Thursday, July 28, 2016
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Link to Sarah Kaplan's The Washington Post article: Does Reading Fiction Make You a Better Person?
Saturday, July 02, 2016
Sunday, June 12, 2016
It's heart breaking! Hoping one day the world will get back its collective compassion and sanity while the mindless terrorism, brutal wars, political violence, deepening bigotry and hatred will be cast aside for the sake of neglected humanity. Martin Luther King Jr. said it the best as it does not matter who the victims are, wherever they are, from the hacked bloggers, minorities and ordinary men and women in Bangladesh, gunned down civilians in Tel Aviv, relentless mayhem and subjugation of populace in Palestine, the heart wrenching massacres in Paris and Brussels, every day blood letting in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and increasingly in Turkey, repeated horrors in Pakistan, or the drowning of hundred of helpless migrants in the mediterranean, or the senseless murders of innocents in a gay night club of Orlando, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
What does get accomplished inflicting pains, sufferings, injuries and deaths to the people but more pains, sufferings and inciting bigotry? What political end does it seek to establish but a desolate world where everyone cowers in fear of their very own shadow?
My deepest condolences to the families of the victims.
Saturday, June 04, 2016
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Saturday, May 07, 2016
Friday, April 22, 2016
Friday, April 08, 2016
"An estimated 20 million people in Bangladesh are still being poisoned by arsenic-tainted water — a number that has remained unchanged from 10 years ago despite years of action to dig new wells at safer depths, according to a new report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch.
The New York-based rights group blames nepotism and neglect by Bangladeshi officials, saying they're deliberately having new wells dug in areas convenient for friends, family members and political supporters and allies, rather than in places where arsenic contamination is highest or large numbers of poor villagers are being exposed."In a democracy based nation like Bangladesh this should be totally unacceptable. The current secular government has taken many good initiatives that helped many poor and the impoverished people but there should be no tolerance toward nepotism where selected villages get preference over the neglected ones because of political consideration and not based on scientific facts and need.
1. Bangladesh Failing Spare Millions from Arsenic Poisoning.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Friday, March 25, 2016
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Monday, December 07, 2015
Saturday, December 05, 2015
The dusk before night appears. After a day of warmth,
bellowing wind and the bare naked trees without leaves
and crumpling flowers on the frigid boughs holding on
to the dear life as it recedes from the disappearing
memories of balmy spring.
Rummaging through old photo albums of days
fade out color, smudging corners of decaying
picture frames, brings back those laughter
loud and alive, those faces and eyes no longer
in visible spectrum of this glorious world.
As dusk turns into a night, the sliver of broken moon
glows the tiny speckles of icicles on the metallic roofs
of parked cars on the street, while the dark alleys
and the rows of neat slumbering houses prepare for
a long wintry night of dreamless sleep.
I wrote this poem after getting inspired reading the following prosy poem of Raymond Carver. His internal rhyming, the brilliance in musical devices that this writer of immense talent wrote, is beyond my rudimentary poetic ability at this point of my life.
After-Glow by Raymond Carver
The dusk of evening comes on. Earlier a little rain
had fallen. You open a drawer and find inside
the man's photograph, knowing he has only two years
to live. He doesn't know this, of course,
that's why he can mug for the camera.
How could he know what's taking root in his head
at this moment? If one looks to the right
through boughs and tree trunks, there can be seen
crimson patches of the after-glow. No shadows, no
half-shadows. It is still and dump....
The man goes on mugging. I put the picture back
in its place along with the others and give
my attention instead to the after-glow along the far ridge,
light golden on the roses in the garden.
Then I can't help myself, I glance once more
at the picture. The wink, the broad smile,
the jaunty slant of the cigarette.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
All the anger and hatred
Thrown at the dehumanized souls
Becalmed at last in kindred
Spirits of acquiesced ghouls
Friday, November 13, 2015
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
"Even if the intelligence shared by America and Australia is right about Bangladesh, that is only part of the battle the country now faces, because the threat to pluralism doesn’t come exclusively from outside our borders.
It comes every time someone questions a fellow citizen and asks whether his version of Islam is the real one. It comes when people first appear to condemn the death of the bloggers but then qualify their condemnation by saying that the bloggers may have, after all, offended the faith. It occurs when we accept the casual racism directed at minorities, whether they are Hindu or Shiite or from one of the indigenous communities.
