• Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cover Story

Published Date: October 17, 2014
DIVING FOR PEARLS

DIVING FOR PEARLS

Bangladesh was once known as one of the largest ship graveyards of the world. Every year, dozens of aging container vessels would head towards the country's southern coast to breathe their last before being broken into pieces. National and international news media, documentaries, photographs and numerous campaigns addressed the socio-environment and human rights...

Current Affairs

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Painful Resignations

Painful Resignations

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set a new precedent by sacking Abdul Latif Siddique from her cabinet, jumping the constitutional path. As per the constitution, she was supposed to request Latif, who hurt the sentiments of Muslims by making derogative remarks on hajj and Prophet Muhammad (SM), to resign as the minister from her cabinet. If Latif was requested to resign, he would have no alternative to retain the office. If he refused to comply with the request, he would have been removed from the cabinet through the president. The premier however did not explore the first option. Instead, she advised the president to terminate Latif as minister from...

Profile

Published Date: October 17, 2014
An Eternal Beat

An Eternal Beat

Popularly known as Dashrath Dhuli, he plays dhol, a double-sided, barrel-shaped indigenous drum, melding the infectious rhythm of folk and expressing its spirit through improvisation and explosive stage performances. Last year, at a show in New York, he showed up with his drum slung over one shoulder, beating out furious rhythms, leaping and bending...

Education

Published Date: October 17, 2014
The Library Revolution

The Library Revolution

Books can prove to be the greatest joy in a person's life. For a student, there's nothing more important than proper academic books and papers that will help shape your education. Unfortunately, getting access to international academic books can be expensive in Bangladesh. Even if you can get access to the necessary journals,...

Photo Feature

Published Date: October 17, 2014
IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE BUDDHA

IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE BUDDHA

Buddhists celebrate Probarona Purnima that marks a three-month long solitude of Buddhist monks in their monasteries for self-realisation, purification and atonement.  One legend has it that after leaving his family in search of Truth, prince Gautam clipped some strands of his hair and threw them into the air, saying, if he was meant...

Perspective

Published Date: October 17, 2014
IRRELEVANT JOURNALISM

IRRELEVANT JOURNALISM

There's a thin line between journalism and sensationalism that's becoming increasingly blurred in the age of social media. Consider this recent headline: “Jennifer Hudson's brother arrested for allegedly stabbing a man”. The fact that Jennifer Hudson is a celebrity seems to be the selling point of this news story, however irrelevant it may...

Impressions

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Lungful of Oxygen and More

Lungful of Oxygen and More

My spouse and I were all set at the crack of dawn on the day following Eid-ul-Azha for a long drive out of the city – into the tranquil and unpolluted interior of Comilla district. Initially though, we had difficulty keeping our wits about us, our overnight excitement was about to die down...

Perceptions

Published Date: October 17, 2014
A Business with a Human Face

A Business with a Human Face

I was never happy with the planning and design of my three-storied house with only two garages and no proper façade and approach road, built on less than a four Katha of inherited land in Dhanmondi. I toyed with the idea of developing the land by a developer but with no success. The construction business which was once booming and burgeoning had almost nose-dived on account of political instability, flight of capital and insecurity. People were in quest of greener pastures popularly known in expatriate Bangladeshi community as 'Begum's encla ve' in Toronto and second homes in Malaysia. The economy floundered and stagnated despite seeming GDP growth. There was...

Village Flute

Published Date: October 17, 2014
The Spirit of Madhabkunda

The Spirit of Madhabkunda

“Shhh! There need be silence,” she says, “A white chicken will meet its death.” If there is any kind of water-spirit lingering beneath Barlekha's renowned Madhabkunda waterfall in Moulvibazar District, what kind of spirit would she be? The gentle falls and cool, dark pool certainly look like a place where a spirit might dwell. Perhaps she's benign and helpful, a sort of Bengali pari related to the ones people talk of that sometimes clean the house during the night. Perhaps she's mischievous like a prai of the old Khasi belief. Prais make people sick. Do you think the Madhabkunda spirit might dance mystically to the rhythm of water falling, in secret,...

