Musings | The Daily Star
  • Of meals that ended up as the pièce de résistance of journeys

    Bourdain, the genius both in and out of the kitchen, once famously said, “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.” There

  • Death is different for a daughter

    We think of death as the great equaliser. We come to this world alone—as the saying goes—and so we take part of it alone too. The grief that consumes the deceased’s loved ones also seems like a universal experience, and so we console each other with words of

  • Down Memory Lane

    During a chat with my mother one evening, I asked her, "Which belonging of yours do you cherish the most?” I expected her to name her favourite kitchen utensils (which she guards with her life by the way) or her money pouch or that mobile phone of hers which she uses to video call anyone and everyone at the oddest of hours.

  • My memory from a time in the past

    They say, rereading a beloved childhood book, much later in your life, helps you rediscover yourself. The day afterpoet Al Mahmud's death, I reopened one of his poetry books, Pakhir Kachhe, Phooler Kachhe, the only collection of the poet I have ever read and owned.

  • Eishob Dinraatri

    Every cat is a great teacher. I live with five and I know for a fact that they are.

  • The journey for a home

    Anthropologist James Clifford says that the term travel can be understood as a form of 'global contacts' in a post-colonial word. I realised that a genuine traveller is reflective, moving across a landscape where things are in place.

  • A little bit of everything makes millennials the most anxious generation

    The internet has had a complete ball of a year, thanks to millennials turning older and 'CRAY-zier' and fighting the growing costs of living. If you think that this 'I cannot buy a home because I spent all my money on avocadoes and that is why I am sad' is a problem just in the west, just drag your mouse and zoom in on Dhaka on the map (especially on the tri-state area).

  • Naiyor: A Tale of Two Passages in Two Eras

    Imagine, dear reader, a youthful village belle. Transport yourself back 50 or 60 years ago. She lives with her husband and her in-laws in a farming homestead in rural East Bengal. It's been a few years since she arrived in her new home.


    There is something about biriyani er aloo that makes it a subject of universal adoration. But before I go rambling about my love for potato-cooked-to-perfection, here's some background story.


    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'.

  • bKash cash back offers

    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.