• Friday, July 25, 2014

Published July 25, 2014
The Star

Musings

When Powerful Men Kill . . .

When Powerful Men Kill . . .

Benjamin Netanyahu is not the first politician or government figure to have taken pleasure in murdering innocent men, women and children. There was Ariel Sharon before him. On Sharon's watch, hundreds of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps were killed in 1982. And yet Sharon went on to become Israel's prime minister. The world simply forgot that he was a murderer, just as the world today ignores the criminality Netanyahu is applying in Gaza. Of course, there is the most notorious murderer of modern times in Adolf Hitler. He not only ravaged the countries his army occupied but also made sure that people who did not have what he called Aryan blood in them would have no place in his scheme of things. That was how Kristallnacht happened. That was how books unacceptable to the Nazis were put to the torch. That was how six million Jews died in the gas chambers. In later times, Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Kurds in Iraq, before meeting a sorry end. The irony today is that it is the Jewish community in Israel which occupies Arab land, indeed goes around...

Fiction

A STORY CAN CURE YOUR AILMENT

A STORY CAN CURE YOUR AILMENT

Shrief told Arif about the Pandooa, the river ghost. Arif laughed, 'How superstitious people are in this village!' Arif lived in the city of Patna. He had been visiting his native village Alipura after five years, where his uncle lived. Shrief, his cousin, a tall, fair Pathan, had spent all his 25 years in this...

Cover Story

The News You Never Got (or Even Imagined)

The News You Never Got (or Even Imagined)

Disclaimer:  All news, views, characters, persons and institutions in the cover story are purely fictitious. Any resemblance to anyone/anything real is purely coincidental. Opening the newspapers often fills us with dread - corruption, murders, accidents, deaths, destruction, injustice and more corruption – our reality seems to be dominated by doom and gloom. But what...

Impressions

All for Eid…

All for Eid…

The pains people take to celebrate Eid are amazing. More overwhelming is the fact that this trend has been on an upward spiral from year to year. Take, the maddening pace of shopping undeterred by impervious traffic and ruthless price mark-ups. Rain or sunshine with humidity, you have negotiated pedestrian and vehicular tailbacks to...

Travel

Batuta's Last Visit

Batuta's Last Visit

Abū Abd al-Lāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Lāh l-Lawātī ṭ-Ṭanǧī ibn Baṭūṭah alias Ibn Batuta recently visited Bangladesh after nearly seven hundred years. This week the Star brings you an exclusive travelogue in the words of this renowned traveller. Last night I dreamt that I was roaming around the Buriganga. I was so intrigued by...

Perspective

Why I Stay Home on Election Day

Why I Stay Home on Election Day

Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. But where do these politicians come from? They don't fall from the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from Bangladeshi parents, Bangladeshi families, Bangladeshi homes, Bangladeshi schools, and they are elected by Bangladeshi citizens. This is the best we can...

Writing the Wrong

Foiled By a Flower

Foiled By a Flower

China's ultimate super secret blueprint for world domination has changed.  According to sources in and out of the State Department of the US, its original plan to purchase vast swathes of Malibu, CA and convert them into state of the art women's beach volleyball and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model training camps has hit...

Obituary

ODE TO PEACE

ODE TO PEACE

When she is wanted she turns elusive. When she stays with us we can't feel where she actually is. When someone powerful tries to settle her somewhere the toll she takes chill our hearts. She is a global desire but nobody on this poor earth can afford her presence for too long. Finally...

Perceptions

A Limerick at the Airport

A Limerick at the Airport

There is a series of things that are ticking me off. I don't have pet peeves. I have major psychotic freaking hatred. And sometimes it helps to just let it out. For lack of space, I am allowed to talk about only what's on the top of my list. I am tired of this b**s....

Village Flute

My Islam

My Islam

It used to be that of a village Eid morning in Hatiya I'd get ready along with my Bengali brothers. After bathing in the pond we'd dress and walk the short distance to the mosque. What I wore varied. In later years I had fashionable Dhanmondi-style panjabis to choose from. Earlier I used...

Current Affairs

Democracy in Dhaka

Democracy in Dhaka

The council of Dhaka city unit of ruling Awami League (AL) was held on December 27, 2012. Its main objective was to elect new leadership for the AL. The city council was held nine years after the previous one on June 18, 2003. And it was held hurriedly only on seven days' notice. But the council had completed all formalities, leaving the main task of electing new leaders for the party's supreme leader Sheikh Hasina. Till date, the committee for the Dhaka city unit of AL is yet to be formed. Nobody in the party knows when the new leaders will be picked to form the new committee. The...

