Sylhet Today 24 PRINT

Respect and Remembrance: Anhar Chowdhury

Mihirkanti Choudhury |  ২৩ মে, ২০২৪

Today, I was deeply saddened by the demise of a very dear soul, Anhar Ahmed Chowdhury, known fondly to many as Anhar Chowdhury. A radiant star from the esteemed Bhatipara Chowdhury family of the Sunamganj area in Greater Sylhet, Anhar Chowdhury was a cherished son of Sylhet and a luminary for the entire country.

Anhar Chowdhury’s academic journey was marked by brilliance and dedication. He attended the finest institutions, including Sylhet Government Pilot High School, Sylhet MC Intermediate College, and the University of Dhaka. His professional achievements were equally remarkable; he was the Managing Director of Classic Engineering Corporation Limited in Dhaka and a Director of the University of Asia Pacific (UAP). Additionally, he held prestigious positions as the Former President and General Secretary of the Gulshan Society and was a distinguished Rotarian. He passed away at the age of 74 on the night of May 22, 2024, at Dhaka’s United Hospital after enduring several health complications. We honour his memory with deep respect.

In every facet of his life, Anhar Chowdhury embodied excellence and integrity, leaving behind a legacy that will be remembered with respect and admiration.

I had been in contact with him for quite some time, perhaps five to seven years. He had been an avid reader of my posts on Facebook, a remarkably creative-minded individual. Everything about him, from his attire to his movements and speech, exuded a sense of artistry, reflecting a neat and healthy lifestyle. His posts on Facebook imbued a keen sense of taste.

I had no inkling that he had been suffering from blood cancer and undergoing treatment in the ICU of United Hospital in Dhaka. Besides the immense strain of cancer, he was severely ill with a respiratory disease due to pneumonia. Just ten or twelve days ago, on 11 May 2024, he read one of my articles about Principal Professor Golam Rasul Sir on Facebook and commented from his hospital bed, “Thank you very much for a wonderful and incomparable memorial about Reverend Golam Rasul Sir. As I am ill myself, I must stop here today despite wanting to fully appreciate your excellent writing.”

I hadn’t realised he was writing from a hospital bed. I thought he was experiencing some common physical complications. I replied, “Sir, the writer is inspired by your enthusiasm. I pray you get well soon. A personality like Principal Professor Golam Rasul Sir is a true asset to our society. I will complete the English translation of this article this week to inform the younger generations who do not read Bengali. The effort will be worthwhile if even a few of our children and grandchildren, including Sir’s grandsons and their generations, read it. We are responsible for those who do not read Bengali. With regards and best wishes.”

I was planning to inquire about his health and invite him and his wife to the event at the Tagore Centre next January. In the meantime, I learned from a Facebook post by one of his relatives about his illness. He was being treated in the ICU of United Hospital in Dhaka. My heart grew heavy. It was beyond my comprehension how, with the weight of life and death hanging over him, he still found the heart and soul to read and appreciate another person’s writing from his hospital bed.

After such profound appreciation, a writer needs no medal, award, or any certificate. This stands as one of the greatest achievements of my writing career. I am speechless, without words to express my gratitude. I can only pray that his heavenly life is peaceful.

I held Late Anhar Chowdhury in the highest esteem. His father-in-law, Late Nooruddin Chowdhury, was the Director General of the Food Department (DG Food) hailing from Daudpur, Sylhet. Our family maintained a close relationship with the Chowdhury family of Daudpur. His mother-in-law had close relationship with the family of Late Abdus Shukur Chowdhury and Late Abdus Shahid Chowdhury of Bhuga in our Shahbazpur area. Another respected relation of mine, Late CM Tofail Sami, often spoke fondly of his ‘Auntie’. I have heard many stories of his ‘Moi’ (maternal aunt) through the words and writings of Tofail Sami Sir. Furthermore, the son-in-law of Late Anhar Chowdhury is my dear student Mostafiz Ahmed Chowdhury (son of Late Sabur Ahmed Chowdhury), who holds a special place in my heart.

A year ago, a hacker infiltrated Anhar Chowdhury’s Facebook account and tried to scam me by pretending to be him. The scam fell apart when the hacker’s poor language skills gave him away. I informed Mr. Chowdhury, who confirmed the attempted deception.

Anhar Chowdhury was a man who always wore a smile, a beacon of friendliness and benevolence. Cultured and deeply devoted to music, he possessed the rare gift of singing skill. Truly, he epitomised the ‘Total Gentleman,’ a complete man in every sense.

I again pay my best tributes to the cherished memory of Late Anhar Chowdhury.

Mihirkanti Choudhury: Author, Translator & CEO, Tagore Centre, Sylhet; Deputy Registrar, Metropolitan University, Sylhet.

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