• Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Reviews

The power of words

Published Date: July 28, 2014
The power of words

Markus Zusak's The Book Thief is a book to be read, relished, recommended and remembered (and attempted to be reviewed). One blurb says it is “a haunting tale that will steal your heart”. I think this young-adult book will also chill your heart, warm it, wrench it and melt it. Letting Death be the narrator. Zusak gives us a story about the First World War in which the characters, by being so characteristically themselves, endear themselves to us. We have Liesel, the protagonist, an innocent sensitive young girl; her...

Published Date: July 28, 2014
Stories of lands and people

Stories of lands and people

Everything in life can be written about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and by publishing Around Half the World in Sixty Years Abdul Matin has displayed his guts. He may not be a writer by profession but has blended simplicity and reflections quite honestly. Around Half the World in Sixty Years is a collection of nineteen travel anecdotes based on the author's roving experiences around half the globe. Since his first trip as a scout to participate in the first National Scout Jamboree in 1952 Abdul Matin has undergone a number of journeys which eventually opened his eyes for exploring more. His interactions with different...

Published Date: July 28, 2014
Education for indigenous children

Education for indigenous children

In our fervour for Bengali nationalism, we often tend to forget that here there are peoples who are not Bengalis, primarily because they do not identify themselves as such and are also actually different in many ways, though we all equally belong to Bangladesh. The mainstream people try not to recognize the differences among others and instead of finding beauty in diversity want to level all nationalities with the bulldozer of a single identity of their own. There are many indigenous communities with a population of around four million in Bangladesh. But  successive governments have felt comfortable with the term 'ethnic minorities' instead of 'indigenous people' and thus have...

Published Date: July 28, 2014
When green was made red

When green was made red

Time is the unmistakable knock in the middle of the night that must be answered.  Abul Hossain is no exception to the rule. In his twilight years he came forth with his memoirs, Dushswapner Kaal (The Times of Nightmare) reminiscing on the liberation war in Bangladesh, the former East Pakistan. Abul Hossain, our doyen of poets, never flagged in his poetic impulses even in his late years, and threw off sparks in his poem: 'Surely there is no escape from aging.' In such moments of his life, the obviousness of such thought is inarguable by any measure. What is amazing is that even after decades, the minutes that enrich the...