheed.”
( English translation:
I have transmuted into a grave living aside grave ;
I have transmuted into a martyr living aside martyr.)
; which alludes to the grave of Jahirul Haq at the Azimpur graveyard.
The green lane,Goon felt, was too narrow and shabby for such a grand name. Goon felt like one of his favorite Russian poets Vladimir Vladimovich Mayakovoski who also lived in such a narrow locality of Moscow during times of Russian Revolution.He felt that he too could, like Mayakovoski, become the poet of a revolution if ever Russian Revolution sort of revolution broke out in Dhaka.He felt if his this home too could be turned into a museum dedicated to him after his demise as was done in case of Mayakovoski.He enjoyed thinking about this simile of congruence between Mayakovoski and him in his such a visionary future that could comply to his own accord. These thoughts were just figments of imagination of his fictitious mind as a poet.
At Azimpur Government New Market the more economical Monico restaurant,the more expensive Liberty Cafe and also sometimes the Ujjwala restaurant also became rendezvous for evening chats and gossips for Goon and other contemporary poets like Humayun Kabir, Humayun Azad, Abul Hasan, Helal Hafeez,Ashim Saha, Abul Kashem and many more.This cult was alike that of occasional morning breakfast chatting of Goon and Hasan at Sharif’s canteen;although here it happened daily,and not occasionally,and with the participation of myriad of contemporary poets,and not just two or three of them.In his autobiography Amar Kanthshwar Goon talks about a waiter named Rafiq who, inspired by Goon and his friends from the poetic world,begins to write poetry and also gets them published at poetry journals.
Many a times Goon and all other friends of his literary circle assembled and sat in the grassy lawn of Dacca’s Central Library (now merged with the then adjacent Dacca University Library) to listen to Ashim Saha singing Kirtans. At times on evenings during summer months Goon and others of his poetry circle used to sit down in small groups and discuss about literary and political developments in East Bengal and abroad at a park inside the New Market area that now houses a mosque.
The surge of secular Bengali nationalism under leadership of Bangabandhu Shekh Mujibur Rahman succored the growth of secular Bengali Literature in Dacca and eliminated all forms of communal literary development.Within literary circle of Indian state of West Bengal and Calcutta this growth arouse a greater interest towards literary figures and literary developments of East Bengal.Although mutual growth of Bengali literature of East and West Bengal had been happening since from much earlier times;the surge of Bengali nationalism provided impetus to the same to such an extent that literary figures on both sides of the border were now avid for greater cultural exchange and there initiated emulation of even the bohemian lifestyle of poets among poets on both sides of Bengal.In order to cater to the literary demands of the milieu of this firmer mutual literary growth; contemporary prominent poets of West Bengal like Shakti Chattopadhyay wrote editions like “Purbo Banglar Sreshtho Kobita”
(English translation:Notable poems of East Bengal) and “Dui Banglar Adhunik Kobita” (English translation: Modern poetry of both Bengals).Shakti seeked Goon’s poem “Hulia”,via a letter to the later,to be able to publish it in his “Purbo Banglar Sreshtho Kobita” edition and thus,through this,Goon’s world of poetry gradually got broached to the poetry lovers of West Bengal.
Goon wrote the poem “Joler Shongshar” in the context of 1970 floods of East Bengal that tarried the elections, earlier declared to be held on 5th and 22nd October for National Assembly and provincial assemblies respectively after declaration of one person one vote Legal Framework Order on 30th March 1970, to 7th December and 19th December for National Assembly and provincial assemblies respectively.
Goon also wrote lyrics for a few songs at a function of Mustafizur Rahman and also for the theme song of a film “Shurjo Shongram”, that was sung by the erstwhile most renowned singer of East Bengal Firdousi Rahman at a recording studio at Indira Road in Dacca.
All day and night Goon was busy getting published his first poetry compilation through Khan Brothers and Co. while the whole East Bengal was engrossed in matters of the then upcoming elections,all chances of procrastination of which due to 1970 cyclone had been successfully stymied by Awami League.
