Photo's: Shahadat Parvez
As a young man with wanderlust, Momin Ali Mirdha traveled to distant places such as Dimapur, Kohima, Manipur, Meghalaya and Imphal in eastern Assam. The World War II broke out when he was young. Many years have elapsed since then but the hundred-year-old traveller lives to enjoy the beauty and diversity of the earth. Within these hundred years, he has come to be known as Dadu (grand-father), with all his youthful memories now mired in the past.
His legendary status as Dadu has quite an interesting background. He has earned this endearing term by virtue of his love for every living thing. The hundred years he has lived are all but an insignificant fraction of the time the world has seen. Still for humans, this is a long time. He is witness to many of the landmark events of the twentieth-century history. In addition to the World War II, the ever-youthful Mridha has seen the Partition of India in 1947, the Language Movement of 1952, the Mass Uprising of 1969, the War of Independence in 1971 and the Movement against Autocracy in 1990. He has been closely associated with the Institute of Fine Art (now, Faculty of Fine Art of the University of Dhaka) since it began its journey.
Men may come and men may go but institutions remain, as witnesses to events down the ages. Mridha has no longer confined himself to his physical self: the fair-complexioned man, with an artistic face, has become an institution, now Dadu to everyone who finds in him an iconic likeness to the figure of the eternal grand-father.
developed by avocats