• Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cover Story

Published Date: October 24, 2014
THE LOST ART

THE LOST ART

When Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a French gem merchant arrived in Dhaka some 400 years ago he was astounded by Dhaka's splendour. According to him, it was a city of skilful artisans and art loving aristocrats. The city's booming industry of exotic artefacts like muslin, furniture of delicate design, exotic perfumes and jewellery in intricate...

  

Chintito

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Excuse Me!

Excuse Me!

There are certain English, rather colonial practices, that we have blindly embraced over decades in our day-to-day manner without actually understanding their fundamental meaning, application and/or usefulness. I am not here talking about the custom of left-hand drive (not that we do not enjoy driving on the opposite lane), or the long wait...

Current Affairs

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Congratulations and Celebrations

Congratulations and Celebrations

Given the nature of our current parliament the recent elections of Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and Saber Hossain Chowdhury as the chiefs of the Commonwealth Parliamentary (CPA) and Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) are rather interesting. And how are we supposed to perceive their elections to the two global parliamentary bodies that exchange knowledge, practices of parliamentary democracy in the member assemblies and encourage parliamentary dialogue worldwide?    Saber was elected as an MP in the one-sided and voter less January 5 parliamentary election. And he was made the chief of the parliamentary standing committee of the Jute and Textile Ministry. Shirin was elected as an MP in a by-election and was elected...

Tribute

Published Date: October 24, 2014
THE PASSING OF AN ESTEEMED SCHOLAR

THE PASSING OF AN ESTEEMED SCHOLAR

A celebrated scholar, humanist and a man of principles, is how many people would remember Professor Salahuddin Ahmed. I myself had the privilege of knowing him over 40 years as a friend and colleague of my father-in-law, Dr A R Mallick. Thus the news of his demise on October 19, came as a...

Photo Feature

Published Date: October 24, 2014
The Lifeline

The Lifeline

PHOTOS: BOUNDELE Rivers have always been the lifeline for the country's trade and commerce. No other country can perhaps boast such a long and intricate network of waterways as we have. But years of neglect and abuse have left our rivers in ruins. The boats, launches and trawlers that are used for ferrying...

Special Feature

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Virus Vs Us

Virus Vs Us

Ebola had a sort of comforting, faraway otherness to it until October 9 when six Bangladeshi passengers from Ebola-affected Liberia entered the country without the knowledge of immigration, the medical team at the airport and the airline concerned.   Luckily, none of the six were infected with the virus. If they were, they might...

Perspective

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Not Just a Quitter

Not Just a Quitter

As a young journalist, working at my first job as a full-fledged writer for the lifestyle section of a well-known English newspaper, I was excited and somewhat nervous when I was sent for my first interview. I was assigned to interview a former child actress, who had portrayed one of the most iconic characters in the history of Bangladeshi television. She greeted us with a wide smile and even before we were seated, she started talking about her new endeavour, a very popular online clothing store. She seemed excited and passionate about her work. She spoke about her past laurels with pride but was definitely more thrilled about her...

History

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Judge Bernard Nicholl of Dinajpur

Judge Bernard Nicholl of Dinajpur

History is perhaps my forte. A more recent interest of mine involves selective readings and research on genealogy or family histories. Lately, I have also been engaged in the documentation efforts of old European/Christian cemeteries with historic, funerary monuments - tombs, graves, mausoleums and epitaphs of the British colonial era in Bangladesh. It brought me in touch with Peter Cockerill. Peter Cockerill lives in London, England. We were introduced by a mutual friend a few years back. Peter has a very interesting background. He belongs to a family of “old India hands”. His maternal grandfather, Bernard Vincent Nicholl, of the Indian Civil Service ( ICS), Bengal cadre, died and was...

Book Review

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Negotiating The Price You Pay

Negotiating The Price You Pay

Novice reporter Abhishek Dutta gets lucky his first day on the job covering a routine press conference when he overhears an exchange between two police officers in the men's washroom – “Babloo Shankar is planning a comeback”. Using this as leverage, he makes his way into the privileged nexus of the police and media and quickly rises to fame as a crime reporter in Delhi's print, then television, media. Reporting crime is not easy, however, and, from rubbing his powerful superiors the wrong way to becoming embroiled in a kidnapping rescue mission almost gone wrong,  Abhishek must negotiate, even compromise, with his influential bosses, his competitive peers, his vital...

