The 'bookworm' in full form- Abdullah Abu Sayeed turns 72
In addition to the rendition of songs by young members of Bishwa Sahitya Kendra's study circle, Abdullah Abu Sayeed's refreshingly witty and at times sarcastic remarks made the hot and humid evening of July 25 rather enjoyable.
The event held at the new building of Bishwa Sahitya Kendra in Dhaka marked the 72nd birthday of the eminent educationist, known appropriately as the “bookworm”.
The multifaceted genius, who taught for 30 years (1962-1992), had earned considerable level of recognition as a successful teacher. He had also made significant contributions to the literary movement in the 1960s. He promoted young writers through the literary journal Kanthashwar -- of which he was the editor.
The body (27 books in total) of his poems, essays, short stories, plays, translations, and biographical writing is formidable. He had also hosted many educational TV shows.
For his contribution to the field of education, he had been honoured with National TV award (1977), Mahbub Ullah Trust Award (1998), Ramon Magsaysay Award (2004) and Ekushey Padak (2005), among others.
For over the last four decades Sayeed has been generating campaigns to grow the habit of reading. He set on the mission in 1968 through a study circle with an aim to create a literary movement. The movement hiccupped at the beginning due to political turmoil of 1969. However, it could not restrain the determination of Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed to reach his goal.
He started the campaign again, organising another study circle in the early 1970s. Subsequently he formed Biswa Shahitya Kendra in 1978, the organisation that provides Bangla classics and Bangla translation of the world classics to over 2.5 lakh people at present. Sayeed has been employing most of his time and energy to Bishwa Sahitya Kendra as an organiser for the last 28 years.
The most remarkable aspect of the evening was the enthusiasm of the young members of Bishwa Sahitya Kendra. They received the professor with bouquets of flower and a decorated paper crown. Promising singers and reciters of Bishwa Sahitya Kendra rendered songs and read out excerpts from Sayeed's writings.
The programme began with a rendition of “Alo Amar Alo”. Members of Bishwa Sahitya Kendra study circle -- Afrin, Shurabhi, Rewage and Jewel -- rendered “Ami Takhon Chhilem Mogon Gohon Ghumer Ghore”, “Mon Mor Megher Shangi”, “Akashe Aaj Chharitye Dilem” and other songs. The programme wrapped up with a chorus “Dao Shourjo, Dao Dhairjo”.