Francis Bacon once wrote that “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read-only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few are to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.” These are undoubtedly very much true, and the quality of the books largely depends on the writers - their personas, their narrative styles, and their connection with their creations. This write-up is about Dr Mahbub Mayukh Rishad, a young doctor and litterateur who is celebrated among his readers for perfectly holding the attention on pages after pages of his tremendous literary creations, till the very end.
A valiant frontliner who has been continuously battling during the ongoing pandemic keeping aside personal safety concerns, Dr Rishad is currently working as a doctor who has been providing great affection and care to his patients. Many COVID-19 patients are being treated under his supervision, and he is fighting for quite a long time to save the patients. Relentlessly providing his service, nowadays, he is mostly seen running from one cabin to another, from one ward to another in the hospital he is currently working for. Just the way his medical prescription is physically saving the human body, on the contrary, his literary creations are constantly serving for the greater good of his readers.
Dr Mahbub Mayukh Rishad’s humane soul as a doctor and an artistic soul as a writer turned him into an angelic kind of person altogether. It is a vivid and interesting fact that his writer persona is mostly influenced by his persona of a doctor. A lover of serenity and calmness, he enjoys being in silence and the limelight that he deserves. There is a uniqueness in his art pieces which shows how brilliantly he plays with the characters in his writings. Even in all his literary creations, one will get to notice that the characters made by him even laugh and cry in silence. His intelligibility and simplicity in real life made him a bit more than humane.
As the writer, Dr Rishad has divided his writing career into two main segments: before 2010 and after 2010. Before 2010, two of his novels were published which were amusing to go through. His first novel, ‘Akash Bhora Neel Koshto’ was published in 2008 and the second one, ‘Chhayabashor’, was published just after two years in 2010. Surprisingly, he did not get indulged in his own praise and promotional activities about these two books, unlike the others. On the contrary, his readers never felt to keep such precious feelings aside about these creations, rather they prefer to break his ever-maintained silence.
After a long hiatus, Mahbub Mayukh Rishad wrote his first storybook titled ‘Shandhyokalin Train-e Gopon Jatayat’ in 2014. Then he wrote ‘Nirrjonotar Jyamitik Bishonnotay’, in the next year. Following these two literary creations, ‘Dikshunyopur’ was published in 2016, and ‘Krushpothe Nikhoj Golpo’ in 2017. Till now, his most profound storybook is ‘Torkyoshojyay Mrityu’, which was first published in the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela 2019. Dr Rishad remarkably narrated about human physical sufferings and how at times it becomes difficult to unburden the soul, in this wonderful book.
Moreover, he considers the period after 2010 as his second life. He claimed his third novel, ‘Arimataano’, as the very first novel of his second life. His political consciousness is found in ‘Arimatano’, which can be considered a political novel, full of magic realism, absurdities, and existential crisis. ‘Arimatano’, in a sense, makes people bound to think critically and logically.
As a writer, Rishad never feels satisfied with his writings as he feels that there is always room for more. He did not even publish his fourth novel ‘Shishi’ yet, however, his readers and admirers know about his worth - as they are lucky enough to get the chance to know him well through his books. His dissatisfaction as an artistic soul makes him more passionate about his writings. He follows an individualistic approach in his writing patterns, which makes him unique among the crowd. Besides, his narrative technique also makes him more readable and friendly to his readers.
It may sound surprising, yet true that he attends to his patients sitting in the same courtyard for quite a long time. He always tries to feel and see his patients’ physical and mental sufferings and discomforts quite closely. He has a soft corner for patients who have been suffering from chronic diseases for quite a long time. As a result, everyone’s pains and aches touch Doctor Rishad’s heart as a humane human. An undeniable fact is that his close observation of such patients and their sufferings has been vividly portrayed in his writings, as these write-ups were influenced greatly by the thoughts and activities he was involved in.
He devised the main elements in his literary pieces: Magic Realism, Surrealism, Unrealism, absurdity, and fantasies. More often, he creates characters with an existential crisis with amazing plots and settings. He also loves to use fantasy elements in his writings. According to him, literature cannot be perfect without the elements of fantasy and dreams. He thinks literature has a close connection with imagination and imaginary elements thus have become an inseparable part of his works. Otherwise, a literary piece would just look like entirely a diary entry.
Another amazing side of his great personality is that he is always aware of the social issues and whenever he gets the ground, he tries his level best to take such social issues into account. He has always been seen to raise his pen against any kind of oppression and criminalism like rape, misogyny and so on. His pen has never been afraid to go through against fundamentalism and terrorism. The way he produces his thoughts and sets them on the pages of his books, it becomes remarkable how nicely he has dealt with political issues as well, over the years. He has always been vocal and loud against killing bloggers and people of different ideologies, and his pen testifies so.
Coming from a very literature-oriented family, Dr Rishad leads a very unpretentious and simple life with his father, mother, wife and his only brother. His father, renowned psychiatrist and a Bangla Academy Literary Award (2018) winning writer, Dr Mohit Kamal, is a profound name in the Bangladeshi literature sphere. His mother, Dr Mahfuza Akhter Mili, is a famous and respected dermatologist in the country. Being grown up in a litterateur family, Dr Rishad is also a sports lover. He is a good batsman as a cricketer, but he loves football the most and is a crazy fan of Argentina and Lionel Messi.
He spent his childhood in Chittagong but spent all his adolescence in Mymensingh. After that, his Medical life got rooted and ended in Chittagong. While studying in medical college, the country was politically turbulent. The political instability of campus life affects Rishad's mind to a great extent. Ten years later, in his novel Arimatano, published in 2020, he appeared at that time. His enthusiastic readers can easily walk by and go beyond time travel holding the grip of his pen and literary creations. However, according to Dr Rishad, political instability in the country has never abated from the root, rather the pattern of violence takes different shapes and causes from time to time as the country has been going through a constant, distress, peril and insecure situation for decades.
A unique personality that Dr Mahbub Mayukh Rishad possess as a passionate writer and a valiant frontliner amid the pandemic, his creative brilliance certainly deserves more spotlight in today’s society.
The writer is a news broadcaster, media personality and a recent graduate of English Literature from East West University, Dhaka.