Art

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Recording the Undulations of Nature

Recording the Undulations of Nature

What is the work you have done this time for your fourth solo? I ask Anukul at his apartment in Mohammadpur where he keeps his works and sometimes shows to art lovers.  Anukul replies: “Acrylic plus charcoal – what I call mixed media.” His subjects for 15 years have been Nature : gloomy...

International

Published Date: October 24, 2014
INVESTMENT BOOM IN MYANMAR

INVESTMENT BOOM IN MYANMAR

Thailand's total investment in Myanmar has nearly reached US$10 billion, making the Kingdom the second-largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country after China, whose investment swelled past $14 billion. Pisanu Suvanajata, Thailand's ambassador to Myanmar, reckons the Thai ranking may not last too long as the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has...

Musings

Published Date: October 24, 2014
The City of Eternal Spring: Kunming

The City of Eternal Spring: Kunming

An article that came out in the Star in August on Kunming, written by Azizul Jalil, made me nostalgic and took me back to 1965 when I had taken an unusual trip to that city. Kunming is not only a city of 'Eternal Spring' but it was Chairman Mao's winter resort with the...

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Star Diary

Star Diary

Corrupt and Unrepentant Last week, after returning home from work, I caught a glimpse of the news on TV, which showed a man in his mid-fifties grinning amiably and waving his hands to the crowd while walking down the court premises. At first glance, I thought that the man might be on his...

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Quirky Science

Quirky Science

Trying to fool a kindergartner? Not so fast From the words for colours to how to tie a shoelace, kids have lots to learn -- and for the most part, they depend on others to teach it to them. But whether deliberately or inadvertently, people sometimes misinform. So at what age can kids tell trustworthy...

Remembrance

Published Date: October 24, 2014
An Author Without Borders

An Author Without Borders

Sunil Ganguli popularly known as Sunil Gangopadhyay is one of the most celebrated novelists and poets of modern Bengali literature. His works of different genres have conquered the hearts of Bengali readers around the world. He was also a renowned poet of the post-modern era. Besides his creations Sunil edited poetry journals which...

Published Date: October 24, 2014
MAILBOX

MAILBOX

Diving for Pearls Over the past several years the shipbuilding industry in Bangladesh has achieved substantial growth despite the downturn in the global economy. The industry has even better potential. With the good performance of the industry, the government should play a more vital role in helping the industry to develop further. The government...

MAD GENIUS

Published Date: October 24, 2014
SM SULTAN

SM SULTAN

10 August 1923 - 10 October 1994 Sheikh Mohammed Sultan was a Bangladeshi avant-garde artist who worked in painting and drawing. His fame rests on his striking depictions of exaggeratedly muscular Bangladeshi peasants engaged in the activities of their everyday lives. He was awarded the Ekushey Padak in 1982; the Bangladesh Charu Shilpi Sangsad Award in 1986; and the Independence Day Award in 1993. "No art is vulgar; vulgarity is the way of seeing it. I paint on a large canvas because my painting is for the people not for room decoration.  Bangladesh is a haven for landscape painters, but unfortunately we do not have any genuine landscape artist. People often ask why I paint muscular figures of feeble peasants. My answer is I...

SNAPSHOT

Published Date: October 24, 2014
The Silent Observer

The Silent Observer

“What is important is not what you hear said, it's what you observe.” - Michael Connelly

Published Date: October 24, 2014
1 MINUTE PLEASE!

1 MINUTE PLEASE!

This week the Star interviewed one of the most eminent architects of Bangladesh, Masudur Rahman Khan. Khan has designed some of the most significant and picturesque structures such as the International Mother Language Institute building, Bangladesh Computer Council building and the Mausoleum Complex of former President Ziaur Rahman. He is also chasing his dream of designing the tallest structure of Bangladesh. Khan is famous for the renovation and remodelling projects of many significant structures such as the Banganbandhu Stadium and Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium etc. As an architect, Khan has always been dreaming of developing Dhaka as a well-planned and architecturally perfect city. Childhood Dream I have always dreamt of pursuing...

