Roma Chowdhury: Not to be Defeated
Izmet Nashra Khan
It is those who are selfless and who work relentlessly to bring joy and happiness in other people's lives without ever complaining about their own miseries that can be said to be truly great human beings. Individuals who dedicate their lives to the good of others despite all the wrongs done unto them are the ones to fit the definition of 'exemplary individuals'. It is a rare thing to find such an individual amidst us who are subjected to constant struggles for survival in the society.
However, one such kind-hearted and generous person is the writer and social worker, Roma Chowdhury. She is not only a writer, but also a selfless person finding ways to contribute to the good of people and help the weak and the helpless ones in society. Overcoming all the tragedies that life had in store for her, she continues to march on the path of life with a courage that is hardly to be seen now-a-days. At 66, she continues her lone journey into the unknown and the uncertain future, with a heart full of mourning, little self-interest and a whole universe of kindness to offer to others, namely the homeless children and the aged people.
Roma Chowdhury has gone through emotional turmoils at several stages of her personal life. Having lost two of her sons during the 1971 liberation war of Bangladesh, she went on with life with a heavy heart and a strand of hope, but only to be faced with another mean strike of fate in 1998, when she lost her third son in a road accident. Poet Dipankar Dutt Ray Chowdhury Tunu, was the closest to her heart as he had become her only companion in the lonesome life that she led. He had become the only leading light of hope for the writer and that too was taken away from her life when he died. Dipankar Tutul was the one to take after his mother. He was a poet. Unfortunately his first book turned out to be his very last one that we will ever be able to read and share with.
Roma writes, publishes and sells books. The money that she makes from this goes into orphanages and old homes such as, “Doyar Kutir” and “Dipankar Sriti Anathalay” which were also initiated by her. Knowing the pain and agony of losing one's loved ones, one's offsprings, she reaches out to the hundreds of childrens on the steets without a family & a home. At the same time she knows the anguish of being left alone on one's own without the love and warmth of a family in the old age. She writes stories about life and struggle, about love and losses. But more than anything else they are tales of faith and courage. She lives her life according to what she writes and, it is her attitude towards life that has become a subject of awe and learning to many. Not the slightest trace of self interest or craving for fame can be found in her simple, warm and childlike personality. Even though she is an accomplished writer, there has never been any pride or conceit in her disposition.
There is a lot to learn from the simple, yet extraodrinary life of this lady. People like Roma Chowdhury are rare in the world today and one can only hope for such individuals to be better recognized in the future.
(R) thedailystar.net 2006