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The History of A Shoe Maker: A Landmark of a Successful Careerist

By: Mohammad Jashim Uddin

Because of prolific career, Mr. Muhammad  Abdul Maleque has experienced different historical and socio-cultural ups and downs. His book The History of A Shoe Maker is nothing but the spontaneous overflow of his ideas from every corner of his experience. Though the author has claimed that it is an autobiography, readers can get the flavour of history, cultural studies and forecasting about future.

Interesting at the very beginning, the author righty mentions that ‘meeting the challenge of circumstantial matters’ one must determined what his/her aim is in the job, then s/he should have ‘positive mental attitude, patience, faithfulness and togetherness’. He portrays the obstacles and the tools of being a successful careerist vividly though he may have failed to incorporate all the issues what he has encountered through his service life. 

Freedom fighters gathered various experiences during the Liberation War of 1971, among them, some were exceptional as they were lucky like Mr.Muhammaed  Abdul Maleque. In the battle field, he fought along with only Australian Ouderland, who fought in favour of Bangladesh bravely and he earned the honour of Bir-Protik (heroic symbol) because of his great contribution. It happened as he worked with Ouderland in Bata Shoe Organization.   

Being underestimated during that period of childhood born in a remote village, he was determined to be serious in study. Once he got succeeded in education and became famous to all in his locality. Then he could not look back at all, but he has never forgotten to show his gratitude to his teachers, mentors and well-wishers.  

Unlike most of the successful persons, he has not mentioned that he reached the peak of the career because of a well-planned working tendency, rather he claimed everywhere because of the Almighty Allah, he has become he. Such a firm believer can be worked as tonic for those who are suffering from depression. 

Though he worked in a capitalist farm, he never forgot to perform his duty in society and in family. He could do it because he believed that “Good Lord says in the Holy Quran “And in their properties (wealth) there is the right share (huq) of the ‘Sayel’”.

For professional purposes, he has been many countries and promoted his company. Once when he was in a travel, he noticed an symbolic advertisement “First to Bata, then to school” from the car and got surprised. But we know that the advertisement fired the mind of intellectuals. The author might have accepted the concept from business perspective.

Among the chapters, “Liberation war vis-à-vis continuation of my job with Bata during that troubled period” is the most heart-thrilling one because he controlled himself in producing the production because sacrificing tendency for country. Challenging works in 1971, he started his next innings getting married in 1972.

“Togetherness is Happiness” is his philosophy of life. As a result, we used to work in team and got successful. He indulged the philosophy since school as there was a principle “live and let others live”.  It listens to sound that he might not face any difficulties in career but the fact was totally opposite. As an optimist, he never felt worried rather he tried to handle everything patiently.

Planning, organizing, controlling and motivating are four principles that led him to walk in future success. Interestingly, though he secured many national and international positions, no where readers could see any pride that can affect ones. Rather his experiences cause of inspiration for those who want to be succeed.

His writing style is very flat and attractive. The most powerful metaphorical title of the biography is unique in the history of any kind of writing.  Such a story is landmark not only for a successful careerist but also other others.


The reviewer is an assistant professor of English at Northern University Bangladesh.

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