Published Date: October 24, 2014
HOME AND ABROAD

HOME AND ABROAD

Submerged School Thakurgaon. The school ground of Mathurapur-1 Government Primary School in Thakurgaon Sadar upazila has remained waterlogged for a couple of months as rainwater outlets were blocked following the construction of a road on the eastern side of the ground. Stop Gambling Lalmonirhat. While people at Namuri village of Aditmari upazila, Lalmonirhat, continue to...

Cartoon

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Babu

Babu

 

Published Date: October 24, 2014
Voicebox

"I fell in love with my boss in a 22-year-old sort of a way. But my boss was the President of the United States." MONICA LEWINSKY Former White House intern Said during a tearful speech describing the pain of being made into a figure of global humiliation when she "fell in love" with Bill Clinton. "You bring economic prosperity to the affected people or to alienated people. So, that prosperity comes in, terrorism slowly declines. If you plot a curve [that] terrorism [is]...

Cover Story

Published Date: October 17, 2014
DIVING FOR PEARLS

DIVING FOR PEARLS

Bangladesh was once known as one of the largest ship graveyards of the world. Every year, dozens of aging container vessels would head towards the country's southern coast to breathe their last before being broken into pieces. National and international news media, documentaries, photographs and numerous campaigns addressed the socio-environment and human rights...

Current Affairs

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Painful Resignations

Painful Resignations

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set a new precedent by sacking Abdul Latif Siddique from her cabinet, jumping the constitutional path. As per the constitution, she was supposed to request Latif, who hurt the sentiments of Muslims by making derogative remarks on hajj and Prophet Muhammad (SM), to resign as the minister from her cabinet. If Latif was requested to resign, he would have no alternative to retain the office. If he refused to comply with the request, he would have been removed from the cabinet through the president. The premier however did not explore the first option. Instead, she advised the president to terminate Latif as minister from...

Profile

Published Date: October 17, 2014
An Eternal Beat

An Eternal Beat

Popularly known as Dashrath Dhuli, he plays dhol, a double-sided, barrel-shaped indigenous drum, melding the infectious rhythm of folk and expressing its spirit through improvisation and explosive stage performances. Last year, at a show in New York, he showed up with his drum slung over one shoulder, beating out furious rhythms, leaping and bending...

Education

Published Date: October 17, 2014
The Library Revolution

The Library Revolution

Books can prove to be the greatest joy in a person's life. For a student, there's nothing more important than proper academic books and papers that will help shape your education. Unfortunately, getting access to international academic books can be expensive in Bangladesh. Even if you can get access to the necessary journals,...

Photo Feature

Published Date: October 17, 2014
IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE BUDDHA

IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE BUDDHA

Buddhists celebrate Probarona Purnima that marks a three-month long solitude of Buddhist monks in their monasteries for self-realisation, purification and atonement.  One legend has it that after leaving his family in search of Truth, prince Gautam clipped some strands of his hair and threw them into the air, saying, if he was meant...

Perspective

Published Date: October 17, 2014
IRRELEVANT JOURNALISM

IRRELEVANT JOURNALISM

There's a thin line between journalism and sensationalism that's becoming increasingly blurred in the age of social media. Consider this recent headline: “Jennifer Hudson's brother arrested for allegedly stabbing a man”. The fact that Jennifer Hudson is a celebrity seems to be the selling point of this news story, however irrelevant it may...

Impressions

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Lungful of Oxygen and More

Lungful of Oxygen and More

My spouse and I were all set at the crack of dawn on the day following Eid-ul-Azha for a long drive out of the city – into the tranquil and unpolluted interior of Comilla district. Initially though, we had difficulty keeping our wits about us, our overnight excitement was about to die down...

Perceptions

Published Date: October 17, 2014
A Business with a Human Face

A Business with a Human Face

I was never happy with the planning and design of my three-storied house with only two garages and no proper façade and approach road, built on less than a four Katha of inherited land in Dhanmondi. I toyed with the idea of developing the land by a developer but with no success. The construction business which was once booming and burgeoning had almost nose-dived on account of political instability, flight of capital and insecurity. People were in quest of greener pastures popularly known in expatriate Bangladeshi community as 'Begum's encla ve' in Toronto and second homes in Malaysia. The economy floundered and stagnated despite seeming GDP growth. There was...

