Lament of a Lonely Soul

Takir Hossain
Wednesday, August 9th, 2017


Mahadev Saha is one of the leading romantic poets in contemporary Bengali literature. He is also a poet of mystery and muted ambiance. Since he took to poetry, he has carefully removed himself from any disquiet and unsteadiness. His love for beauty and nature comes through in a very animated and intimate manner in his canvas of poetry.


Mahadev Saha was born on August 5, 1944 in Dhanghara, Sirajganj. The only child of parents Godadhor Saha and Birajmohini, Mahadev completed his primary and high school education in his village. For higher education he went to Dhaka College, Bogra College and Rajshahi University. “In my student days, I enjoyed reading the great literary masters like Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Jibanananda Das,” says the poet.


Mahadev is one of the foremost poets of the late ‘60s, an era marked with accomplishments and revolutionary ideas. He claims to be introverted and has no interest in personal relationships. Partly because right from his adolescent days, the poet has contemplated the eternal questions: Why are we born? Where will we go after death?


The main elements in Saha’s poetry are solitude, love, yearning, the Liberation War, scenic beauty, poverty, secularism and equal rights. The struggles and sorrows of the deprived spur him to write. The poet is deeply moved by the ravages of poverty. His style is unquestionably unique and evocative. His words and verses articulate the torments of a lonesome soul and a mourning heart.


Mahadev Saha is dreamy and given to flights of poetic fantasy. Besides being a visionary, the poet has regularly tried to express his personal feelings and observations in romanticism. One will read “Prem O Bhalobashar Kobita” avidly; and out of that experience one can easily read the poet’s mind and bore into his soul. It is true that the meaning of love differs from one individual to another. Expressions of love come to poetry, indeed hold it aloft, in various forms. The rendering of love is very clear in the poems. His love for feminine beauty and natural objects comes in tandem with the frustrations and dissatisfaction associated with modern life.


After a close perusal of Saha’s poetry, though it is very difficult to trace the exact silhouette of the poet’s mind, one is quite clear about the fact that he is a modernist in the complete sense of the meaning. In his poems, one feels the lament of a lonely soul, an underlying sorrow, a feeling of emptiness but not without a tinge of hard realities and other realisations that one can call forth only from life itself.


The ‘magician of words’ has won many prestigious awards like Ekushey Padak, Bangla Academy Award, Zebunnesa-Mahabubllah Award, Alaol Shahitya Award and Khalekdad Chowdhury Smriti Padak.


The poet turned 73 on August 5.

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