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Linking Young Minds Together
       Volume 6 | Issue 44 | November 04, 2012 |


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Star Chat

To be Immortal…

Poet Quamrul Hassan
Talks to
Promiti Prova Chowdhuury

Courtesy: Quamrul Hassan

The two things I am most passionate about in life are football, and writing. These two interests grew in me because of the two institutions where I had studied. From class one to six, I studied at Dhaka Government Laboratory School. During my days spent there, playing football three times a day happened to be a routine. The football team of the school was really good and we won some inter school tournaments as well. Then from class seven to twelve, I studied at Faujdarhat Cadet College where my skills in writing grew. We had a wall magazine where a member from every house had to contribute. I belonged to the Rabindra House, so I contributed many write-ups including short stories, poems, mostly based on the national days of Bangladesh.

Then I got admitted to the Department of English at University of Dhaka (DU). My parents wanted me to study medicine or get into the army. But those were not my cups of tea. Then they suggested that I study English which, I felt, could meet my choice. Life at campus was joyous. During free time, I used to work with the English Department Drama Society. In my third year, I joined The Daily Star, in the Metro section, and at the same time I used to contribute in the Stadium page of the daily Prothom Alo. I worked at Daily Sun from May 2010 to June 2012.

Since childhood, I aspired to become a writer. This is because a writer can be immortal through his writings. Three of my faculty members at DU will always remain the biggest inspirations of my life. They are Kaiser Huq, Niaz Zaman, and Fakrul Alam. In a course conducted by Professor Niaz Zaman, we came across the term Haiku, which is a Japanese format of short poems. Basically, it is a three line poem. In 2004, when I was just a first year student, a Haiku Contest was organised by the New Age. I thought of giving it a try. And to my utter surprise, my poem was among the Best 10 selected Haikus, along with other Haikus, most of which were written by well known faculty members. The Ambassador of Japan invited all the winners of the contest for dinner at his residence. For a student of first year, it was quite a big deal!

Some time near 2007 or 2008, Asahi Haikuist Network, Japan, held a contest where they called for sending Haikus. The uniqueness of this contest is that the selected Haikus are printed in the Asahi Haikuist column in the International Herald Tribune/Asahi Shimbun on the first, third and fifth Fridays of the month. The Asahi Shimbun is the most celebrated newspaper of Japan, which has an alliance with International Herald Tribune as well. Five Haikus written by me were published in that column.

From there I got an invite for participating in the 9th World Haiku Festival held in Bangalore, India. There I had to write three Haikus on spring moon. One of them was selected among the best ten. Then in 2009, Professor Kaiser Huq suggested that I compile all my Haikus into a book. Being inspired by him, I got my first book, 'Spring Moon', published at the Ekushey Book Fair in 2011.

I had been working for www.monsoonletters.com. Recently I joined the New Age. Besides, I am working on my second collection of Haiku and a Bangla novel. At the same time I am translating some Bangla poems. My biggest fan is my wife, Rezowana Hassan Farha. I would like to tell the emerging poets and writers to never stop dreaming. If you want to be a successful writer, you have to be a dreamer first.

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