Village Flute

Published Date: October 17, 2014
The Spirit of Madhabkunda

The Spirit of Madhabkunda

“Shhh! There need be silence,” she says, “A white chicken will meet its death.” If there is any kind of water-spirit lingering beneath Barlekha's renowned Madhabkunda waterfall in Moulvibazar District, what kind of spirit would she be? The gentle falls and cool, dark pool certainly look like a place where a spirit might dwell. Perhaps she's benign and helpful, a sort of Bengali pari related to the ones people talk of that sometimes clean the house during the night. Perhaps she's mischievous like a prai of the old Khasi belief. Prais make people sick. Do you think the Madhabkunda spirit might dance mystically to the rhythm of water falling, in secret,...

Art

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Leaning to the West

Leaning to the West

“Art should be international and independent” was the guiding motto of the Calcutta Group to which Gopal Ghosh belonged. This artist of the 40s fame is having an exhibition in Bengal Shilpalaya, which takes the occasion to celebrate his birth centenary to present his works from the 1930s to the eighties. The Calcutta...

Travel

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Quiet Charm of an Alpine Village

Quiet Charm of an Alpine Village

How could we let a summer in Switzerland pass without a trip to the mountains? So, my wife and I, along with another couple who are our long-time friends, looked at the weather forecast, found a three-day period of sunny weather in August, and packed up. Saas Fee (pronounced as Fay), a village...

Health

Published Date: October 17, 2014
The Rolling (kidney) Stones

The Rolling (kidney) Stones

Stone diseases date back to the beginning of civilisation. Kidney or renal stones were first identified in an Egyptian mummy from about 4500 BC. It is one of the most common diseases of the urinary tract. Around two to three percent of the world's population suffers from kidney stones. People who belong to the age group of 30 to 40 years are more prone to kidney stones. The incidence is more in males than females. Kidney stones are usually harmless unless they start showing symptoms. Most of them are small in size and easily pass with urine. But the ones that get stuck in the ureter (the tube that drains...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Star Diary

Star Diary

Chit Chat with Elesia I was returning home after visiting my brother who lives in Rampura. On my way back in a bus, I saw two foreigners along with a child of around nine or ten years sitting in front of me. The girl looked at me and I waved at her, and started...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Write to Mita

Write to Mita

Dear Mita, I recently learnt that my uncle, who I am extremely close to, is suffering from fourth stage cancer. I love him dearly and I know that it's going to be very difficult for me to let him go. However, I am worried about his mental state and his family's wellbeing. They were only informed about this diagnosis a few days back. He had confided in me that he wants this transition to be as smooth as it can be but he is worried that his wife and two children won't be able to cope with his death. I would really like to help him and his family to...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Quirky Science

Quirky Science

'Cloaking' device uses ordinary lenses to hide objects across range of angles Inspired perhaps by Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, scientists have recently developed several ways -- some simple and some involving new technologies -- to hide objects from view. The latest effort, developed at the University of Rochester, not only overcomes some of the limitations...

Remembrance

Published Date: October 17, 2014
The Trailblazer's Life

The Trailblazer's Life

Abdul Matin was one of the key organizing leaders of the historic language movement of 1952 to make Bengali one of the state languages of Pakistan. It was the student leader Matin who led the procession to break section 144 during the movement. He was also a notable personality of the communist movement...

Postscript

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Growing Up Again

Growing Up Again

Many years ago I read an article by Ruby Zaman, author of Invisible Lines, on the 'empty nest syndrome' – the state of helplessness many parents are in when their children leave home. At the time I was touched by the sadness so well articulated by her lucid, evocative writing. But I was not at the stage in life to be able to really relate to the emotions expressed. Now after so many years I know exactly what she meant, how she felt. When you're young and clueless you think you have a monopoly over heartache. Nothing seems remotely more devastating than being disappointed in love, nothing more heart wrenching...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
MAILBOX

MAILBOX

Going Deshi Bangladeshi fashion houses should stop blaming customers for buying Indian or Pakistani dresses and try to improve the quality of their products. Customers will buy what they like and think is worth their money. You cannot stop people from buying something merely by shouting patriotic slogans. Consumerism cannot be restricted by geography...

