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‘Those who do not read are unfortunate’

  • Published at 01:52 am February 16th, 2019
Kazi Shahid Ahmed
Kazi Shahid Ahmed at the Kagaj Publications stall at Ekushey Book Fair on FridayMahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

While many writers moved on to typing on computers with the advent of technology, Kazi Shahid has remained true to the power of the pen, scribbling down each and every one of his stories on paper

If someone were to visit the stall of Kagaj Publications at the Ekushey Book Fair on Friday, they would have certainly seen a face that has swiftly become recognizable among readers who are always looking out for new books from new authors. Kazi Shahid Ahmed’s debut novel came out only four years ago, and his fourth novel is making the rounds at the fair this year. 

The zestful author says his latest – “Opekkha” – might be a quick read, but tells a gripping romantic tale. But he promises his upcoming novel “Tapash, Shilu, Swapna ke niye kotha o kahini” is going to be considerably bigger, unlike Opekkha.

He seemed moved by the growth of the book fair, and the audience that has grown as well.

Kazi Shahid said: “Earlier, the book fair's range was too constrained due to fewer staff, readers, and writers. But now it has boomed to a great extent – this is fascinating. The young generation will see how far this range will go.”

The author continued: “Humans cannot survive without books. They have to read books on a routine basis. Those who do not read books are unfortunate. Those who do read are fortunate.”

As an author who has published four novels in just five years, he proffered advice to new writers: “There will always be many challenges in writing a book. Obstacles are constant, but a person has to emerge from that situation like a whirlwind, unstoppable and moving forward.” 

On love, he said: “Love is primordial. It has been, it is, and it shall be. As long as there is a world for humans to breathe and live, love will survive. Even among animals, love will live on. Just watch.”

While many writers moved on to typing on computers with the advent of technology, Kazi Shahid has remained true to the power of the pen, scribbling down each and every one of his stories on paper.

He said he finds the collaboration of his brain and hand immensely rewarding.

The Bangla Academy has featured Kazi Shahid Ahmed by unveiling all his books, a gesture he strongly appreciates.

He said: “I am very grateful for their acceptance and the way they have provided opportunities to publish books. Unveiling the books on their premises is an unforgettable experience.”

He is an author who refuses to single out any one of his novels as a favourite. However, he noted that when he published his autobiography, the feeling of peace made him feel much better for being unabashedly forthcoming about his ordeals

 “I do not believe in the past or the future. I only believe in moments. Only the present can say what needs to be done.”

A prolific author whose rise belies his young writing career, Kazi Shahid Ahmed serves as the chairman of Gemcon Group. His debut novel has been translated into English, while the two that followed – Pasha and Daate Kata Pencil – were released to critical acclaim. He aims to continue writing for another two decades.