Art

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Leaning to the West

Leaning to the West

“Art should be international and independent” was the guiding motto of the Calcutta Group to which Gopal Ghosh belonged. This artist of the 40s fame is having an exhibition in Bengal Shilpalaya, which takes the occasion to celebrate his birth centenary to present his works from the 1930s to the eighties. The Calcutta...

Travel

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Quiet Charm of an Alpine Village

Quiet Charm of an Alpine Village

How could we let a summer in Switzerland pass without a trip to the mountains? So, my wife and I, along with another couple who are our long-time friends, looked at the weather forecast, found a three-day period of sunny weather in August, and packed up. Saas Fee (pronounced as Fay), a village...

Health

Published Date: October 17, 2014
The Rolling (kidney) Stones

The Rolling (kidney) Stones

Stone diseases date back to the beginning of civilisation. Kidney or renal stones were first identified in an Egyptian mummy from about 4500 BC. It is one of the most common diseases of the urinary tract. Around two to three percent of the world's population suffers from kidney stones. People who belong to the age group of 30 to 40 years are more prone to kidney stones. The incidence is more in males than females. Kidney stones are usually harmless unless they start showing symptoms. Most of them are small in size and easily pass with urine. But the ones that get stuck in the ureter (the tube that drains...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Star Diary

Star Diary

Chit Chat with Elesia I was returning home after visiting my brother who lives in Rampura. On my way back in a bus, I saw two foreigners along with a child of around nine or ten years sitting in front of me. The girl looked at me and I waved at her, and started...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Write to Mita

Write to Mita

Dear Mita, I recently learnt that my uncle, who I am extremely close to, is suffering from fourth stage cancer. I love him dearly and I know that it's going to be very difficult for me to let him go. However, I am worried about his mental state and his family's wellbeing. They were only informed about this diagnosis a few days back. He had confided in me that he wants this transition to be as smooth as it can be but he is worried that his wife and two children won't be able to cope with his death. I would really like to help him and his family to...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Quirky Science

Quirky Science

'Cloaking' device uses ordinary lenses to hide objects across range of angles Inspired perhaps by Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, scientists have recently developed several ways -- some simple and some involving new technologies -- to hide objects from view. The latest effort, developed at the University of Rochester, not only overcomes some of the limitations...

Remembrance

Published Date: October 17, 2014
The Trailblazer's Life

The Trailblazer's Life

Abdul Matin was one of the key organizing leaders of the historic language movement of 1952 to make Bengali one of the state languages of Pakistan. It was the student leader Matin who led the procession to break section 144 during the movement. He was also a notable personality of the communist movement...

Postscript

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Growing Up Again

Growing Up Again

Many years ago I read an article by Ruby Zaman, author of Invisible Lines, on the 'empty nest syndrome' – the state of helplessness many parents are in when their children leave home. At the time I was touched by the sadness so well articulated by her lucid, evocative writing. But I was not at the stage in life to be able to really relate to the emotions expressed. Now after so many years I know exactly what she meant, how she felt. When you're young and clueless you think you have a monopoly over heartache. Nothing seems remotely more devastating than being disappointed in love, nothing more heart wrenching...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
MAILBOX

MAILBOX

Going Deshi Bangladeshi fashion houses should stop blaming customers for buying Indian or Pakistani dresses and try to improve the quality of their products. Customers will buy what they like and think is worth their money. You cannot stop people from buying something merely by shouting patriotic slogans. Consumerism cannot be restricted by geography...

MAD GENIUS

Published Date: October 17, 2014
MICHAEL FASSBENDER

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

    "Nobody wants to hear Metallica at lunchtime. Even if I'm playing a superhero, it has to be steeped in reality. I've always been more inclined to go out to work than carry on with academic studies. I keep everything very simple. I like telling stories."