Those who threaten us from beyond our borders are only capitalizing on a trend that is already tolerated, and sometimes endorsed, by the wider population. The attacks on foreigners and on citizens who represent a secular Bengali tradition reflect the rise of a sharply conservative Islamist nationalism in Bangladesh. As we adjust to this new era, we would do well to remember that intolerance begins at home."In a pluralistic society, people has the right to peacefully practice their religions or non religions. In a peaceful nation that Bangladesh sees itself to be, good decency also dictates not to show intolerance, either verbally or by written words towards anyone's faith or non faith. However, having said that this is also true that every living human being also has the right to say whatever he or she wishes to say without inciting the raw hatred toward another person or a community. And above all, no one has the right to kill and maim another human being just because he or she said or written something that is opposing to someone's deeply held faith or ideology.
What I see in Bangladesh is severe polarization, mainly across the political line. This is the same gruesome mentality "either you are with us, or you are with the...", fill in the blank with whatever you would like this to be, say, "terrorists", "Islamists", "bloggers", "atheists", etc., purposefully denigrating words to dehumanize the opposing group of people for the sake of total domination. The political factions in Bangladesh from both sides of the polarized boundaries have to wake up to reign in their hatred spewing words and activities. I believe there is still time to turn this culturally diverse nation back to its congenial core, being tolerant, secular and truly democratic by deeds and means.
Sunday, November 01, 2015
Monday, October 12, 2015
"More troubling are the people who think they can parse their messages, accept what they like and discard the rest. This is possible with ordinary public figures or politicians. You can, say, endorse their foreign policy but not their position on ethanol. But when the salient piece is a call for intolerance — sometimes stated, sometimes not — then the culprit is not just the speaker but also the listener as well. Silence is complicity......But I also believe that we all have an obligation to repudiate bigotry and not think we can use it to serve a political purpose. Many thousands failed to do that over the weekend on the Mall, and many more have done something similar by supporting Trump. For them, I have just one word: Shame."
Thursday, October 01, 2015
All the refugees who are desperately crossing the ocean, walking through the darkened woods and forests, sneaking through the barb wires, children, women, men, elderly and disable human beings, leaving all their possessions in the rubble of their ruined homeland to find a better place for a decent life, one day the collective core of goodness of humanity will be awaken, will not stay silent on the sideline seeing the humiliation and tears of their fellow beings. One day, all the hatred and dehumanization will be things of the past, and the world and its happy populace will march forward toward more maturity and respectful coexistence on this tiny planet, the third rock from the sun, in a solar system that is only one of billions residing in a galaxy out of countless many more.
We are like the dust speck. So minute, so insignificant in the overall cosmic expanse. In this tiny bit of our existence, sharing the minuscule amount of time with the other fellow beings, humans, animals, plants. One day our insignificance will be clearer, we will know our place in existential insignificance but will also know the significance of our conscious conscience.
Life is beautiful. After my son was born, new light has brought new insights. It is as if I have gone back to my own childhood. He loves to play ball, tries to throw it with his tiny arms, and excitedly says "bawwwl". Pointing to his picture books, he says, "book", one of his very first words. He loves to "read" books, though at this age, only 16 months old, he can only understand the pictures in the book, but already started picking up a few alphabets.
Life is indeed beautiful. Even amid all the troubles and travails, daily routines of work, world is still a beautiful place. Every breath that we take, every moment that we spend with our family, the loved ones, bring joys, happiness and contentedness.
One day, all humanity will be united for the common goal of the betterment of each other and our tiny planet and beyond.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
I like the writings of Nickolas Kristof. In this NYT article, "The (Fake) meat revolution", Mr. Kristof shows how the pent up market demand and the advances in science and technology will eventually provides more viable options for the "weak willed" to get rid of this inhuman murderous appetite once for all.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
"There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate - the genetic and neural fate - of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own, to die his own death."Tonight after learning of his passing away, I have read two of his more recent articles. The first one is titled, "My Periodic Table" and the second one is "Sabbath". In both of these articles, Oliver Sacks confronts his terminal illness, but doing so also provides a sense of belonging in this universe, the peacefulness that is the core essence of every human being's spirituality.
