Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Army of Salvation - a Poem

Last week my colleagues and I had visited the local Salvation Army as volunteers. The  poem below is written for that occasion. If you would like to donate, check the following site: 

The Army of Salvation - a Poem
By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
December 20, 2012

We, the BA and the QA team of heart
And mind with analysis and quality
Took proudly part in helping the army
Of salvation in a day of winter chill
We gathered in a soulful group of zeal
And picked the toys, sorted in carts
Checked out, hoping the bliss and joys
Will find the hands of girls and boys
Bringing the cheery season’s blessings
Into the hearts of many in grim distress

These are the days of giving
These are the days of sharing
Twining our meager existence
With the ones fallen from the fortune
A staffy, a set of miniature cars, crayon
And coloring books, nifty festoon
Can surely erase tears, bringing smile
In mom, dad, children, melting the fortress
Of misery, where love marches in style

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Donkeys – a Poem

Donkeys – a Poem
By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
December 19, 2012

Their friends are made of
Lego, one tiny block snuggled
With other block of clay
Manufactured in the land of disappeared dream
These can be twisted one way
Or the other, transforming into cuddled
Shape like embracing king

Their friends are king of
Shadow, blown creepy rock huddled
With other shock of ray
Often tinkered in the grandiose denatured stream
These can be busted one way
Or the other, transposing into muddled
Ape and brandishing bling

Bow your head, salute and walk
Like an apocalyptic zombie with blood
Smeared lips trembling unuttered words
Of crusted poem from the days of rising
Sun and beaming moon
Here the zombies with guns and
Knives with disheveled hair and foamy eyes
Twaddle in darkness of spinning light

Bow your head, salute and walk
Like a ballyhoo mystic lofty with mud
Cleared lips mumbling the censored shards
Of basted poem from the nights of beaming
Moon and hiding sun
Here the donkeys with yearns and
Hides with distressed ears and puckish eyes
Babble in lightness of grinning blight

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Struggle - a Poem

By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
December 13, 2012

A night bellows the gale and shivers bone
From moonlight comes the flood of hail alone

Streets and river have merged like brothers sing
Where ocean roars behind the trees’ hovering

That time waves crashed huts and palace in strokes
There went a boy alone clutching straw boats

He looked and saw a man with smile in eyes
That boy begged and screamed with the waning cries

The man of smile just took his eyes away
The drowning boy struggled in watery clay

Note: I have tried to write this poem using iambic pentameter. You can find more info on this type of metering in following location:

I did not find it easy, but the process of writing and thinking in measured lines in stressed and unstressed beat is refreshing. Maybe the next one will be better.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 - a Poem

By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)

Nothing happened today, this day of
Chilly foreboding with snow and wind,
The world is spinning
On its axis as it did yesterday
Or the day before, to the day of primordial
Soup where organics electrically charged
Perhaps started the dancing of life
In a chaos of inorganic and cosmic silence
Was the creator unseen even then
As He is now, an absentee observant
Of immature organics’ killing spree?

The pope started tweeting today, sending blessings
To devotees of electronic leaning
And the Rabbi, Imam, Priests and the orange robed Monks
Gave their sacred sermons
As they did thousands of years
Repeating the words of wisdom from prophets, divinity, and
The learned of the yester years
Those words in verses glorifying the creator
And His divine prowess, shaking the unbelievers
With raging premonitions
Saying, believe in Him or burn in hell
As if our indifference to sufferings of others
And gloating at the so called “enemies” vanquished,
Decimated with hyperbolic dehumanized zeal
Are not the hell, but heavenly in the eyes of sacrosanct organics

12/12/12 – a day like any other day
A bone shivering cold in the northern hemisphere
When the southern part simmering with summer heat
And the tropics brooding temperance
What have we expected? A booming voice
Rupturing the wall of sky, and the ray of light
Unseen before, striking us, curing us from all thoughts
Of ill, weakness of human heart, greed, lust and thrilling kill?
As the dusky twilight of another ordinary day
Receding into unrecorded history
Silently shattering the myths of feel good numerals
I look through the curtained window to the darkening sky
The night is approaching, and a day of tomorrow
And a new year on the corner with vilified thirteen
Another ordinary day and a year
With the same anxiety, existential and feel good story
Of our ending music denoted by sitar and violin
With beating tabla and drumbeat combined
Writhing to a melancholic zen

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ravi Shankar - Mangalam - Rest in Peace

Rest in peace Pandit Ravi Shankar. His death today is a great loss for the music lovers in all over the world.

The following is the lyric of one of this prominent music: Mangalam

Bhoomimangalam. Udakamangalam. 
Agnimangalam. Vaayumangalam. 
Gaganamangalam. Sooryamangalam. 
Chandramangalam. Jagat Mangalam. 
Jeevamangalam. Dehamangalam. 
Manomangalam. Aatmamangalam. 
Sarvamangalam Bhavatu Bhavatu Bhavatu. 
Sarvamangalam Bhavatu Bhavatu Bhavatu. 
Sarvamangalam Bhavatu Bhavatu Bhavatu.

