Shah Tazrian Ashrafi

September 2, 2021
September 2, 2021

Radhika Singha's 'The Coolie's Great War': The forgotten ones of World War I

As of December 31, 1919, a total of 1.4 million Indians were recruited to various theatres of the First World War. Among them, approximately 563,369 were “followers or non-combatants”.

August 31, 2021
August 31, 2021

In ‘Toward Happy Civilization’, a portrait of desperation

Typical of any Samanta Schweblin story from her International Booker-longlisted collection, Mouthful of Birds (OneWorld, 2019), a sense of anxiety is strongly perceptible here, especially through the characters Fi and Pe. One grows afraid of them as they start showing both lovingly caring and Big Brother-like tendencies. What heightens the ominous halo surrounding these two is the hostages’ inability to translate their emotions; why would someone who provides for you not give you a way out?

June 3, 2021
June 3, 2021

The terror of living and loving

An 81-year-old woman is strolling about in her farm, reeling from nostalgia, dead leaves crunching under her feet. She is planting newly bloomed flowers in an empty pig pen.

May 27, 2021
May 27, 2021

'Murder at the Mushaira': A poet, a murder mystery, and a vivid portrait of 1857 India

In 1857, a wave of uprisings sparked through India in a bid to overthrow the British rulers. The Sepoy Mutiny was the first time Indian soldiers rose against the British East India Company in the face of corruption and unjust social reforms—including ruthless land taxes that unfairly penalised the working class.

April 24, 2021
April 24, 2021

Mentorship opportunity for South Asian writers from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan

A new British Council-funded project, Write Beyond Borders, is set to kickstart its inaugural episode from May-October 2021. The program is designed for “emerging writers” of South Asian background, who can be based anywhere in the UK, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. The deadline for application, which should include a covering letter and a writing sample of no more than 2,000 words, is April 30, 2021.

March 25, 2021
March 25, 2021

A miracle in milk

“Once there was a severe flood in the month of Magh.

March 18, 2021
March 18, 2021

The unfortunate Asians of Uganda

In the 1890s, many South Asians were brought to Uganda by the British Empire for administration and development purposes.

February 26, 2021
February 26, 2021

Encouraging an ethical approach to pet adoption

In 2017, Orni Hasan found a disheveled kitten around Dhanmondi Lake, deciding to keep him. Before the decision, she looked for safe adoption options, but could not find any.

February 23, 2021
February 23, 2021

Lyricist Gazi Mazharul Anwar launches book, ‘Olpo Kothar Golpo Gaan’

Olpo Kothar Golpo Gaan includes 200 of these iconic songs.

February 19, 2021
February 19, 2021

The heady days of history

I still remember how there was so much commotion around the language issue in East Pakistan right after the 1947 Partition. In 1948, Liaquat Ali Khan brought amendments that sought to make English and Urdu the lingua franca of Pakistan, even though a majority of Pakistan’s population spoke in Bangla.