Novelist, playwright Syed Waliullah
Waliullah was born on at Sholashahar in Chattogram to Nasim Ara Khatun and Syed Ahmadullah. His mother passed away when he was twelve. He had an elder brother, Syed Nasrullah. His father, Syed Ahmadullah, was a government officer. He was a District Magist
Syed Waliullah (August 15, 1922 - October 10, 1971) was a Bangladeshi novelist, short-story writer and playwright. He was notable for his debut novel, Lalsalu (translated in English with the title 'Tree Without Roots'). He was awarded Bangla Academy Literary Award (1961), Adamjee Prize (1965), Ekushey Padak (1984) and Bangladesh National Film for Best Story (2001).
Early life and education
Waliullah was born on at Sholashahar in Chattogram to Nasim Ara Khatun and Syed Ahmadullah. His mother passed away when he was twelve. He had an elder brother, Syed Nasrullah. His father, Syed Ahmadullah, was a government officer. He was a District Magistrate of British period. Waliullah spent his childhood in Mymensingh, Feni, Krishnanagar and Kurigram. His notable novel Lalsalu was inspired by a shrine covered with red cloth that he would often pass when he lived in Mymensingh.
Waliullah passed his Matriculation examination in 1939 from Kurigram High School. He completed his IA from Dhaka Intermediate College in 1941and Bachelor's from Ananda Mohan College in Mymensingh in 1943. He then moved to Calcutta to complete his Master's in Economics. But he couldn't complete his Master's due to demise of his father. He joined The newspaper Statesman and worked until 1947.
In 1947, Waliullah moved from Calcutta to Dhaka. He joined Radio Pakistan. In 1950, he was transferred to Karachi. In 1951, he started serving as the Press AttachÃ© at the Pakistan Missions in New Delhi, Sydney, Jakarta and London. In 1960, he was appointed as the First Secretary at the Pakistan Embassy in Paris. In 1967, he joined the UNESCO in Paris.
Waliullah is often considered the pioneer of existential analysis of the characters psyche in the literature of Bangladesh. The last two of his three novels, especially ' Kando Nodi Kando (Cry O river), (1968), show his mastery in revealing the inner depths of his characters. Chander Amaboshay (Dark moon) (1964) was another famous novel of him. Nayanchara (1946) and Dui Tir O Onyanyo Golpo (1965) are storybooks written by him.
Lalsalu tells the story of Majid, a poor man from a devout Muslim background. Majid comes to a remote village. He declares an old grave to be the Majar that of a Peer, covers it with the traditional red cloth used for mausoleums, and establishes his stronghold on the life of the people using the reflected power on him of the supposed saint. The novel shows his struggle with other religious figures trying to establish dominance, the undercurrent of pagan ideas among the people, and his own weaknesses.
The novel was adapted to a Tanvir Mokammel film with the same title in 2001.
Personal life and death
Waliullah met Anne Marie Thibaud (1929-1997), a French woman, in Sydney. They were married in 1955 and had two children, Simine and Iraj. He was a cousin of Jamal Nazrul Islam, a Physicist and Mathematician.
Waliullah breathed his last in Meudon in Paris on October 10, 1971.
Novels: Lalsalu (Tree without roots), 1948, Chander Amaboshay (Dark moon), 1963, Kando Nodi Kando (Cry, o river), 1966, The Ugly Asian, 1959
Dramas: Bohipir (1955), Torongobhongo (1964), Sudanga (1964)
Short story collection:
Noyonchora (1945), Dui Tir O Anyanya Galpa (1967)
Alam, Shafiul (2012). "Waliullah, Syed". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
Zaman, Niaz (13 August 2016). "Syed Waliullah Existentialism, Nostalgia, Nationalism". The Daily Star. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
â€˜Syed Waliullahs Childhood.â€™
Haq, Kaiser (5 January 2014). â€˜Arts & Lettersâ€™ (PDF). Dhaka Tribune. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
Choudhury, Serajul Islam (2005). â€˜Introductionâ€™ Tree Without Roots. Dhaka, Bangladesh: writers.ink. pp. ix. ISBN 984-32-2546-5
(in Bengali). gunijan.org.bd. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
Alam, Shahid (25 March 2014). â€˜Observations in or about politics.â€™ The Daily Star. Retrieved 13 August 2016.