Life is short. The overused cliched sentence that it flashes by too quick is very true. All these precious moments of ours, daily chores, work, family, love, relationships, the pursuit of wealth, longing for happiness, are what make us what we are. All the senseless enmity, violence, wars, political exploitation, endless greed and shrewd pettiness, seem so shallow in the face of very finite life. Oliver Sacks had great mind. Even facing death, when it was not an abstract concept anymore, he still pursued his passion in writing, reading science articles, playing piano, swimming, and living life as intensely as he could.
Here are a few beautiful segments of Oliver Sack's last articles. From My Periodic Table:
"At the other end of my table - my periodic table - I have a beautifully machined piece of beryllium (element 4) to remind me of my childhood and of how long ago my soon-to-end-life begun."From Sabbath:
"And now, weak, short of breath, my once-firm muscles melted away by cancer, I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the supernatural or spiritual, but on what is meant by living a good and worthwhile life — achieving a sense of peace within oneself. I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the week, and perhaps the seventh day of one’s life as well, when one can feel that one’s work is done, and one may, in good conscience, rest."Rest, Oliver Sacks. Rest in peace.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Here is a snippet from the post-gazette.com article:
“People need to be prepared,” Josh Willis, an oceanographer at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said on a conference call. “We’re going to continue to have sea level rise for decades and probably centuries.”
The new numbers up the stakes for coastal communities from Miami to Tokyo to Dhaka, the low-lying Bangladeshi capital where more than 14 million people live. NASA’s projections are on the high end of the 1- to 3-foot increase estimated two years ago by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,You may say it a "baseless" super alarmist prediction, and I sincerely hope that it turns out that and that our world still has the time to reverse its course from the path of sure and non-discriminatory self destruction. Hope is all that is left.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
His latest article on New York Times points out some snobbish ideas that some holds in the upper echelon of literary world that writing too many novels and stories diminishes a writer's worthiness as a great writer. In some cases this claim is true but as Stephen King states, "No one in his or her right mind would argue that quantity guarantees quality, but to suggest that quantity never produces quality strikes me as snobbish, inane and demonstrably untrue."
Here are some profound observations from Stephen King:
"I understand that each one of us works at a different speed, and has a slightly different process. I understand that these writers are painstaking, wanting each sentence — each word — to carry weight (or, to borrow the title of one of Jonathan Franzen’s finest novels, to have strong motion). I know it’s not laziness, but respect for the work, and I understand from my own work that haste makes waste.
But I also understand that life is short, and that in the end, none of us is prolific. The creative spark dims, and then death puts it out. William Shakespeare, for instance, hasn’t produced a new play for 400 years. That, my friends, is a long dry spell."
Reference: Stephen King: Can a Novelist Be Too Productive? http://nyti.ms/1KQJXJ3
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Global oil demand in 2015 is expected to grow by 1.6 mb/d, up 0.2 mb/d from our previous Report and the fastest pace in five years
Nick Butl former head of strategy for the Italian energy giant Eni, says, “There is no way to stop this phenomenon.” He predicts er, former head of strategy for BP, told me, “We are in for a longer and more sustained period of low oil prices than in the late 1980s.” Why? He points to a perfect storm. Supply is up substantially because a decade of high oil prices encouraged producers throughout the world to invest vast amounts of money in finding new sources. Those investments are made and will keep supply flowing for years. Leonardo Maugeri,that prices could actually drop to $35 per barrel next year, down from more than $105 last summer.The impact from the sustained downward progression of oil price is uncertain, though there is already economic repercussion in the forms of jobs layoffs, shrinking profit margins of big to small businesses, not only oils but the retail sectors are affected too. Globally, it may also bring political instability in some of the most volatile regions of our world. Last time the oil price tumbled it was in 1980s. As Fareed Zakaria observed, then the former Soviet Union collapsed, though it is possibly debatable whether the oil price was the sole reason for its collapse.
No one is certain how low the oil price would go in its current slide. Some say it has almost reached its bottom most price and some say no, it would go further down, even may hit $10 to $15 range. These are all guesses like the extreme guesses of oil price to reach $250 or $300 not too long ago.
Alternative energy sources have a long way to go before becoming the mainstream suppliers of energy. However, in recent years the advancement in solar, wind and battery energy technologies is astounding. Perhaps this chaotic oil price and the volatile market may open more opportunities for the alternative energy producers to grab hold of more market share. That can be a positive outcome out of this tragic economic slide.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
The world has not changed much while the flow of my words has ebbed away. The ferocity of the tormentors over the tortured and the oppressed souls, mostly those who have little or no voice to protest, being uprooted or bombed away, incarcerated in the cleverly exploited political maneuvering.This everlasting story from the antiquity to the present, in various shapes and forms, looks to remain the same.
