Today marks the 18th death anniversary of notable Bangladeshi poet Abu Zafar Obaidullah. On this day of 2001, he left his last breath in Dhaka at the age of 67. He is the composer of the first anthology of Ekushey "Kono Ek Ma-key" ("To a Mother"). He was a senior government official, minister, songwriter and poet.
Poet Abu Zafar Obaidullah was born on 8 February 1934 in Barisal district. He is a prominent person in post-47 Bengali literature. After the division of subcontinent in 1947, he roamed in the poetical ground which was created by the prominent writers like Farrukh Ahmed, Abul Hossain, Ahsan Habib. But his journey was never smooth. The country`s division, the consciousness of the new nationalism and the absence of that spirit, stroked his poetic heart. He expressed his immense pain in his poetry. Instead of the excitement of achieving a new state after 1947, he focused on the story of Bengal`s misery in his writing.
Abu Zafar Obaidullah was originally a poet of 50s. In the 1950s, he became the poet and published his first book `Satnari Har` (1955). Hasan Hafizur Rahman`s inspiration behind his writings was outstanding. His poems are pronounced from every Shaheed Minar in the country on the Language Martyr Day. For poetry, he chose a classical fable of rhyme and poetry. For this reason, from the very beginning, he was separate and distinct from other fellow poets of 50s. Obaidullah was an innovator in terms of both the style and subject matter. He frequently wrote about ordinary people and their lives and dreams, as well as Bangladesh`s Liberation War.
Although he has published himself in the folk style, in his poetry there was no shortage of modernity and modern poetry. He spoke folk tales and lyrics, but his consciousness clearly represented the mind of a modern man. Although his first poem was published in 1955, his second poem `Kokhono Rong Kokhono Shoor` was published in 1970 after a long break. Then, in 1974, his ‘Kamol-er Chokh` came out. His most popular poem ` Aami Kingbodontir Kathaa Bolchi` was published in 1981. Originally this poem was the turning point of Abu Zafar Obaidullah`s poetic career.
Abu Zafar Obaidullah has been a significant contributor to every movement of Bangladesh. He received Ekushey Padak, Bangla Academy Literary Award for his special contribution in composing poetry. He founded "Padaboli" which became the leading poetry movement of Bangladesh in the 1980s. Obaidullah was one of the pioneers of the Dhaka-centric group theatre movement that originated in the 1950s. Along with Syed Maksudus Saleheen, Taufiq Aziz Khan and Bazlul Karim he established Drama Circle in 1956.
He was born and brought up in the British era, had his youth in Pakistan era and had his consequences, and successful end in the independent Bangladesh. On his 18th death anniversary, we remember this legendary poet with great respect.
Bangla Insider/ SM