Today marks the 45th death anniversary of prominent author, journalist, travel enthusiast, academician, scholar and linguist Syed Mujtaba Ali. He died on this day of 1974 in Dhaka at the age of 69.
Syed Mujtaba Ali was born on September 13, 1904 in Karimganj, Sylhet district of the then Assam Province. Because of his father`s transferable job, he had his primary education in different educational institutions. From his childhood, Mujtaba Ali was meritorious, agile and studious. When Biswa Kabi Rabindranath Tagore came to Sylhet in 1919, Syed Mujtaba Ali received his special favor and became his fan. He was interested to study in Shanti Niketan, and in 1921 he was admitted to the Visva-Bharati University. From there he learned Sanskrit, English, Hindi, Arabic, Persian, Gujarati, French, German and Italian language.
At one stage of his education, he went to Kabul with a job in Afghanistan`s education department. During his career, Mujtaba Ali joined the Boroda College as a professor of comparative religion theory at the invitation of Maharaja of Boroda. He did journalism for some time in Ananda Bazar magazine. At that time, he used to write columns in the newspapers like Anand Bazar, Desh, Satyajug, ShonibarerChithy, Basumati by using the pseudonym Satyapir, Omar Khayyam, Tekchand, Priyodarshi. He joined as a Principal of Azizul Haque College, Bogra in 1949. In addition to teaching for some time in the University of Kolkata, he also taught at Visva-Bharati for some time. He also worked as a station director of All India Radio for some time.
Syed Mujtaba Ali wrote various stories of the bizarre patterns. He was particularly skilled in writing comic essays. He travelled a lot, and his real experiences were highlighted by humor. Overall, he was popular and appreciated in both parts of the Bengal. Among his notable literary works, Deshe Bideshe, Panchatantra, ChachaKahini, JaleDangay, Dhupchhaya, Shabnam, Chaturanga, Shreshtha Galpa, Tuni Maam, Mayur Kanti, and Dhup Shaya are the notable ones.
He was awarded various awards for his outstanding contributions to literature. Among them Narsing Das Award, Ananda Puraskar and Ekushey Padak (posthumous) are notable.
Syed Mujtaba Ali`s life was full of diverse experiences. Varied experience of his own life has been reflected in his works. He usually accepts verses and metaphors from different languages. And through this, deeper lifestyle has been beautifully sparked in his writings.
On the death anniversary of this outstanding genius of Bangla literature, we remember him with deep reverence.