Reading Bengali for the first time in 8 years

My story made a headline on Weekly Bangalee. I am overwhelmed to receive such honor.  I was actually knocked over by the wave of reaction of my family members—especially my mother, who came over to New York from Bangladesh to visit my banner on the CUNY Lehman College Campus.

                                                              MY OWN REACTION

I've decided to abruptly stop my communication with Bangladeshi TV &  Newspapers in 2007. It was the same year I decided to write in Bangla no more. I kept my promise the last 8 years. However, on August 19, 2015, I broke my promise. Here's how it happened:

Mr. Kowshik Ahmed, the Editor of Weekly Bangalee, contacted me on August 19, 2015, congratulating me for the recognition I received from Lehman College. He said that he truly value the importance of the banners posted across the CUNY Lehman College campus that feature the faces and titles of notable alumni such as Ruben Diaz Jr, Bronx Borough President. This is why, he said, he was very pleased to see a fellow Bengali feature on LC Campus. He provided me his phone number but I did not call him. However, when he called me I decided to pick up his phone because I respect him. Why do I respect him? Let's see.

It was 2005. I had just finished writing Muhammad Yunus' biography. I informed
Mr. Kowshik Ahmed that Daily  Ittefaq, one of the largest newspaper in Bangladesh, published it as installment. And now I want Bengalis live in North America to know Yunus' story. Mr. Ahmed said that he needs more time to think about it. He thought and revealed his decision: rejection!

He was not the only person who refused to publish my writings but I've  received rejection from numerous editors. Such rejections made me so frustrated that in 2007 I decided to gave up my aspiration to become an accomplished Bengali writer. I even decided to burn up all my published books (some 21 books). 

This is why, I never expected to receive an interview request from Mr. Kowshik Ahmed. What an irony. Today he published my story in his paper and I read Bengali for the first time in 8 years, thanks to Mr. Kowshik Ahmed.


Rashidul Bari
Adjunct Professor of Mathematics
CUNY Baruch College
8/22/2015

Rashidul Bari