Nizamuddin Ahmed


The writer is a practising Architect at BashaBari Ltd., a Commonwealth Scholar and a Fellow, a Baden-Powell Fellow Scout Leader, and a Major Donor Rotarian.

Why we need proper fire safety plan for each building

Grenfel Tower in London was entrapped in the myth that a single staircase under mechanically-induced positive air pressure was safe for a 24-storey block of apartments.

3w ago

Pelé: Unseeing is believing

The world is grieving for Pelé, one of its most gifted sons, who won the universe with his football skills.

When in Qatar, be a Qatari

In the days leading up to the greatest show on earth, miserably apt was the Bangla saying, "Jare dekhte nari, tar cholon banka."

Bangladesh stumped by ‘blind love’

Over-dependence on technology and partisan umpiring is casting a shadow over cricket

Hollow democracies make the most noise

Probably on account of my last two articles on Covid and dengue, someone thought I was a doctor.

Aedes-Manush Bhai-Bhai?

The annual meeting of the Nikhil Bangladesh Mosha (mosquito) Samity has been convened.

Rise in Covid cases: A lackadaisical lifestyle is hardly liberty

Mask usage has come down to five percent, my guess, well below the rate of infection.

Stealing the applause and appreciation

What could be the psyche behind this ugly practice of stealing the limelight despite having no intellectual, technical, moral or effective input in any of the 23 goals that our girls scored in Kathmandu?

Living on hope, devoid of reality

Many of us believe and widely practise the cliché of, “Hopefully, this shall not happen to me”.

Mirsarai tragedy: Some coincidences are akin to death traps

Eleven passengers, including seven students, were killed in the collision between a microbus and a train in Mirsarai last month.

A world in trouble, not just Bangladesh

Almost any major incident causes a ripple effect across the globe – a few ripples lasting longer and spreading further than the others.

Unusual power lust in modern West

After quenching their lurid lust for power and property, funded by slavery and wholesale loot for centuries, leaving behind a trail of torture, murder and injustice, Western colonialists began to spread the word of the holy books,

A nation bogged by pitiful pessimists

You have perhaps heard the tale of these two neighbours.

To dua or not to dua?

You get a surprise phone call, not all have to be pleasant. According to this gentleman, although his voice was unfamiliar, you met him 10 years ago.

The future doesn’t justify the past

In case you have felt the shivers recently, or sweated profusely, know that climate is not the only earthly element that has undergone change.

Can we all play nice, please?

With the third round of Covid surge, educational institutions in Bangladesh are once again subjected to an extended shutdown.

Launch fire tragedy: Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to fight a fire

My philosophy, after any tragic fire incident, is to forget it, and rather concentrate on similar conditions that pose threats in the future. Because the fact of the matter is, many potential killing machines are waiting in our waters.

The crisis of wastage

From my flat on the 5th floor, I could hear a beggar beseech anyone who would care to listen for alms.

The mirror speaketh the truth

On the sandy desert of Dubai and in the barren stretches of Abu Dhabi, it is ektur jonno difficult to connect bat with ball, to avoid wides and mokkhom good-length deliveries, and to hold on to a multiple loppa catches with both hands or to stop a boundary with your palm or your booted foot if you happen to speak in Bangla.

Guns, but more Roses

In case you have not noticed, climate is not the only manifestation that has changed drastically over the last decade. People have too.

Elbowed out by an open mind; sequel to ‘mind block’

Our wedding feasts are not the usual places to showcase our best behaviour. Reaching out to fetch a bowl of rezala over the next guy, tossing a shami kebab to a needy friend beyond the reach of your spoon, and trying to cover spilt borhani with only one layer of tissue paper are all part of the gaiety.

Whom do the public servants serve?

Unlike the English language, where the hierarchy of age is muddled in the universality of “you,” Bangla distinguishes age, endearment, and insult with the terms “tui,”“tumi,” and “apni”—not in that order—as do several other dialects of the subcontinent.

Architects are not ‘others’

I have always resented the common belief (due to fabricated propaganda, plus the romanticisation of an emperor who had seven wives) that Samrat Shahjahan “built” the Taj Mahal.

The no-risk, all-gain game of mortal prophecy

You must have come across people, not necessarily ostentatious, who foretell the future, making a monkey out of the gullible with their forecasts.

