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Requiem on a Keyboard

Omar Chowdhury
3 July, 2006

Just as he liked tasting different brands of whisky, Enayet also thirsted after different kinds of experience, in various spheres of life. I never met him in his Stan Vac days. If he had stuck to that, he would probably have been an oil tycoon by now! He opted for wielding the pen!

I fell in love with HOLIDAY (a romance that is still continuing) from the first day I walked into the small office on Toynbee Circular Road, near the Jonaki Cinema, and saw Enayet at the editorial desk. Unlike many of his friends I never called him Mintu-bhai. In the same way I never addressed Satyajit Ray as Manik-da!

It was a cheerful group which ran HOLIDAY in the beginning. Syed Kamaluddin, a founder, and M. Aslam, the eccentric executive editor who had come over permanently, with his family, from Calcutta.

Enayet asked me to write occasional articles, and I did. I particularly remember him getting excited over a front page piece I had written on Mao and China. He said : “The Chinese Embassy has asked for half-a-dozen copies of the current issue!” I also recall his making a special request that I write an obituary of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, whom I had known slightly in the good old days of music.

Then I went away to live in Bogra, but kept visiting Dhaka, and keeping in touch with the HOLIDAAY crowd. Sadek was a joy to know, bubbling over with energy for new projects. The late 50s and the 60s, were halcyon days for art, films, and happy living!

So Enayet did try a variety of what was on the menu. I knew him as presidential advisor, minister, ambassador, and his own dear charming self. He was an enchanting companion, and moved easily in any social circle. When I started writing my back page Essays for HOLIDAY in the early 90s, I would often enter the HOLIDAY building, where it is at present situated, and walk into the Editor’s small room, and find Enayet tapping away at his portable, engrossed in the next editorial. I would get him to say something funny, pull at my pipe for a few moments, then quietly vanish, leaving the writer to his work.

It will take time to get used to a world without Enayetullah Khan. He will remain alive in my memory at least, for the few days I have left on this joyless earth.

Goodnight, sweet prince...

Note from the Editor: We have re-published the last Requiem performed by late Omar Chowdhury for his friend Enaytullah Khan.

Omar Chowdhury: The Final Tribute

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