Reflections

Those Were The Days

Those Were The Days

My mother was a Dacca bred lady married to a farmland holder of a remote place of Faridpur not far away from the mighty Padma. On most occasions she returned to Dacca for Eid. It was the end of forties and the beginning of the fifties. I was the only little boy around....

International

STANDING TOGETHER

STANDING TOGETHER

The MH17 tragedy has brought back some common sense to us, reminding us that as a country and as a people, we all share many things together - the joys and the pains - regardless of our race and religion. IT'S 7.35pm on a Friday night at Angkasapuri. The Prime Minister had just started...

Heritage

DHAKA SILVERWARE

DHAKA SILVERWARE

In the 19th century, when Victor Hugo described the whole of Europe as 'leaning towards the East', the Islamic Orient was considered the only place of merit. The East has attracted travellers of all kinds -- scientists, adventurers, aesthetes. These fearless Europeans undertook countless exotic journeys, from the pleasure trips up the Nile...

Star Diary

Star Diary

FARE WOES Last Friday I went to buy a bus ticket from Gabtoli for Khulna. The salesperson at the ticket counter demanded Tk 800 where the actual price is only Tk 470. The bus fare is hiked usually by around 70 percent. If the rates are fixed by the Bangladesh Road Transport Authorities, why...

Quirky Science

Quirky Science

Orgasms and alcohol influence pillow talk Orgasms aren't just good for your sexual relationship; they may also promote good communication. Results of a new study published in the latest edition of Communication Monographs reveal that in the aftermath of having experienced an orgasm, people are more likely to share important information with their partners....

Remembrance

POET OF THE PEOPLE

POET OF THE PEOPLE

Ahsan Habib was one of the most famous poets and literary figures of Bengali literature. He was also famous as a literature critique and edited many literary journals. He was one of the leading modern poets of Bengali literature during 50s and 60s. We remember this great personality of art and culture on...

MAILBOX

MAILBOX

Braving the Business World As a young entrepreneur, I think it's a wonderful cover story that addresses many challenges aspiring entrepreneurs face in our country. For example, banks are now reluctant to give loans to new business owners. But the fact is young entrepreneurs almost always pay back in time. Banks should be more...

Mad Genius

Mad Genius

ZACH GALIFIANAKIS October 1, 1969 Zachary Knight "Zach" Galifianakis is an American stand-up comedian and actor of Greek ancestry known for his film and television appearances including his own Comedy Central Presents special. He has garnered attention for his role as Alan Garner in The Hangover trilogy. " I used to be really cute. I could send you earlier photos where I'm stunning. But I've gained about twenty pounds over the past two years, and the more weight I've put on, the more success I've had. If you drew a diagram of weight gain and me getting more work, a mathematician would draw some conclusions from that. I haven't been hit since Leon Spinks hit me in '92. My name is Zach Galifianakis and I hope I'm...

THE BARE MINIMUM

Best of Humayun Ahmed

Best of Humayun Ahmed

Humayun Ahmed needs no introduction. His honest and easy-going writing style is what made himone of the best known Bangladeshi writers of all time. Although he  is not with us anymore, his novels are forever cherished in our book shelves, and in our hearts. Here are 5 different Humayun Ahmed novels you must...

Voicebox

"Nothing can be more painful than staying away from cricket. Cricket is my life. I have been carrying the colour of the country and have been wearing the BCB logo since I was 15. The Bangladesh team is above everything else for me." SHAKIB AL HASAN Bangladeshi cricketer Making a public apology for his recent behaviour after submitting a prayer to the BCB, requesting it to reconsider the suspension imposed against him "I am not for canceling Shakib's punishment altogether, but I think...

SNAPSHOT

It’s (almost) Eid!

It’s (almost) Eid!

Despite unbearable heat and traffic, shoppers brave the streets to get their last minute Eid shopping done.

1 MINUTE PLEASE!

1 MINUTE PLEASE!

He sings, he writes, he composes. In the last few years, Syed Waqeel Ahad has given our musical panorama a number of soulful tracks. “I carefully try not to sing peppy tracks which are only about love and romance, instead I prefer singing songs where the lyrics are more subjective and contain a...

HOME AND ABROAD

HOME AND ABROAD

Nature's Fury Lalmonirhat. Strong current damaged around 100 metres of the dyke of the Teesta bridge road in Lalmonirhat. When will We Get Our Dues? Dhaka. Rokeya Begum, whose daughter Hena is one of the missing workers of Tazreen Fashions, cries before a trunk filled with fake money and covered with red paint, during a...

Postscript

Follow Your Dream at All Costs

Follow Your Dream at All Costs

They always tell us, at least in the movies that you can be whatever you want to be – 'just follow your dream'. Some people take this advice a bit too literally and don't realise that you need to fulfill certain requirements before you can even think of following your dream. If you...

Cartoon

Babu

Babu