Remembering Sultana Kamal Khuki

Not that we remember her only on August 15th, but she comes alive during events she embraced, at places that hold her memory, on the morning dew shimmering on the green, in the clouds that stand still, dark and heavy.

In search of an Olympic medal with ‘athletes without borders’

Now that San Marino, population 34,000, less than Sabrang, the smallest Union in Teknaf Upazila, have won medals at the Tokyo Olympics, the pressure is mounting on us, the eighth largest country, with about 17 crore people. But, how?

Lay and parley, eat and meet

Once the pandemic is over, that’s optimism, one thing I hope I will not miss, and you too perhaps, are meetings round the clock, that shall be freedom.

Happy birthday thoo you!

Researchers, I have always assumed, perhaps audaciously and inappropriately so, are rather awfully late to come to any conclusion, even on matters that appear conclusive on face value.

Shakib Al Hasan: Guilty victim of blind injustice

It is not easy to defend a cricketer who has kicked the stumps and uprooted them in successive overs in broad daylight, and that too on camera. His status as the world’s number one ODI all-rounder makes that task impossible. And yet, a diagnosis is necessary for even a terminal case.

Why does the story always begin with Palestinians throwing stones?

You have perhaps been witness to a cycle of violence that begins with one-sided bullying and coercion (action) and continues until the victim is forced to respond (reaction). And then the “fighting” begins. But then the victim is blamed for countering the continuing onslaught.

‘Internal affairs’ suck under globalisation

I am not at all concerned about the Tatmadaw takeover in neighbouring Myanmar, a foregone conclusion, some say, to a power struggle in the land of a hundred ethnic groups, and was somewhat expected given the country’s six decades’ tradition of robust military interest in politics and governance.

The drawback with prototype designs of residences

Individuality builds self-confidence as opposed to dependency, creativity against suppression, cooperatives instead of idle loners, an active workforce vs laissez-faire, contributors not dumb receivers, and choosers not beggars. Allow me to elaborate.

A city in peril, but these palm trees are mine

No centuries-old city merits a revamping makeup, so as to render it unrecognisable by distortion, not the least Dhaka.

The humility of the greats, and the pathetic flip side

Celebrated Pakistan national footballer and Bangladesh national coach Golam Sarwar aka Tipu, who famously played mostly for Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting, was one among the 23 Bengalis who represented Pakistan during the 24 years of East-West coexistence. He narrated the following anecdote.

Big chunks of rubbish float at the top

US president-elect Joe Biden’s meticulous selection of office-bearers for various portfolios should make one realise the importance of competence.

A life not wasted, nor forgotten

Occasionally an athlete transcends the boundaries of his sporting arena and attains a civil personality through his many socio-welfare activities, albeit woven intricately with the game.

Pedestrians first, pedal cyclists second, then the rest

What I am about to write will be of no use, least of all any consolation, to the family and friends, and yes admirers, of the flicker that was denied to sparkle. Because they cannot bring her back to conquer mountains with a smile, to pedal a bicycle to her heart’s delight, or convey knowledge to her students with care.

Two sides of the Covid

Contextually, although lockdown remains an essential defence worldwide against the spread of Covid-19, there have been exceptions at the cost of human lives.

For the honour of Scouter, Lt Gen Robert Baden-Powell

Mass movements are characterised by a euphoric tempo. Thus, it was understandable when on June 7 “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) demonstrators in Bristol brought down and defaced the statue that commemorated 17th Century slave trader Edward Colston. Perplexing though was the inclusion of the statue of Baden-Powell, the founder of the worldwide Scout Movement, in their “Topple the Racists” list of sixty statues.

The rigorous and (oops!) the negligent sides

At five feet four, most people’s mouth is where my nose is. In a democracy, they can do all the loud talking at a distance from me, but their flurry of drenched words requires my close proximity. My nose is again of the type that inspires free speech, supplemented with coughs and sneezes.

If not I, then who?

Trending now are a winter holding at around twenty degrees Celsius, finishing office work in a traffic jam, private fogging to rid societies of mosquitoes (members of the Executive Committee not included), and a side job or business not only to make ends meet but for a wee bit of luxury, such as eating out.

