That black-framed spectacle, white Panjabi, and the black-coat wrapping around that Panjabi are evocative of the man whose voice is adorably called by mankind as the Memory of the World. But behind that spectacles were eyes that observed every village of the country and plights of the countrymen. Behind the Father of the Nation was his father who never urged him to repose inside the family cocoon but to live by the ideals he dedicated his soul to. All these memories were knitted into stories in the form of a graphic novel ‘Mujib’, based on the Unfinished Memoirs of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Growing up, I always heard stories of how Sheikh Mujib became ‘Bangabandhu’ but could never comprehend how a seemingly normal young boy can grow up to become the architect of the nation. This curiosity, with the unceasing fondness of graphic novels, is what enthralled me about these comics.
What sets ‘Mujib’ apart is the vignettes and anecdotes of the real-life of Bangabandhu – not the type of comics eked out with otherworldly colors of fantasy. If the creation of the artist’s figment of imagination can get children hooked, the real story of the man who prime-moved a nation’s freedom, flag and language should blow the wind of bliss more strongly .On top of that, knowing that all these memories came alive to the pages of his diary during his imprisonment of about 4,682 days gave me goosebumps and I was further captivated by the words on the pages of the graphic novel.
Though we all have seen him in his spectacle, we were never encountered with the question when he started wearing a spectacle. When we hear his historic 7th March speech firing the blood of an entire nation, we can hardly conceive that he might also have some fear when he was a boy. That fear could even send him off the perch as the graphic novel sketched the story of his attempt to escape before the operation on his eye. I could see before my eyes how the leader in his prime reached out to the people starving during the time of famine and how all the little events set the stepping stones for him to manifest the big dream of freedom. Time just whooshed by when those never-told-before chapters unfolded before my eyes through the three episodes that hit the market. With bated breath, I am looking for others of the series to come and I would gulp them in no time.
Musarrat Mahtab (Shukonnya) is 2nd Year BS (Biotechnology & Biochemistry) student at North South University, Dhaka