** Excessive fuel price hike causing terrible hardship yet govt admits no regret ** Bangladesh received $732m loan from IMF as balance-of-payment aid for Covid ** A group of students holds a sit-in programme by tying black clothes over their faces in front of the Petrobangla building at Karwan Bazar on Wednesday to protest against the fuel price hike and demand the resignation of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) Chairman ABM Azad. NN photo ** ‘Hike in fuel price could have been avoided’ ** Finance minister warns on BRI loans from China ** The major rivers in Barishal division flow over the danger level that causes inundation in most of the areas of Barishal city. The photo was taken from Vola Kheyaghat area of Tetulia River on Wednesday. NN photo ** BD did not ask Swiss banks for its citizens' deposited money : Swiss envoy ** Dollar soars to record Tk 119 in kerb market ** Dysfunctional referral system creates anarchy in medical services ** Health ministry's TC law strengthening initiatives welcomed ** Forget western sanctions on Myanmar, instead, think of an emergency govt to save us from impending catastrophe ** Young man set his motorcycle on fire after getting angry with traffic sergeant ** Vehicles get stuck on Dhaka-Chattogram Highway at Gouripur, Daudkandi Upazila in Cumilla on Monday morning as a long tailback was created on the road due to heavy pressure of vehicles, causing immense sufferings to the commuters. NN photo ** Dollar rate hits all time high at Tk 115 in kerb mkt ** RMG sector loses bargaining power ** US Senate clears landmark climate change bill ** Rape, robbery in running bus on the rise ** Holy Ashura today ** Country takes on more reserve fattening World Bank loans ** Launches remain anchored at Daulatdia ferry ghat in Rajbari on Saturday due to lack of passengers. NN photo ** City buses overcharge passengers defying govt order ** NBR yet to receive any instruction for tax cut on fuel import ** People to bear the brunt ** Low, middle income earners puzzled to bear family cost ** Gang raped on running bus: 5 held in Gazipur **

Poet Abu Zafar Obaidullah

21 February 2020
Poet Abu Zafar Obaidullah

Aminur Rahman :
Abu Zafar Obaidullah was a (1934-2001) poet, litterateur and civil servant. Born on 8 February 1934 in Baherchar-Kshudrakathi village under Babuganj upazila of Barisal, he got his primary education in Mymensingh where his father, Abdul Jabbar Khan, had been working as a District Judge. He passed Matriculation Examination from Mymensingh Zilla School in 1948 and the Intermediate of Arts Examination from Dhaka College in 1950. After the completion of BA (Hons.) and Masters of Arts in English in 1953 and 1954 respectively, Obaidullah joined the Dhaka University as a Lecturer in the Department of English.
But he left teaching to join the Pakistan Civil Service in 1957. After retirement from Civil Service, Obaidullah became a Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources in 1982 and Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States of America in 1984. He joined the FAO as the Deputy Director General for Asia-Pacific in 1992 and later he became its Director General. He retired from the FAO job in 1997.
As a poet, he belongs to both modernist and post-modernist schools of literature. According to literary Critics, his literary creations transcended the limits set by the early modern poets like Jibanananda Das, Buddhadev Bose and Sudhindranath Datta, Shamsur Rahman, Syed Ali Ahsan and Al Mahmud.
In his poems, Obaidullah successfully tried to portray sentiments and emotions elicited by the pains of Pakistan, the Language Movement and the War of Liberation. His famous sentimental poem Kono ek ma-ke (Ode to a Mother) is frequently recited in functions on the occasion of the 21st of February, the International Mother Language Day.
Obaidullah got literary acclaim for his poems Ami kingbodontir kotha bolchhi and Kumro phule phule nuye porechhe lotata.
The first poem that depicts the culture of Bangladesh draws images and symbolisms from the nature and life of the country.
The second poem is a mournful presentation of how a mother awaits for her son, who has not returned home at the close of the eventful day of Language Movement in 1952, the 21st of February. His Shaatnori Haar, the first collection of poems, was written in the style of old Bangla ballads.
A quintessential poet, Obaidullah was awarded the Ekushey Padak for his contributions to the Language Movement and also to its literature. In recognition of his contribution to Bangla literature, he was honoured with the Bangla Academy Award (1979).
His important literary works include Kokhono Rong Kokhono Sur; Komol-er Chokh; Ami Kingbodontir Kotha Bolchhi; Shohishnu Protiksa; Bristi Ebong Sahosi Purus-er Jonyo Prarthona, Aamar Somoy (1987), Aamar Sokol Kotha (1993), and Khanchar Bhitor Ochin Pakhi.
Worth mentioning among his books published in English are Yellow Sands’ Hills, China through Chinese Eyes, Rural Development Problems and Prospects, Creative Development, Food and Faith.  
Abu Zafar Obaidullah was the founder the Padabali, forum for the poets, which in the 1980s arranged sessions of poetry recital for visitors on payment of admission fee.
Abu Zafar Obaidullah breathed his last in Dhaka on 19 March 2001.

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