Lately I have read a few good books. One of them is called The California written by Edan Lepucki. A post apocalypse novel. Story plot wasn't bad, the writing was good, I was gripped from the beginning to the end. The central theme that has stuck to me even a few months after I've read the very last page, is that how easy it is to fool the mass population in the name of doing good, or combating the bad guys but all the while creating and assisting the bad guys from the beginning, for the sole purpose of remaining in the power and perhaps assisting other despots to retain the power as well. Fiction is a good medium to speculate, as there is no concrete evidence a writer may have to prove any of the seemingly "hyperbolic" premise/claim, but a writer's credit lies in crafting unforgettable scenarios, chapter by chapter, deepening the story's characters while revealing the bigger truth that non fiction does not dare to ask most often. In these days of digital age when binging on Netflix movies and TV series is coined as perfectly normal, reading good books has taken the back seat for many. That's a great loss! Movie cannot compete with a finely written book, with a possible few exceptions.
Enough of my ranting on this Sunday evening. I wanted to write a few words, after many weeks of total inactivity in the world of blogging.
Happy summer everyone!
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Monday, April 06, 2015
Saturday, April 04, 2015
From: https://www.facebook.com/jamie.l.davis.50: "I brought my 3 children to "the fun dome" in Edmonton and will never do that again! My 7 month old was fussing and wanted to nurse so I started feeding him and was told by the staff that it was not appropriate to feed him there. I told them that the law states that a breastfeeding mom can nurse her child anywhere she is lawfully allowed to be and was attacked verbally by them and another mother and told that's not how it works here I should go back to my own country (I am a Canadian born and raised, so are my parents grandparents etc) and how could they explain to the other children what I was doing the manager came to talk to me and told me that if I wanted to feed my son I must do it elsewhere so I took my kids to leave while waiting for a taxi outside the general manager came out I told him I'm leaving you don't need to bother me and he said that me feeding the baby is the same as if someone was to come in and start smoking I told him that in no way are those two things even remotely similar then he said that he doesn't want to hear us complain I will never go there again and I will discourage everyone I know from going too Please share so we can get the word out about these kind of places"
Friday, April 03, 2015
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Thursday, March 05, 2015
Instrumental music of a Bangla song that Mitali Mukherji sang many years ago. Music director of this melodic song was Alauddin Ali and lyricist was Amzad Hossain. This song was originally recorded for a Bangla movie called "Dui Paiser Alta".
এই দুনিয়া এখন তো আর সেই দুনিয়া নাই
মানুষ নামের মানুষ আছে
এই মানুষের ভীড়ে আমার
সেই মানুষ নাই।।
এই মাটির দেহ খাইলো ঘুনে
দেখলো না তো কেউ
সারা জীবন দুই নয়নে
রইলো জলের ঢেউ
আমার দুঃখের কথা কইতে গেলে এ
ই দুনিয়ার সবাই বলে
শোনার সময় নাই।।
হায় এখন বুঝি দারুণ সময়
বদলে গেছে দিন
কেউ আমারে চায় না দিতে
একটু সময় ঋণ
আমার মনের বাগান রইলো খালি
সে বাগানের সুজন মালি
বলো কোথায় পাই।
Sunday, March 01, 2015
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Thursday, January 08, 2015
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Like the other parts of our world, waging more wars cannot solve the root of this problem. It was tried and failed. Unlike the New York Times Editorial board that thinks otherwise, I believe that Pakistani government should be approaching this problem with cool head. Apply the diplomatic and also the military pressure. Diplomatic pressure is to find a peaceful resolution of the problem. And the military pressure is to make sure that the most radical faction of Taliban or any other extremist groups do not get another chance killing more innocent children and civilians. However, this attempt will fail if the government of Pakistan exacts the similar vengeance filled revenge, killing countless civilians in the impoverished and voiceless segments of its populace. As this will only continue and escalate this never ending horrific cycle.
Terrorism and its volatile cousin the omnivorous war do not have any place in humanity. Our words fail to describe the tears in the eyes and pain in the heart but our resolve should not be wavered for trying to achieve peace and put an end to this madness.