The premature death of Nazim Uddin, a thriving man who became the father of a baby girl just a few days ago, has left not only his family and friends, but also his colleagues at the Dhaka Tribune numb with shock and grief
Five days ago, Nazim Uddin welcomed the arrival of his second daughter into the world. He already had a nine-year-old girl, with his wife Sabrina Yasmin Irene.
“Nazim was very happy,” Irene said. “She was named Israt Jahan Noor, while the elder one is Nusrat Jahan Moon. The entire family had been very happy to welcome a new member.”
Sadly, the good times did not last.
Nazim – a senior executive in the Dhaka Tribune advertising department – was killed in a road accident near the Mayor Hanif Flyover in Dhaka on Thursday morning, when the driver of a bus collided with his motorcycle while recklessly attempting to overtake another bus.
Irene was released from hospital on Thursday and spoke to the Dhaka Tribune on Friday from her father’s residence, where she remains in postpartum.
Tragically, she said her husband was a reluctant user of the motorcycle on which he lost his life.
“Nazim was afraid to ride his motorbike because of safety issues and road accidents,” she said.
“He often said he did not want to ride his motorcycle, but was forced to do so because of work. I always told him to drive carefully and I know he did so, but now the reckless driving of some bus drivers has taken away everything.”
Nazim’s colleague in Dhaka Tribune advertising department, Taslema Akhter, said he had given her a ride home on a couple of occasions.
“I found him to be a very responsible person as well as a careful driver,” she said. “He always used to say that there was no point risking your life to save just five minutes. Better to be safe than sorry.”
Irene was in Ad-din Hospital in Dania at the time of her husband’s fatal accident, undergoing postpartum care following the birth of Noor.
“Nazim called me in the morning to let me know he was dropping off our elder daughter, Moon, at the hospital, along with some clothes and other things,” she said. “After he dropped Moon off, he left for the office. I did not get to see him as men were not allowed in the maternity ward.”
Irene said she received a phone call later from Nazim’s brother, who told her that Nazim had not arrived at the office as planned.
“I said he was probably busy with some work. When I tried to call Nazim, a stranger picked up and said Nazim was in a bus accident and was being taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
“After that, no one answered my phone calls. In the afternoon, I learned that he had passed away,” Irene said.
Rasel Mahmud was in the area with his brother, and witnessed the crash firsthand.
“I saw a bus collide with Nazim’s motorcycle while it was trying to overtake another bus at around 9:30am,” Rasel told the Dhaka Tribune.
“Nazim fell on the road as a result of the collision and the bus ran over his chest. We screamed for help, and my brother stopped the bus.
The two concerned brothers rushed Nazim to DMCH, where doctors declared him dead after conducting an ECG and some other tests at around 10am.
After hearing news of the incident, Nurunnabi Chowdhury Shaon, MP of Bhola-3, went to the morgue. “Some bus drivers leave the driving to their helpers and many people lose their lives because of such carelessness,” he said.
Irene told the Dhaka Tribune that Nazim had enjoyed a close bond with his children.
“Our first daughter, nine-year-old Nusrat Jahan Moon, was very close to her father; she always said she loved him the most,” Irene said.
“Before sitting to eat, Moon would call her father. She would ask him if he was eating, and if he said yes then she asked him to send her a picture of the food. Only after seeing the picture would she begin to eat.”
Moon went to the upazila to give her father a final farewell. At around 11am on Friday morning, Nazim was buried at his family graveyard in Bhola’s Lalmohon upazila.
Irene said her family faces a struggle to survive without her husband.
“Nazim was the only one earning for the family. Now what will happen to my two children? How will my family continue?” she said.
Jatrabari police SI Najnin Hasan said two people have been detained over Thursday’s tragic incident: Manjil Paribahan bus helper Kamal and Srabon Paribahan bus driver Wahidul.
“They have orphaned my two innocent children,” Irene said, failing to fight back the tears. “Do not let them off the hook. They should be given exemplary punishment.”
An eerie silence descended on the room after Irene finished recounting her story. When her newborn daughter also began to cry, Irene went to fetch her from the adjacent room, and both mother and daughter wept together.