MAD GENIUS

Published Date: October 17, 2014
MICHAEL FASSBENDER

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

    "Nobody wants to hear Metallica at lunchtime. Even if I'm playing a superhero, it has to be steeped in reality. I've always been more inclined to go out to work than carry on with academic studies. I keep everything very simple. I like telling stories."

SNAPSHOT

Published Date: October 17, 2014
The Sky is the Limit

The Sky is the Limit

The sky is everywhere; it begins at your feet.”                                                  ― Jandy Nelson  

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Voicebox

"Minister as well as Awami League leader Latif Siddique is nobody to me, but the person Latif Siddique is my brother. He has no right to talk about me as a brother." ABDUL KADER SIDDIQUE Veteran freedom fighter and the brother of Latif While addressing a press conference at Jatiya Press Club, he commented that what Latif had said was not only his own remark, rather it was the remark of the incumbent government as well. "I have been a friend of Israel...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
1 MINUTE PLEASE!

1 MINUTE PLEASE!

Born and raised in an environment that encouraged music, it was no surprise that Khairul Anam Shakil would be one of the most talented Nazrul geeti (songs) artistes of Bangladesh. For more than four decades Shakil has been charming the audiences of both the Bengals with Nazrul geeti of all forms. His contribution to modern Bengali songs is also notable. The Star speaks with this renowned singer about his inspiration,  passion for music and achievement. Teenage Dream From my childhood I have always been an avid student of classical songs. When I dreamed of being a Nazrul singer this enthusiasm helped me a lot. Foremost requirement to be a Nazrul singer One must...

Published Date: October 17, 2014
HOME AND ABROAD

HOME AND ABROAD

Over the Rainbow Chittagong. A rainbow adorns the sky over the port city of Chittagong in Bangladesh after severe depression over the city the previous night, due to Cyclone Hudhud on the eastern coast of India. Just Punishment Patuakhali. Around 30,000 metres current nets, seized by coastguards and fisheries officials during anti-hilsa netting drives...

Cartoon

Published Date: October 17, 2014
Babu

Babu

 

Cover Story

Published Date: October 3, 2014
DESHI IS THE NEW SEXY

DESHI IS THE NEW SEXY

“Last Eid we were invited to attend a family get-together at my aunt's place. While Eid get-togethers are mostly about having a grand feast and sharing happiness, it is equally about holding up the best look and also secretly scrutinising everyone's attires. Within the next hour many of my fashion forward first cousins, distant...

Chintito

Published Date: October 3, 2014
INDIAN LESSONS

INDIAN LESSONS

No one said it was a conspiracy. No one shouted 'foul', and that the government was behind it. She was the government. Her party did not say it was political harassment, or revenge, and her AIADMK are not in the opposition; they are the party in power. One moment she sat as the elected powerful...

Impressions

Published Date: October 3, 2014
Some Eloquent Anecdotes

Some Eloquent Anecdotes

Cary Grant, a famous romantic Hollywood actor, was at his prime in the sixties, known as a time stretch for angry and emancipated generation given to mood swings. Cary, being a man of arrogant reserve, personal magnetism and a few words, the movie journalists would seek him out for a good, breaking news copy. Approaching the actor, caught up in one of his reticent moody plays with a forbidding diffidence, an exasperated scribe ruefully asked,”Who do you think, you are? “ An unruffled Cary Grant retorted, “I know who I am but I do not know who you are!” The actor got even with the paparazzi with a devastating quick-witted...

Current Affairs

Published Date: October 3, 2014
‘Political Blunder’

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina went to New York to join the United Nations General Assembly with a large delegation comprising of 185 members, probably the largest ever since the country's independence. In contrast, Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, the world's largest democracy, went to New York with an unusually small team. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was accompanied by a 14-member delegation. Yet Sharif came under criticism as the cost of his visit was around $ 4 lakh....