"Prabhujee" is another great song by Ravi Shankar in collaboration with the great George Harrison. Both of these great musicians, artists with spiritual depth no longer are alive, but their transcending music live on.

English translation of the song Prabhujee is:

Oh Master, show some compassion on me,
Please come and dwell in my heart.
Because without you, it is painfully lonely,
Fill this empty pot with the nectar of love.

I do not know any Tantra, Mantra or ritualistic
worship i know and believe only in you. 
I have been searching for you all over all the world,
please come and hold my hand now.

The original lyric:
Prabhujee dayaa karo
Maname aana baso.
Tuma bina laage soonaa
Khaali ghatame prema bharo.
Tantra mantra poojaa nahi jaanu
Mai to kevala tumako hi maanu.
Sare jaga me dhundaa tumako
Aba to aakara baahan dharo

The above video clip is from Concert for Bangladesh held in August 1, 1971 at Madison Square Garden in New York. This concert was arranged by Pandit Ravi Shankar and George Harrison for raising international awareness on 1971 war's atrocity in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). In this video the musicians were: Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan and Allah Rakha.

Ravi Shankar's two daughters are accomplished artists themselves. The following video shows two sisters in a musical collaboration: Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar.

Here is a video clip from two years ago where Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka Shankar are performing together. 
The following is a music video showing collaboration between two maestro of 20th century: Ravi Shankar and Phillip Glass: 
Yehudi Menuhin is considered one of the greatest violinists of 20th century. Here is a music video where three maestros were in collaborations: Ravi Shankar in sitar, Yehudi Menuhin in violin and Allah Rakha in tabla. 

Another great music by Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin:

This is a spiritual song by Ravi Shankar and George Harrison: Asato Maa
Song lyric of Asato Maa:

asato ma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
mrtyorma amrtam gamaya

Lead me from the asat to the sat.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality.

Sat has a combination of meanings: existence, reality and truth.
Asat has a combination of meaning: Non-existence, non-reality and un-truth.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Of The Murderers in Bangladesh

In the never ending list of murders, extortion, heart wrenching fires and all kind of criminal fiesta, the death of a simple businessman named Bishwajit Das in public view perhaps will be disappeared from newspapers' front pages in a few days. A new sensational news will replace the "old" news, with new blood spill, or the victory lap of the tigers and the wolves, the real ones, not the stuffed tigers or the wolves, but the ones hiding behind the gentle political smile will shed their deceitful skin and will reveal their true monstrous selves!

A video clip of this murder (Please don't see this if you are faint hearted)

Perhaps this time the people who have witnessed this merciless killing from near and far will not let their anger die down. Maybe this time around the people will not be distracted by empty political slogans. 

The murderers' backgrounds are impressive. 
  • Murderer number 1: Noore Alam is a fourth year university student, majoring in Political Science
  • Murderer number 2: Rafiqul Islam is a second year university student majoring in Islamic History
  • Murderer number 3: Mahfuzur Rahman is a final year Masters degree student in Bangla literature in the university
  • Murderer number 4: Obhidul Quader is a fourth year student of psychology
  • Murderer number 5: Emdadul Haque is a final year Masters degree student of philosophy
  • Murderer number 6: Rasheduzzaman Shaon is a fourth year student of history
  • Murderer number 7: Rintu is a fourth year student of English literature
  • Murderer number 8: Mohammad Uzzal is a fourth year student of social science
Philosophy, psychology, Bangla and English literature, political and social science and history - these subjects should have enlightened their mind, free their spirit to the realm of basic empathy, but instead they have hacked an innocent businessman Bishwajit Das, in broad daylight, in front of the shuttering cameras of numb media and ridiculously ineffective law enforcers watching only from yards away. 

41 years ago in 1971, the known enemies from foreign land and their shameless collaborators killed countless innocent civilians, men, women, and children, murdered professors, students, doctors, engineers and civil servants. It was a brutal war, though in the end the innocence had triumphed over the oppression. 

Bangladesh has come a long way since then. Many decades have passed, military dictators of by gone era are only the fading memories. But if one compares the blood soaked newspapers of today to a similar page from one, two or ten years ago, the brutality, the senseless violence, photos or words describing the thugs and murderers, the cries and agonies of aggrieved family emanating from newspapers' crispy pages, have not changed much. The players at the top, the ruling and the main oppositions swapped their positions, but their hired murderers' crass actions have remained the same. 

The tragic part is that the powerful political elites have been exploiting college and university students  to do their dirty deeds. 

24 year old Bishwajit Das is dead and his body is already cremated by his family in a tearful funeral. Today was also International Human Rights Day. "This year the spotlight is on the rights of all people — women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor and marginalized — to make their voices heard in public life and be included in political decision-making." 

Bishwajit Das was part of minority in Bangladesh. His very basic right, to live freely, was taken away from him by murdering thugs working under political elites (Awami League? BNP?). Will there be any justice served for his murderers or behind the scene orchestrators? 

1. Rashidul Hasan, Of The Murderers, The Daily Star, December 11, 2012. Link:
2. Rashidul Hasan, 3 Other Murderers, The Daily Star, December 13, 2012. Link: