Humayun Ahmed, a man who needs no introduction to the people of Bangladesh, passed away in US on this day in 2012. A writer, filmmaker, novelist and teacher, the noted litterateur has several identities. His favourite spot was Nuhash Polli, where he lovingly built a retreat.
Before visiting Nuhash Polli, I went to his Dhanmondi residence, Dakkhin Hawa, several times. On one of his birthdays on November 13, he was busy shooting an Eid play. During the lunch break, he asked me, “Have you ever been here earlier? Let's go to introduce you to its variety of trees.”
“I came to know about the trees of Nuhash Polli from your books,” I told the writer.
Pointing a tree, he said, “This is Rashundi (garlic) plant. The smell of garlic and its leaves are the same”.
Following him, I could really smell the fragrance of garlic after crushing a leaf on my palm.
Pointing to another tree, he said, “You can smell the fragrance of spice from it. We cook chicken with it; it tastes delicious.” I again crushed a leaf, and smelled the fragrance of spice.
In between, pointing at a rooster, he said, “This is a turkey. US soldiers like it very much.”
He went on to introduce me to several other trees, including a tree whose leaves were sweet, and one he brought from Chennai, India that is useful for diabetics.
Asked why he selected that place to build Nuhash Polli, Humayun sir said that he chose it because he was looking for a big unbroken stretch of land at once, and this was the ideal choice.
He also introduced me to tea, date and tamarind trees. After the break for lunch, he was again busy with shooting.
On my departure that night, he asked me to visit Nuhash Polli once again.
Nuhash Polli was Humayun Ahmed's niche, a place he felt most comfortable. It is where he is laid to rest, as he wished. It's where his presence still lingers, as it does in the hearts of those of us who knew him closely.