SNAPSHOT

Published Date: October 17, 2014
The Sky is the Limit

The Sky is the Limit

The sky is everywhere; it begins at your feet.”                                                  ― Jandy Nelson  

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Voicebox

"Minister as well as Awami League leader Latif Siddique is nobody to me, but the person Latif Siddique is my brother. He has no right to talk about me as a brother." ABDUL KADER SIDDIQUE Veteran freedom fighter and the brother of Latif While addressing a press conference at Jatiya Press Club, he commented that what Latif had said was not only his own remark, rather it was the remark of the incumbent government as well. "I have been a friend of Israel...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
1 MINUTE PLEASE!

1 MINUTE PLEASE!

Born and raised in an environment that encouraged music, it was no surprise that Khairul Anam Shakil would be one of the most talented Nazrul geeti (songs) artistes of Bangladesh. For more than four decades Shakil has been charming the audiences of both the Bengals with Nazrul geeti of all forms. His contribution to modern Bengali songs is also notable. The Star speaks with this renowned singer about his inspiration,  passion for music and achievement. Teenage Dream From my childhood I have always been an avid student of classical songs. When I dreamed of being a Nazrul singer this enthusiasm helped me a lot. Foremost requirement to be a Nazrul singer One must...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
HOME AND ABROAD

HOME AND ABROAD

Over the Rainbow Chittagong. A rainbow adorns the sky over the port city of Chittagong in Bangladesh after severe depression over the city the previous night, due to Cyclone Hudhud on the eastern coast of India. Just Punishment Patuakhali. Around 30,000 metres current nets, seized by coastguards and fisheries officials during anti-hilsa netting drives...

Cartoon

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Babu

Babu

 

Cover Story

Published Date: October 3, 2014
DESHI IS THE NEW SEXY

DESHI IS THE NEW SEXY

“Last Eid we were invited to attend a family get-together at my aunt's place. While Eid get-togethers are mostly about having a grand feast and sharing happiness, it is equally about holding up the best look and also secretly scrutinising everyone's attires. Within the next hour many of my fashion forward first cousins, distant...

Chintito

Published Date: October 3, 2014
INDIAN LESSONS

INDIAN LESSONS

No one said it was a conspiracy. No one shouted 'foul', and that the government was behind it. She was the government. Her party did not say it was political harassment, or revenge, and her AIADMK are not in the opposition; they are the party in power. One moment she sat as the elected powerful...

Impressions

Published Date: October 3, 2014
Some Eloquent Anecdotes

Some Eloquent Anecdotes

Cary Grant, a famous romantic Hollywood actor, was at his prime in the sixties, known as a time stretch for angry and emancipated generation given to mood swings. Cary, being a man of arrogant reserve, personal magnetism and a few words, the movie journalists would seek him out for a good, breaking news copy. Approaching the actor, caught up in one of his reticent moody plays with a forbidding diffidence, an exasperated scribe ruefully asked,”Who do you think, you are? “ An unruffled Cary Grant retorted, “I know who I am but I do not know who you are!” The actor got even with the paparazzi with a devastating quick-witted...

Current Affairs

Published Date: October 3, 2014
‘Political Blunder’

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina went to New York to join the United Nations General Assembly with a large delegation comprising of 185 members, probably the largest ever since the country's independence. In contrast, Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, the world's largest democracy, went to New York with an unusually small team. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was accompanied by a 14-member delegation. Yet Sharif came under criticism as the cost of his visit was around $ 4 lakh....

Human Rights

Published Date: October 3, 2014
DO THEY KNOW IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE?

DO THEY KNOW IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE?

Mona Kareem is a student at Binghamton University in upstate New York where she is completing a PhD in comparative literature. She is stateless. She has no country to call home. Mona is one of the millions of nobodies, the citizens of nowhere, forgotten or neglected by governments and ignored by census takers. If they...

Special Feature

Published Date: October 3, 2014
On Human Bondage

On Human Bondage

A pati gamcha(bag for carrying teal leaves) wrapped around her head, Shefali crosses the narrow stream, and heads to work, along the same path that she has walked for a decade and hopes to do for decades more. For Shefali, life outside the tea gardens is unimaginable, this is a world isolated from...