Starting with “Hulia” and ending with ” Lojja “; the whole compilation named “Premangshur Rokto Chai”,acknowledged by Goon to his father,was the first poetry compilation of not only him but also of his generation of poets that got published.Individual poems were acknowledged to Abul Hasan,Purvi,Sayyad Kadir,Shaheed Qadri and Mamun Rashid. Purvi and her husband had suggested Goon to keep the name of the compilation as “Premangshur Rokto Chai” over “Hulia” and all other names Goon was otherwise thinking of.Seeing the name of the compilation and also the picture of Goon at the prologue of the compilation;many people initially perceived the work to be a detective story book.But on getting to know it,on the contrary to their presumption,as a compilation of poetry;some got disheartened and others began to read the poems with greater enthusiasm,thus evoking mixed responses.On the second half of November 1970;one thousand two hundred and fifty copies of the book were released.Each copy was sold for three Taka.The book was commercially successful at the market and the pleased publisher gave Goon 100 Taka in advance with 12.5 percent royalty.
So much time has elapsed and the now antiquated technology,used by publishers of those days,were gradually eliminated and superceded in the last three decades by the modern computer systems.But yet those obsolete press technologies continue to remain an integral part of poetic nostalgia that gets manifested through autobiographies of poets like “Amar Kanthshwar” of Nirmalendu Goon.
Since Premangshur Rokto Chai in 1970 Goon has written and published 45 collections of poetry and twenty collections of prose.Being part of the 1960 generation of poets Goon’s poetry contains sarcastic castigations of the newly rich stratum and a touching description of the contrasting fate of masses.A love for liberty and trust in human spirit meanders through his course of poetry. Being a staunch Marxists Goon has written poems on insurrection of poor and the underprivileged against the rich and the affluent.
His has written poems on prominent personalities like Lenin, Rabindranath Tagore,Shakti Chattopadhyay and Shekh Mujibur Rahman,most prominent of which is the poem “Swadhinota ei sobdo ti ki bhabe amader holo” that limns scrupulously the 7 th March 1971 speech of Shekh Mujibur Rahman at Race Course ground of Dacca.In 1975 Goon was one of the few valiant personalities to openly castigate the brutal assassination of Shekh Mujibur Rahman, and that too at a point of time when even uttering of Mujib’s name was ostracized by then Bangladeshi authorities.
The Library of Congress of Washington DC has a collection of 37 titles by Goon.In 1982 Goon was awarded Bangla Academy Literary Award.In 2001 Goon was awarded the second highest civilian award of Bangladesh “Ekhushey Padak” by then Prime Minister of Bangladesh Begum Khaleda Zia.Goon’s solo painting exhibition opened up in July 2009 at Shahbaag in Dacca.Goon and his daughter Mrittika were among the five Bangladeshi poets who participated in the Gothenburg Book Fair 2013 in Sweden with their publications.In 2016 Goon was awarded the highest civilian award of Bangladesh “Swadhinota Podok” by incumbent Prime minister of Bangladesh Shekh Hashina.On 18th November 2017 Goon was an honorary guest at a citizen’s rally organized at Shahrawurdy Udyan (formerly known as the Polton Ground) by Prime minister of Bangladesh Shekh Hashina,marking the UNESCO recognition of 7 th March speech of country’s founding president Shekh Mujibur Rahman few days prior to that day on 30 October.From 2016 to 2018 Goon founded the Kobita Kunjo at Malini in Netrakona on the banks of Mogra River that’s now an agglomeration of poetry and literary works by poets and writers from all across the world.During that epoch he also shifted to his home on the banks of Buriganga river at Kamrangichar in Dacca.He named his home “Buriganga” after the river itself!From mid-2017 to mid-2018 Goon released the complete compilation of all his lifetime literary works in ten volumes,the first two copies of the forth volume of which he gifted to the incumbent president of Bangladesh Janab Abdul Hamid and Sri Pranab Mukherjee in presence of Prime minister of Bangladesh Shekh Hashina at Bangabhaban, the presidential palace of Bangladesh,during Mukherjee’s stately visit to Bangladesh in January 2018.
