Written By : Tanveer Mohiuddin
AfsarMoyeen, a name known in the car community as one of the first enthusiasts in the country. His sudden demise has come as a shock to many people and has left such a huge void. In a conversation with his son, AsadMoyeen, also a well-known figure in the community—we got to know more about AfsarMoyeen’s personal life, his love for cars and the legacy he has left behind.
Give us a few words about his life–his work, interests and what kept him going.
Abba has alhamdulillah had a great life, very family oriented, he loved nature and was the 4th generation tea planter in the family. He has expanded our tea estate plantations and productions over the years, he was an avid tea taster, He loved traveling and taking pictures was very fashionable and a content man. His huge loving family and his new home projects is what kept him going.
What made him fall in love with cars?
From a very young age my father and his brothers were exposed to cars. My grandfather and great grandfather were also car loving people and in fact the 1937 family Rolls Royce is still preserved in the Kolkata home. So being exposed to cars it was natural that they all took to cars and it became more of an obsession. Even if they didn’t drive it, they just collected and gazed!
What was his role in shaping you to become a car enthusiast yourself?
Likewise, ever since I was born, I had no other choice luckily but to be born into cars and mechanics and detailers who were always seen working on the several project cars Abba and all his brothers had going in their sprawling 1-acre Gulshan residence lawn. So ever since a very tender age I have had to endear and enjoy the smell of petrol and paint. Glad I did. Was quality time spent with dad. We used to go for drives, I used to be standing next to him in the bench seat of a fintail Mercedes. Still remember the smell and the texture its seat would leave on my knees! Unlike others what Abba taught me to do with cars and parts is retain originality and don’t mend it if it not broken. Basically, if it’s fine don’t touch it.
What was AfsarMoyeen’s favorite car? Why was it so special to him?
Abba didn’t have a particular favorite car and I’ve asked him this all my life. It varied between various Bentleys, Rolls Royce and Cadillacs to a lot of Mercedes Benz and Jaguars and American V8 muscle. He had a soft corner for V8s as my uncle Asif Moyeen recently said “he was a slave to V8s” I didn’t see any interest for new cars in my father. He was stuck in his 60s 70s era and loved it.
What are the cars your father owned in his collection which were so dear to him?
He recently really enjoyed his Lexus ls400 with a mild decat and full ss exhaust his own sounds and goes like no other ls400. Mines not even close! His dodge charger v8, his brothers jaguar e type v12 and elder brothers 6.7-liter V8 rolls Royce spirit are a few that he enjoyed thoroughly each have a totally different sense of feel, smell, drive and sound. Abba has owned many many cars throughout his life his dodge charger and fintail 200 Mercedes have been dear to him. He always wanted a w108 300SE and cherished his W124 300D.
Apart from the love for automobile, any other things AfsarMoyeen was interested in as much?
Abba apart from cars had a huge fascination with aircrafts, commercial and fighters. He could differentiate between sounds of Airbus 320s and 737s, F28 and he knew MiG sounds and technical details about these. He was also once an agent for Air France maintenance services for the maintenance of DC10s. Agriculture plantations and particularly Tea was his passion recently he took to planting and growing exotic fruits like strawberries. He had a huge fascination for watches, sunglasses and hats. And over the years collected quite a few of these too.
A few words about his tragic demise
Unfortunately, his demise was a very sudden one. We were all in very hard lock down and all of a sudden, my grandfather fell ill. By the time we got him to hospital within a few hours of us finding out. Our family had to break the lockdown and head to dada and take him to hospital. This was mid-May and COVID impact in Bangladesh was still not severe hence knowledge and testing were relaxed and took time. We got Dada to hospital only to find out that he could be Corona positive. We left him at the hospital, praying for the best. Next day my father and his elder brother both had complains. Abba has fever and chacha seemed to have breathing irritations. While Dada was in hospital for the 7th day, the night he died chachaand Abba got worse and were admitted to the hospital. They both walked to the hospital, my uncle Azmat Moyeen passed away on the 7th of June and Abba fought like a warrior but lost on the 28th of June. This 2020 has been a devastating year for us all. But for my family it couldn’t get worse.
The legacy and values, he has left behind.
What they have left behind for us to fulfill is a monumental task. Their values and morals have been impeccable. Never used harsh tones to speak to anyone, always made us give respect to guests no matter who they were, feed whoever whenever.Even if a thief came to steal at night it was made sure that he ate well and went back with a hearty meal.