Perceptions

Published Date: October 3, 2014
A Story Retold

A Story Retold

I am about to tell you a story but before that shut down your laptop and mobile phone. Now close your eyes and try to dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade. Take a deep breath and try to concentrate on positive things happening around you. Can't you find anything...

Profile

Published Date: October 3, 2014
A Gifted Son of the Soil

A Gifted Son of the Soil

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (icddr,b) has established an annual lecture series in the name of health scientist Dr M Mujibur Rahaman to honour his contribution to research and his leadership in transforming research into action and in institution building. It is the first of its kind at the icddr,b and possibly...

Travel

Published Date: October 3, 2014
A Gem in the Ocean

A Gem in the Ocean

Eager to find string hoppers, katta sambol, coconut sambol and potato curry dunked in coconut milk or a traditional meal with some of these items, we made our way to De Silva Food Center. We didn't find exactly what we were looking for, but the food was good value for money. Post lunch,...

Musings

Published Date: October 3, 2014
The Festival of Love

The Festival of Love

When my CNG was hurtling down towards my office near TK Bhaban and Wasa Bhaban, I had to look sharp as a cow had got loose and charged its way towards the CNG, like a bull in a Madrid bull fighting arena. As a child was with me in the vehicle, I told the driver of the CNG to “fly right” and pull up his belt. This was weeks back. I remember the numerous cows that used to be tethered near our Karwan Bazaar office. There are long programmes on TV on how to preserve the “qurbani” meat days before Eid-ul-Adha day. People relish eating the “qurbani” meat and will...

International

Published Date: October 3, 2014
Asia and the 'Islamic State'

Asia and the 'Islamic State'

Asia's role in the battle against ISIS is increasingly coming into question as governments in the region continue to sit on the sidelines of the fight. Not a single Southeast Asian country is part of the United States-led coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group, and Asean has thus far...

Music

Published Date: October 3, 2014
A Tribute

A Tribute

September 28 is Lata Mangeshkar's 85th birthday. It is a cause for celebration. No other singer has entertained the subcontinentals for so long, in so many languages, through so many movies, and in an angelic voice that transcended human limitations. She has lent her voice to four generations of actresses – from Madhubala...

Fiction

Published Date: October 3, 2014
LI GIRL

LI GIRL

The SMS sent by Mr Agarwal clearly says that she has to sleep with him in exchange for a life insurance policy worth one million rupees. Shocked and furious, Nasrin Khanam wants to call the bloody lecher and give him a piece of her mind. But she doesn't. Instead, she throws herself on...

Health

Published Date: October 3, 2014
Healthy Living

Healthy Living

It's time for Eid, the Eid of tongue teasing beefs and muttons. The Eid of high protein feasts. It's a time when bulk of patients come to our doorsteps with complaints of indigestion, constipation and abdominal pain. People like to have a lot of red meat. Starting from beef-rezala at breakfast to mutton...

Published Date: October 3, 2014
Star Diary

Star Diary

Teacher, We Need You My friend used to work as a teacher at a school in Dhaka. However, recently he left his job and took a job at a bank. When I asked him the reason behind the decision, he simply replied that being a teacher was just not worth it. Public schools...

Published Date: October 3, 2014
Write to Mita

Write to Mita

Dear Mita, I had been working for a firm for 17 years but when it was time for me to switch tracks, I discovered that the company that I worked for is not as loyal towards its employees as it expects its workers to be. I had to leave the firm with empty hands. In fact, even my salary for five months has still not been paid to me. The owner of the firm had several times assured me that I'd get my fair dues but he seems to continually forget his promise. What should I do to ensure that I get what I am owed?  In a Mess Dear Mess, You should...

Published Date: October 3, 2014
Quirky Science

Quirky Science

Pupil size shows reliability of decisions The precision with which people make decisions can be predicted by measuring pupil size before they are presented with any information about the decision, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational Biology this week. The study, conducted by Peter Murphy and colleagues at Leiden University, showed that...

