When many were reluctant to give thrillers a place in mainstream literature, Qazi Anwar Hussain chose to tread that unconventional path. In a 50-year journey into the world of espionage story-telling, he engraved the evergreen spy Masud Rana into the minds of thousands of readers.
His Sheba Prokashoni opened up a new horizon for publishing paperback books in Bangladesh – translation of world-renowned literary classics, Western novels, thrillers and adventure stories in Bangla for readers at low costs. He emerged as a prominent publishing figure in Bangla literature.
But what did inspire him to choose the thriller path?
To find the answer, we have to look back at his childhood. When Qazi was only 10 years old, he would read many thrillers of famous writers, such as Hemendra Kumar Roy and Nihar Ranjan Gupta.
The eminent writer, publisher and creator of the popular spy-thriller series "Masud Rana", who changed people's attitude towards thrillers, passed away on Wednesday.
He breathed his last while undergoing treatment at Birdem Hospital in the capital at the age of 85, according to a Facebook post by his daughter-in-law Masuma Maimur.
"The writer had been on life support at the private hospital since 10 January," she wrote on her Facebook wall.
The prolific writer was hospitalised five times after he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer on 31 October last year.
Born on 19 July 1936 in Dhaka, Qazi Anwar Hussain was son of scientist, writer, and national professor Qazi Motahar Hussain.
In 1963, Anwar Hussain established the Segun Bagicha Press and published Kuasha-1, the first adventure book of the Kuasha Series. The press later transformed into the renowned publishing house "Sheba Prokashoni".
In 1966, Qazi Anwar Hussain wrote the novel, "Dhongsho Pahar", the first book of the popular spy-thriller series "Masud Rana". The book gained a huge popularity and thus, the character of Masud Rana became an icon among young generations.
The prolific writer published around 450 books of the Masud Rana series over more than 50 years of his career. He also wrote many other spy thrillers and adventure novels, and his writing was strongly inspired by foreign detective stories, particularly James Bond.
Qazi Anwar never received any professional training in music, but he regularly performed on the radio and gave it up
In 1974, Bangladesh Cine-Journalist Association, an organisation of film journalists, awarded him as the best screenwriter and dialogue writer. He also got the Zahir Raihan cine award.
Anwar Hussain's body will be brought to his Segunbagicha residence on Thursday morning. According to his last wish, he will be buried in Banani Graveyard in his mother's grave after Zohr prayers.