Literature | The Daily Star
  • Nazrul’s Nonfiction Prose and the Question of Human Emancipation

    Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976)—one of the greatest Bengali poets—has by now been fully assimilated into the literary canon and even into public discourse in Bangladesh.

  • From Kazi Nazrul Islam’s The Autobiography of a Vagabond

    Dear friend, are you sure you want to listen to this? I am a person with a harsh exterior and a soft heart. When you insist that I have to tell you my story, I feel very emotional and stressed out.

  • Story of a Rajpath

    It is I, a “rajpath” as they say. I had to suffer the same fate as Ahalya who was cursed into becoming the unfeeling being that she was.

  • The Other Side of the Divide: A Journey into the Heart of Pakistan

    The Other Side of the Divide by Sameer Arshad Khatlani journeys through the precarious landscape of people who live on both sides of the divide — the divide caused by the line drawn by Radcliffe in 1947 to split the subcontinent into Pakistan and India. The angst, the wounds linger on through even pandemics like COVID 19.

  • The Poet of Hope and Faith

    Let me begin my speech in this birthday webinar organized by the High Commission of India in Dhaka to commemorate Rabindranath Tagore’s 159th birthday by referring to his last public address, Sabhyater Sankat or Crisis in Civilization.

  • Rabindranath Tagore and Jatragan

    Rabindranath Tagore’s (1861-1941) childhood and adolescent memories of stage performance involve both Jatra and theatre.

  • Friends Forever in a Happening Place!

    There were six of us, bosom buddies who had studied together in the same school and college, friends for years—“good” boys. And there were the same number of them, if not more, from the same Dhaka school and college—“nice” girls.

  • Reflections

    In 1980 while I was pursuing PhD in the U.S.A. I stumbled into the world of philosophy. Beyond my engineering studies, I devoted myself to my new-found passion. Since that time, I have been maintaining a diary. The following episodes are based on selected journal entries.

  • Viral Miseries

    I always knew that life is unpredictable. But between February and April this year, I started to discover what it truly means to live an unpredictable life.

  • The love birds of Pabna

    If only I had stopped her from drinking!

  • A death robbed of its solemnity

    Ha, there you go, this is how you suffer:

  • A Man with A Cane

    The man walks Bending on his cane, picking

  • Three Spring Songs in Translations

    Aha Aji E Boshonte

  • Reminiscence

    Afreen is in the third grade. She is shy, quiet and keeps to herself. Being the shortest one in class, she has to stand in the front of the line everyday at the morning assembly. She often gets bullied by classmates for her below-average height. The fact that she’s extremely skinny too doesn’t help.

  • Baishakh at the Wake of Covid 19

    It all started with someone responding to a Facebook post on Coronavirus—wishing that all the problems would be over before the

  • Shanti, the playboy of satkhira

    Based on a true story (‘...poets, as everybody knows,

  • Love, Love Again…

    Perhaps, the time has come to Love, Love again

  • Nationalism, Patriotism, Cosmopolitanism: Tagore’s Ambiguities and Paradoxes (Part II)

    Like nationalism, Tagore’s perspectives on patriotism are also characterised by certain paradoxes and ambiguities; he was a fervid patriot, yet he openly denounced and deplored the sentiment of patriotism.

  • The Reincarnation Song

    So, I was about to slip under my bedcovers to give my back some rest and close my eyes and savour the moment till I fell asleep.

  • Nationalism, Patriotism, Cosmopolitanism: Tagore’s Ambiguities and Paradoxes (Part I)

    The American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Certainly, Tagore was above this puerile mindset.

  • A Pale Blue Star

    Listening to summer breeze, smelling the raw pages of an old book my mind went wandering into the sea of nonexistent dreams. I drifted there like a lost sailor. And I hunted for a thousand-year old pale blue star.

  • One Ardent Map of Bangladesh*

    Even one individual turns into

  • Oborodh Awake!

    The keepers of law

  • Memories at War

    I often consider war as a quasi-synonym for memory. After all, memory is nothing but our present in constant war with our glorified, vilified, expressed, suppressed, erased, and fragmented selves floating in past space and time.

  • Where to?

    Some weird things happen sometimes. It was just midday when his mother was done with her cooking. She got up from sitting position with her two hands on her knees and went to sit in the yard to relieve rheumatism in the sunlight. On her way, she called out to her second daughter, “Mitu, serve Milu his lunch. I’ll rest awhile.”

  • The Journey Back Home

    During the Pakistan days my father was in the army, and we moved frequently, every few years. Soon after I finished Grade 10 in 1966, we made a big move: from Chittagong to Rawalpindi.

  • Bangabandhu, the 1947 Partition and Healing its Wounds

    In the intellectual evolution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the partition of the subcontinent in 1947 played a decisive role.

  • Charlotte Brontë’s Villette: Food for Thought

    Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is widely read as a classic feminist novel. Published in 1953, Villette, however, still resides in a shadowy region.

  • Short-Lived

    Unloved and unnoticed

  • The Phone Call

    Aum impatiently held on to his phone, hearing it ring without being answered. He hated having to start the day without hearing her voice. Then again, he also hated going to bed without talking to her. It was going to be a bad day.