Remembrance

Published Date: October 3, 2014
The Spirit of Bengal

The Spirit of Bengal

During the era of Tagore and Nazrul there was a poet who nourished the Bengali literature in a different way. It was Jibananda Das, the Bengal's greatest romantic poet. He is also hailed as the “Best loved poet” of Bengal. Literary critic Amit Chaudhury says, “It's safe to claim that Das is the pre-eminent and best loved Bengali poet after Tagore.” Besides poetry, Das was an eminent writer, novelist and essayist. We remember this great poet on his 60th death anniversary. Jibanananda Das was born in 1899 in the small district town of Barisal, Bangladesh (then British India) Jibanananda was the eldest son of his parents, and was called by the...

Published Date: October 3, 2014
MAILBOX

MAILBOX

Adapting to the Future… It is sad that powerful locals regularly try to encroach on land and natural resources enjoyed by the Khasis. The reason, as the writer points out, is that there is no clarity of land tenure. Even officials of different departments are not sure about who has jurisdiction. The government should...

MAD GENIUS

Published Date: October 3, 2014
WALTER BENDIX SCHÖNFLIES BENJAMIN

WALTER BENDIX SCHÖNFLIES BENJAMIN

15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940 Walter Benjamin was a German literary critic, philosopher and essayist. An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, historical materialism, and Jewish mysticism, Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory and Western Marxism. He is associated with the Frankfurt School. "The art of storytelling is reaching...

SNAPSHOT

Published Date: October 3, 2014
The Walk of Innocence

The Walk of Innocence

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.”                  –Tom Stoppard

Published Date: October 3, 2014
Voicebox

Voicebox

"Questions were so difficult that only two students passed the test [for enrolment in English department]. This was done deliberately. Has the quality of education suddenly plummeted so much that only two out of 11 lakh students passed the test?" NURUL ISLAM NAHID Education Minister Amid an uproar over shocking results of a Dhaka University entry test, he put the blame squarely on the test method. "Don't fall in love… falling in love means killing time. Love in this age will kill your intelligence. You need to be mindful of all these things." SYED MOHSIN ALI Social Welfare Minister On Sunday advised students of Moulvibazar Govt Women's College not to fall in love and stay away...

Published Date: October 3, 2014
1 MINUTE PLEASE!

1 MINUTE PLEASE!

He studied Graphic Design, and worked as a designer for a gaming company in Europe. However, after a while the work got monotonous and he got bored. His filmmaker friends came as saviours as he was inspired by their profession and their creativity. He quit his job, returned home, and donned the hat of a filmmaker. Asif Islam is currently co-directing the feature film Paatshala with Faisal Roddy, which tells the story about a ten-year-old who sets out to fulfill his dreams of joining a local school. This week the Star talks to the aspiring filmmaker about his debut film, his inspiration and other things. Current Project At the moment I...

Published Date: October 3, 2014
HOME AND ABROAD

HOME AND ABROAD

Moving Schools Gaibandha. As the River Jamuna continues to ruin structures like schools, homes and farms, locals move the Garamara Government Primary School in Saghata, Gaibandha to a more protected shelter. Dangerous Cows Nilphamari. Impressive cows arrive on the temporary market at Nilphamari High School ground ahead of the Eid ul Azha but many...

Cover Story

Published Date: September 26, 2014
Adapting to the Future, Taking Strength from the Past

Adapting to the Future, Taking Strength from the Past

In part by circumstance, in part by design, from their betel gardens in the hills beyond Kulaura the wary Khasis have most often kept mainstream society at a distance. But increasingly they are discovering the need to engage, to protect their rights and build a better future. At the same time, the community's...

Chintito

Published Date: September 26, 2014
There Can Be Only One No 1, But...

There Can Be Only One No 1, But...

There can be only one No 1. But everyone, well almost everyone, can be No 1 in something or the other. When we do not realise the spirit of the above statement, frustration can seep in, and most often does. When parents especially cannot and do not accept that we are all born with certain limitations, a child more than another, our children can be put under pressure. In a class of fifty, or in an exam of a few hundred, or in a selection process involving thousands, there will be only one person who will emerge as the best. But, that does not mean that the other forty-nine other students,...