Rare talented poet Bande Ali Mia
By Faruque Ahamed
Literary poet Bande Ali Mia is immortal in world literature. Reading his valuable works creates a unique pattern across the sky of the mind.
Poet Bande Ali Mia has written books on a wide range of topics including songs, stories, poems, plays, novels, essays, plays, lyric design, fairy tales, biographies, endless compositions for children and memoirs. His unique efforts in the service of literature have made Bengal a success. His poetry and children’s literature has illuminated the whole of Bengal in a new light. Yet he remained in oblivion. Why is he hiding even though he is very relevant today? His answer is still elusive. The writer who fills the mind with joy, that writer is neglected but who is not sad! Little by little, we are forgetting the famous poet. Where is his practice in Bengal? This famous poet Bratya is leaving the textbook day after day. These poets inspire children and adults to come forward in the pursuit of new literature. Poet Bande Ali Mia is one of the rare poets and writers who have been neglected and forgotten. It’s time to dump her and move on. Let the books written by him be republished. The West Bengal Bangla Academy took the initiative to publish his entire work. Poet readers now want to get the poet on one cover. His literary creation fascinates us. I am mentioning the names of some books. Hopefully, readers’ minds will be filled. Reading the book written by this poet increases the expansion of the mind, and one can rise in eternal love.
Bande Ali Mia was born on 15 December 1908 in the village of Radhanagar in Bangladesh. Father Munshi Umed Ali Mia and mother Nekjan Nesa were passionate about education. Bande Ali Mia was one of the rare geniuses and all the village poets in Bengali literature. He thinks that his mother’s contribution is the greatest for him to reach the heights in literature. Bande Ali Mia was growing up hearing endless stories and fairy tales from his mother’s mouth. At the beginning of life, traditional education was taught at home. A few years later, Bande Ali Mia was admitted to the Majumdar Academy in Pabna, Bangladesh. After completing his primary and secondary education, he enrolled in painting at the Indian Art Academy in Calcutta in 1923. Bande Ali Mia passed the first division in 1928 with the degree of painting. While studying in 1925, he worked as a journalist for ‘Islam Darshan’ for some time. From that time onwards, he began to devote himself to the pursuit of literature. The poet’s first poem was published while he was in ninth grade. His first book ‘Chor Jamai’ was published in 1926. This is a children’s book. His career began as a teacher in 1929 at the Calcutta Corporation School. The first novel was published in 1931 under the title ‘Basanta Jagrat Dware’. His first book of poetry ‘Mainamati Char’ was published in 1932. All the poems in his first book of poetry fascinated the reader. The book of poetry also cuts the scars in the minds of literary critics. At that time, he came to the center of the discussion. The writings of Bande Ali Mia began to be published in various periodicals alongside the established ones. After reading the poem ‘Mainamati Char’, world poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote a letter to poet Bande Ali Mia praising him highly. Rabindranath Tagore wrote at the end of the letter, ‘I think you have occupied your special place in Bengali literature.’ That assessment of the world poet is successful. He got a great encouragement in his writing life.
In 1932, another of his books of poetry, Anurag, was published. Then the poet did not have to look back. Poetry books like ‘Swapnasadhe’, ‘Mrigapari’, ‘Boka Jamai’, ‘Leelakamal’, ‘Kamal Ataturk’, ‘Madhumati Char’ etc. started to be published continuously. The poet gained fame in teaching as well as in art. He used to draw pictures to expose the huge canvas of the mind. He has also painted a lot of professional pictures from the cover of the book.
In 1947, partition divided the poet. Eventually he left Calcutta and went to his village. Back in Bangladesh, he became unemployed. He started making a living by writing books and drawing pictures. Ali Mia could not accept the partition of the country. At that time he broke down in deep pain. He wanted to unite the two Bengalis. Our chin gets wet with tears when we read the literature written by him in an attempt to reconcile the two Bengalis. The poet used to edit children’s magazines called ‘Kishore Parag’ and ‘Gyanbarta’. Although famous as a poet, he has made strong strides in almost all aspects of literature. But we are not turning away from the benefits of his literary service! Such powerful poets and writers have rarely emerged in Bengali literature. Reading his books ‘Padmanadir Char’, ‘Dibaswapna’, ‘Taser Ghar’, ‘Moner Mayur’, ‘Nirbhrast’, ‘Daini Boo’, ‘Rupakatha’, ‘Aranya Godhuli’, the sky of the mind is not enriched! When he was working in radio, he won the hearts of children named Golpadadu. Because, a program called ‘Sabuj Mela’ was broadcast on the radio for the children.
The poet himself used to fascinate everyone by telling useful stories to make the event more interesting to fill the minds of the children. As a result, the radio program ‘Sabuj Mela’ became very popular.
He received the Presidential Award in 1965 while serving.
His book ‘Dakshin Diganta’ was published in 1968. ‘Kathika O Kahini’ and ‘Dharitri’ were later published. The poet has also made a special contribution in composing plays. He has gifted the readers of ‘Baudidir Restaurant’, ‘Jowar-Bhata’, ‘Gadha Hakim’, ‘Uday Prabhat’ and fourteen other high quality plays. He was also good at creating comedy. Some of his children’s biographies are equally relevant today. I believe that by reading all these books, children and all misguided people will get the logistics to become ideal people. For example– ‘Hazrat Abu Bakkar’, ‘Hazrat Omar Farooq’, ‘Haji Mohsin’, ‘Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’, ‘Children’s Sirajdaullah’, ‘Bijnanacharya Jagadish Chandra Bose’, ‘Mir Mosharraf Hossain’, ‘Children’s Columbus’, ‘Children’s Abraham’ Notable in the context of books like ‘Lincoln’, ‘Children’s Suhrawardy’, ‘Mahatma Gandhi’, ‘Begum Rokeya’, ‘Hitler’, ‘Rabeya Basri’, ‘Saratchandra’ etc. We cannot help but be enriched by reading his fairy tales. He was a man of many talents. He was also skilled in composing music.
Notable among his songbooks are ‘Kal Geeti’, ‘Surlila’ etc. As we find in his songbooks, there are country songs, mystic songs, and laughter songs. Famous artists have given melody and voice to his songs. He has written stories, poems, plays, novels, essays, plays, lyric designs, fairy tales, biographies, short stories, and many books for children.
His poems and children’s literature have illuminated the whole of Bengal in a new light, just as he has directed the path of literature.
Yet the poet remained in the background of disrespectful oblivion due to our wrong steps. Where is his practice in West Bengal? Poet Bratya is also leaving the textbook. Mamata Banerjee’s government should be a little more aware of the poet Bande Ali Mia. The Chief Minister of West Bengal has taken the right initiative with the national poet of Bangladesh Kazi Nazrul Islam. Kazi Nazrul Islam is building a university, Nazrul Tirtha and Kazi Nazrul Islam Academy in his name. The Bengali society has to come forward in search of the dignity of the poet Bande Ali Mia. In fact, I think it is important to practice Ali Mia as a poet from house to house. Poet Bande Ali Mia has made great literary pursuits. Here I have made a sincere attempt to highlight a few aspects of the eternal creation of his life. This effort will be successful if it is evaluated in the right way. Poet Bande Ali Mia passed away on 16 June 1969 in Rajshahi. His valuable literary work has already enriched the repertoire of Bengali literature. Poet Ali Mia has spread all over the world due to his strong and literary writing.
Bande Ali Mia 1st and 2nd volume edited by Alauddin Al Azad, Bangla Academy, Dhaka.
Author: Faruque Ahamed, Editor and Publisher Udar Akash. Kolkata, India. Email: [email protected]