Thursday, February 21, 2019 | ePaper

Moniruddin Yusuf: Poet and translator of Shahnama

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Ayub Hossain :
oniruddin Yusuf (1919-1987) writer and translator, was born on 13 February 1919 in the zamindar family of Boulai in Kishoreganj.
His father was Maulvi Misbah Uddin Ahmad. It is said that his forefathers were related to the Mughal dynasty. They used to speak Bengali at home. In their family there was the culture of Urdu and Persian Language and literature. His initial education began under an Urdu teacher. Later he was admitted to the local Middle English school. Thereafter, he studied at Ramananda High School at Kishoreganj and the Zila School at Mymensingh.
He passed his Entrance examination from the Zila School (1938) and Intermediate from Dhaka Intermediate College (1940).
He then got admitted to the Bangla Department of Dhaka University, but before his final examination was over he went to Kolkata, and then to Delhi, and also to Mumbai. There he worked for sometime.
However, he returned home after nine months and did business and supervised zamindari for sometime. He then came to Dhaka and joined the Pakistan Observer and later the Sangbad as a journalist. Finally, he joined the Public Relations Department of the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation and retired from this organisation in 1979. He was the Editor of the Corporation’s journal Krishi Somachar.
Moniruddin Yusuf wrote 37 books of poems, fiction, plays, essays, biographies, children juvenile translations and autobiography. Some of his well-known books are: (fiction) Jhorer Rater Shese, Ponser Kanta, Or Boyos Jokhon Egaro; (play) Isha Khan; (essays) Rumi’s Masnavi (1966), Urdu Sahityer Itihas (1968), Bangla Sahitye Sufi Probhab (1969), Amader Oitihyo O Sanskriti (1978), Karbala : Ekti Samajik Ghurnaborto, Sanskriti Chorcha (1980), Bangladesher Sarbik Ogrogotir Loksye Ekti Prostab (1984), Nobo Mulyayone Rabindranath (1989); (biography) Hazrat Fatema O Hazrat Ayesha; (works for the young) Chhotoder Islam Porichoy and Mohakobi Ferdousi; (autobiography) Amar Jibon, Amar Obhijvota (1992).
Alongside Bangla his creativity was extended to research on Urdu and Persian literature. Among his best works are his History of Urdu Literature and the translation of Ferdousi’s Shahnama into Bangla in six volumes (1991), He achieved national and international fame through the translation of the epic of great poet Ferdousi.  
The works he has translated include Iqbaler Kabyo Sonchoyon (1960), Diwan-e-Ghalib (1964), Kalame Raghuib (1966) etc.  
Moniruddin Yusuf was also attracted to films. He began directing a film titled Modhurati but could not complete it.
Moniruddin Yusuf was awarded with five prizes in recognition of his contribution to literature. These include the Governor’s Gold Medal, Habib Bank Literary Award, Bangla Academy Literary Award (1978), Abul Mansur Ahmed Literary Award and Ekushey Padak (1993, posthumous).
He breathed his last in Dhaka on 11 February 1987.

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