Not only Mayors, we need to make promises too

Election time is full of promises. Wowed by the vows, some of us are the happiest. Many of us are steeply sceptical; we suffer the most. Most of us believe the rhetoric, or pretend to, otherwise candidates would not have been spewing material for us to build castles in the air, election after election.

Around the world in 999 words

The following anecdote I have narrated before, but it merits repetition for sheer context.

In 2K20, let us resolve to be a little different

As we draw closer to pulling the curtain on 2019, it is an opportune moment for self-analysing ourselves.

Pink ball, espionage and beating India

My earliest encou-nter with the razzmatazz colour, discounting my childhood chushni (more about that later) was due to my kindergarten schooling at Comilla’s Our Lady of Fatima Convent.

I too am Chhatra League

1974. BUET Elections. The position of Mujibbadi Chhatra League was not at all rosy. The major threat was the student wing of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), drawing young people in droves by its patent ‘Scientific Socialism’. Another front was Chhatra Union, popular among cultural activists.

Celebrating a ‘Chattal Darodi’

Muhammad Yusuf Chowdhury, a philanthropist who is still enshrined in the hearts of the people, has risen above his own life. Over decades, he has captivated individuals and communities.

Till an argument do us apart, no!

Nowadays while meeting someone after a lapse of a few months, and with a gap in updated information, following the customary exchanges there is hesitation to pop the question, “How is the wife?”

September 29, 2019
September 29, 2019

Our pride, our hope, oh my Bangla Bhaasha!

Famed for his Moder Garob, Moder Aasha, a-mori Bangla Bhaasha, poet, educationist and lawyer Atul Prasad is long gone.

September 21, 2019
September 21, 2019


I am dazed and dejected, but not down. This chap is such a beyadab. He deserves one big thappar.

September 14, 2019
September 14, 2019


The most adorable sight that thy eyes can behold is that of a child in her first saree, her small strides burdened by girdles of fabric (quality immaterial) and her vain efforts to keep her anchol in place. She will carry a heavenly smile garnished by shyness, innocence and pride of being Mommy, at last.

September 4, 2019
September 4, 2019

Dualism is to everyone’s loss

To be a successful criminal (No! I am not opening a school), besides having 10 SIM cards (legally allowed for each operator), an oily body to slip away if caught, a foul mouth, an arsenal of weapons, and liaison with uniformed ostads and informed murubbis, one must

June 22, 2019
June 22, 2019

Make them eat their mangoes

You left a restaurant, content, so much so that you tipped the waiter heavier than your usual. Two days later, a news flash on the TV scroll: “Sona Dana Khana Pina Restora fined Tk 1 lakh for freezing rotten fish and expired chicken.” Nausea overtakes you. To an

June 13, 2019
June 13, 2019

Of pink dogs and doggone humans

We have remar-kable similarities: jobless or sleeping on the job when employed, being kicked about or loved like crazy, meaninglessly barking at each other, unkempt body hair or salon spoilt, ready to lick and leak in public; tree or wall is a matter of circumstances.

May 31, 2019
May 31, 2019

I am not on TV tonight at 11pm

Leonardo da Vinci was an extremely talented man of wide versatility. Other than famously and fortuitously puzzling generations with the enigma of a Mrs Giocondo, okay Lisa Gherardini, his Mona, he excelled in architecture and drawing, painting and sculpting, astronomy and mathematics, science and engineering, music and literature, anatomy and botany, geology and cartography, writing and history... Phew if you will.

May 14, 2019
May 14, 2019

Camouflage of a different kind

The history of camouflage is as old as animals hiding in their natural habitat. Human beings, perhaps the greatest copycats, took quite a while but never looked back, especially since World War I when military forces massively exploited the craft. Over the years, few of us can deny not having taken refuge in the art of disguise and deception at some time in our life.

April 13, 2019
April 13, 2019

Rajuk's 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'

British historian Lord Acton's 130-year-old observation that a person's sense of morality diminishes as his/her power increases is true

March 23, 2019
March 23, 2019

From Breivik to Brenton to #HelloBrother

Terrorists kill without discrimination. Their tactics differentiate them from freedom fighters. Terrorists have no religion. They may have names—Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or any other.