Himu taught me that it was okay not to be normal

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Messy bangs of hair on his forehead, a simple yellow panjabi with no pockets and a mind filled with endless curiosity – this is how Humayun Ahmed’s Himalayas appear to us as he takes night walks around Elephant Road, through Shahbagh signal on moonlit nights, savoring the radiant but soothing rays of the moon far, far away.

I was introduced to Himu by impersonating my Nana. I sat in his chair, wore his gold framed glasses and lost myself in the pages of books. This was the primary purpose of my life – the characteristic attribution of adulthood in my young mind.

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As soon as I was 12, Nana brought me a copy of Parapar (Anyaprokash Books, 2005) and immediately fell in love with Himu, his unconventional questions and the way he viewed the world around him.

Over time, his choice of actions came as an eye opener to me, often questioning how I grew up thinking about what was considered “normal.”

The way Himu ridiculed social stigma, particularly criticizing capitalism and the norms set by “pseudo” Marxists, was not something I was used to, as I was always taught to be competitive from my younger age.

Himu not only made me look beyond the goals that lead to luxury in life, but he also taught me to appreciate the little bits that make life enjoyable. His choice of friends made me think at least once about how we often fail to pick the right one just because we get too blinded by our prejudicial perceptions and end up judging the actor instead of the action. .

Himu introduced me to a new world of emotions where people were allowed to make mistakes, be mischievous, and not be judged for it. Harnessing his internal emotions and external expressions is something Himu never succumbs to, despite the world trying to teach him his ways time and time again. The way he pushes back against those “established” norms and sometimes even pushes his inner urges to leave him as he follows the path his father chose for him years ago, is commendable.

Many argue that Himu behaves this way due to the effect of childhood trauma he suffered when his father murdered his mother, only for the purpose of raising him as a “big man” who rejects materialistic needs and capitalist desires.

However, there is no denying that the way it normalizes poverty and low living standards is inspiring, especially for those who, after a long and tiring day at work, sleep comfortably with dreams of a better life serving as their lullaby. For Himu, finding happiness is easier said than done – a phenomenon that is considered absurd by most.

I find his perception of the nuances of life not only illuminating but also acceptable, subtle and delightful.

To add to this, Humayun Ahmed’s descriptions are vivid, especially when writing incidents in which Himu seems witty and calm. But they are no less impactful when he makes the point he intends to make, when he delivers food for thought.

While I spend hours wondering how to meet my financial ends, Himu, who has no source of income, willingly replaces his transportation costs with the healthiest option – walking – and he doesn’t care. never worry about groceries in her kitchen cupboard. This comes to me as a ray of hope.

With each passing day, as I scroll through my News Feed watching people cry over their inflationary and pandemic lives, Himu, the son of a psychopath who rarely opts for rationality, breathes light into my sadness.

With most of my friends judging me on my obsession with Himu, and me abandoning their logic behind Himu being simply a kid-worthy character, I find that if we could accept more Himu, life would probably become a whole lot easier. .

I strongly believe that resilience is key to surviving in today’s world. The first person to teach me to adapt and carry on with everything I have instead of complaining about things I don’t have was Himu – a crazy night owl, too unique to be accepted by Civil society”.

Ashley Shoptorshi Samaddar is sub-editor at The star of the day News desk.

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