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Linking Young Minds Together
   Volume3Issue 01| January 09, 2011 |


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In Loving Memory

Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

Professor Bazlul Mobin Chowdhury (16 March 1941 - 30 December 2010), joined Independent University Bangladesh in 1994 as Pro-Vice Chancellor, and served term as Vice Chancellor till date.
Photo: Md. Zahid Hossain Shoeb.

The first thought that crosses anyone's mind when they walk into any university in Bangladesh is how much bureaucratic red tape they have to confront in order to get anything done. In case of a private university, that thought becomes more ominous. The tediously long hours, lack of a proper facility, endless stream of fees and absolute lack of communication between the administration and its students are natural and one presumes to spend four to five years of their lives battling against such obviousness.

In all fairness, when I walked into a private university two years back, I expected the exact same thing to happen to me. I assumed everything around me will be measured in numbers and in the very end, I will be one of those thousands of private university graduates who will be scoffed and sneered at, and rest assured, find a cubicle at a private firm in some part of the country.

To my utmost surprise, I was sorely proven wrong.

At Independent University Bangladesh (IUB), I came across the most delightful, cooperative and open-minded faculty I could ask for, and an administration that genuinely cared about the wellbeing of its students. These were people who worried about the quality of education in their institution, who supported their students beyond what was asked for, who provided facilities that no one can imagine a private university student to receive and most importantly, who believed in having an open window for listening to what other people thought, particularly the students. I can thank every single person at IUB for making the switches work; but today I would like to thank an individual who made me believe in this philosophy of being humanely concerned the Vice Chancellor (VC) of IUB, Professor Bazlul Mobin Chowdhury.

When one meets Sir on any odd day, the first impression one gets is of a man of substance. He carries himself with such dignity and reverence that one cannot help but feel humbled by his presence. He smiles and nods in appreciation, and makes people around him feel right at home. He can immediately start a conversation of relevance, prove to be an excellent listener and get immersed in the conversation. This is how I felt when I first met Sir and through the course of time, was repeatedly awed by his warmth and benevolence. He was extraordinary because he was so easily approachable and anyone can simply walk up to him and ask how he was doing, and he will respond with a smile and ask about the other's wellbeing. To think the Vice Chancellor of your institution can be addressed with a sense of friendliness and love is an unimaginable thought, and to me, that was exactly what made Sir such a memorable and amazing personality.

Photo: Md. Zahid Hossain Shoeb.

If I were to write about fond memories, there are too many and none deserve to be indifferently cut short because they are so special. I have only known him for a short time compared to many others, but each time I met him, I left with blessings in my heart. He was kind, thoughtful and witty and loved the people around him. I have rarely seen him miss an occasion, be it an exciting intra-university photography exhibition or a small attempt to raise awareness on autism; Sir has been extremely cordial and supportive of any initiative. He took great pride in every achievement his students brought home, and what was remarkable is that he took time to share their personal experiences. On some days, one will find a nervous sophomore at Sir's office, struggling to stifle the obvious intimidation while sitting across someone of such magnitude yet excitedly conversing about a conference or newspaper article he/she has produced.

I know as I write this memorial, his students and faculties across the globe are sharing their prayers and tributes. To watch them reminisce their fond memories shows what an impact he made on people's lives and how he spread love wherever he went. If I were to take one lesson from him and change my life, I would take his overwhelming quality of humility. In spite of the fact he was so accomplished, he chose to be humble, loving and caring and I pray that everyone he has touched can follow his example.

Now, IUB boasts its exclusive, well-designed permanent campus in Bashundhara, and Sir has demised with content. In life, people are remembered by their work; and while Sir will be remembered through his accomplishments, he will be made timeless through love and people.

(The writer is a sophomore at the Department of Media and Communication at the Independent University of Bangladesh.)

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