He has met prominent international personalities like incumbent Prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and incumbent Prime minister of India Narendra Modi at Dacca and renowned Oscar winning director cum writer Satyajit Ray at Calcutta.He has also been to places worldwide to attend literary conferences including India, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam,Australia and United States.He was a great friend of renowned Bengali writer from West Bengal Sunil Gangopadhyay.
In 2018 a film called “Kalo Megher Vela, based on a novel by Goon of the very same name and directed by his daughter Mrittika Goon,got certified in Best Family /Children Film category of Calcutta International Cult Film Festival before making it to SAARC film festival at Colombo the very same year.
The story is centred around a boy named Dukhu who looses his father at at a very early age. Dukhu’s life of harshness and miseries at Dacca railway station terminates as he is compelled to forsake his caring and affectionate mother to avert the brutal atrocities of his step-father.He, dissembled as an orphan,starts working in a village were he encounters a sage who helps him live a more free life by unfettering him of family bondage and love for mother.
Goon wrote three autobiographical books named Amar Chelebela, Amar Kanthshwar and Atma Kotha 1971 on advice of Abdullah Abu Sayed, the editor of Kanthshwar.
Amar Chelebela deals with first sixteen years of Goon’s life before his matriculation exams.The book also contains vivid descriptions of Goon’s own maternal ancestral home at Ashtagram in Kishoreganj.Amar Kanthshwar deals with Goon’s gradual upsurge in the world of poetry.Atma Kotha 1971 is a book dedicated to the year of liberation of Bangladesh and Goon’s life history that meandered in it’s own course alongside the historical timeline of Bangladesh liberation War.A small blog on second edition of Amar Kanthshwar was published in Calcutta based monthly magazine Desh in November 1995.
Notable works of Goon include Premāṃśura rakta cāi (1970),Nā premika, nā biplabi (1972),Caitrera bhālobāsa (1975),Tāra āge cāi samājatantra (1979),Pr̥thibījoṛā gāna (1982),Dūra ha duḥśāsana (1983),Cirakālera bām̐śi (1986),Nirañjanera pr̥thibi (1986),Nirguṇera jārṇāla (1987),Nirmalendu Guṇera premera kabita (1987),Nirmalendu Guṇera rājanaitika kabitā (1989),Yakhana āmi bukera pān̐jara khule dān̐rāi(1989),Dhābamāna hariṇera dyuti (1992),Kābyasamagra (1992-1993)Gīnasabārgera saṅge (1994), Ānandaudyāna (1995),Pañcāśa sahasra barsha (1995),Priẏa nārī hārāno kabitā (1996),Gadyasamagra (1997),Raktajharā Nabhembara 1975 (1997),Śaktismr̥ti o anyānya (1997),Śiẏare Bāṃlādeśa (1998),Nāma diẏechi bhālobāsa (1998),Nirbācita (2000),Racanā 2000 (2001),Selected poems of Nirmalendu Goon (2001),Muthophone’r Kabbo (2003), Bhrami deśe deśe (2004),Atma Katha 1971 (2008),Mujibmongol (2012) and Cricket Shomogro (2012).
Goon has a daughter named Mrittika, who is a journalist, poet and film director, and a grandson named Siddharta Bhattacharya.
Even now,when Goon is in his heyday,he still reckons his old companions and benefactors who helped him at various stages of his life.
He made it to the house of his younger sister Sonali at Durgapur and also to the house of his younger maternal uncle Asit Ranjan Dutta Roy at Belghoria in Calcutta whenever he came to Durgapur or Calcutta to attend the Banga sammelan,which is a summit of prominent literary figures from East and West Bengal, till they both deceased away in 2004 and 2017 respectively.He maintains good rapport with his elder niece Tumpa (daughter of his now deceased elder brother),his half brothers Niharendu and Shiblendu and his half sister Jhillika.He has donated voluminous funds for development of his ancestral village at Kashbon.He tries his level best to send a copy of his published books to as many relatives as possible.He also loves to spend time with his grandson Siddharta.Even his such myriad of success stories have proved themselves to be abortive in purging his benevolent mind of all childhood family nostalgia.
1)Wikipedia articles ( United Bengal, 1970 Pakistan General Elections, History of Bangladesh)
2)Amar Kanthshwar by Nirmalendu Goon
3)Authentic family sources