Musings | The Daily Star

    Before writing this article, I decided to ask a few people why they chose to attend this year's Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF). Most of them said they wanted to take a picture with Tilda Swinton.

  • (For a life) On the Road

    I was a particularly anxious child, so much so that even as I tried to sleep, I would resort to visualising elaborate scenes in the dark.

  • Running on Nostalgia

    Nostalgia is not an 'old person' sentiment anymore. It's real and it's hovering above us every minute of the day. Do you ever find yourself going through letters, post cards and old birthday cards received from friends and family members living all over the world? What about catching a movie or a TV show re-run that you grew up

  • A grain of salt

    Unbearable sticky sweaty subtropical hotness of August. Disgruntled and disgusted at the shocking turn of events following the popular “Quota” and “Safe Roads” movements.

  • Death with Dignity

    It's a bit odd for me as a healthy 30-something-year-old to be writing about death. But having lived through the protracted agony of my mother's death from kidney failure and complications from dialysis, I feel I have some authority on the subject.

  • Mani Nano and Us - A Cat Love Story

    As we all filed back to work the week after Eid holidays, my mind, unfortunately, was not-so-full of story ideas; rather it was in a post-holiday lull, full of not-taken vacations and the bad TV series that I binge-watched through the break.

  • Can we redefine some definitions?

    We have an education system in which student after student—countless of them—write the same definitions as answers. They probably get the same marks too— four out of five, nine out of ten.

  • The Corridor Through Time

    I am a Bangladeshi born of a Muslim family. My ancestors were Hindus and, somehow, I have inherited their philosophical instincts. Although professionally I am an engineer with advanced degrees from the USA, and remain a practicing Muslim, at some point in my life I was drawn to the Indian philosophy and devoted myself to studying Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, seeking to understand the fabric of life.

  • The pitfalls of shortcuts

    Very recently, I completed a course on acting at a renowned theatre school in Dhaka. I joined the one-year course with a motive to regain 'myself' after being bogged down with depression and anxiety triggered by multiple factors.

  • Thoughts on the childhood home

    Often in conversations people bring up the difference between the words “home” and “house”, or in our case, the difference between “bari” and “basha”.

  • Boishommo - When freedom of action goes awry

    Social media is, without a doubt, deeply entrenched in every aspect of my life. I have a Facebook account to appease prying family members, while I take to Instagram to share the more risqué highlights of the day.

  • Old Dhaka Shakrain Festival 2018

    The Kite flyers of Old Dhaka

    As the rickshaw, painted bright with a distorted Bengal tiger and even more distorted images of Dhallywood stars, breaks through the sea of other rickshaws, the kites appear almost suddenly through the narrow old Dhaka skyline.

  • The case for plagiarism

    Back in school, my friends and I had no access to the internet. This was due to our parents' steadfast belief that the internet was the root of all evil in this world.

  • Of odd jobs and old perspectives

    For those who do not know, an odd job in Bangladesh is equivalent to a normal blue-collar job everywhere else in the world. In this country, it is generally associated with working in the hospitality industry or retail sector or driving a cab—jobs that are at times frowned upon and shrugged off into a category of its own with zero importance or worth attached to them.

  • The old man and the labyrinth of books

    But what do you gain by giving? It teetered, the question, like a teacup on legs performing a balancing act, on the tip of my tongue, but—to my credit, to my utmost credit—I did not say it. Instead, I asked, gesturing to the brilliantly untidy pile of books, “Why give these away? And at so low a price?”

  • Rules of engagement

    A nine-to-five workday spent dangerously close with the opposite sex in a sequestered office cubicle makes it painstakingly difficult for things not to get steamy once in a while.

  • The tales of Sonali: a 1992 Toyota Vista

    The few times I tried fixing it up resulted in my thoughtful colleagues nicknaming it “Sonali Bank” since it kept swallowing up all my money. Here's the story of my car, my unhealthy obsession.

  • Translating Donald speak

    Translating Donald Trump is, well, an awkward process. After all, the president of the free world has about as much respect for basic grammar, word choice and sentence structure as he does for immigrants, women and the environment.

  • My Bollywood love affair

    You know that imaginary friend that every child grows up with? Mine was Rahul. Not a storybook character or a person I'd made up at random, but the Rahul of the dimpled smiles and a necklace that spelled 'COOL'.

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    MV Dubai Knight: The Knight of the high seas

    “A million people evacuated as a powerful Tropical Cyclone TS MORA expected on 30th May 2017.

  • Together with BTV

    Friday. A lazy day; the entire family is home, relaxing. My three-ish year old self decides to place herself comfortably on Janu's lap (our house-help of the time) on the floor while my mother sits on a chair reading the newspaper.

  • A Fiction of Myself

    I used to get beaten up in childhood by my elder sister, a lot. My mother would sometimes wonder loudly why I always got beaten up, and why I couldn't save myself.

  • There will come soft rains

    It begins with a listless thought, brushed aside. What does a heartbeat sound like, you wonder. Brush, aside.

  • Penetrating a men’s club

    It was definitely after office hours when a phone call came and made me panic. The number on my screen was unknown but it was pretty easy to guess where the call came from. The law enforcement bodies have a digit sequence that most journalists in the city are trained to recognise.

  • Cine Brothers

    The director is a pivotal figure in the making of a feature film. The singular focus ensures the homogeneity of the plot and of the story of the film. The redoubtable Dilip Kumar in his twilight years used to dabble in the work of his director. The Hindi version of Sagina Mahato is mentioned as a reference.

  • When WW II came to Germany

    In his movie "Fury" Brad Pitt plays the role of a Sergeant of American Army advancing well inside Germany in the last phase of WWII. He observes - 'ideals are peaceful but war is violent'. This sums up the blood bath that WW II was.

  • “Remember, remember, the 12th of December”

    Last year around April, I was going through a whirlwind trip. I wasn't much of a morning person; nevertheless I was forcing myself to get up at the crack of dawn so that I don't end up missing my ride to the next destination.

  • To walk alone, but strong

    In the year 1905 Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India announced the partition of Bengal. The provincial state of Bengal had an area of 189,000 square miles and a population of nearly 80 million.

  • Not Another Hashtag

    Women in Bangladesh have always been warned not to go out late at night, because it is unsafe.

  • What's Real and What's Not

    How we perceive other people and how we are perceived depends immensely on our own characters.