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Showing posts from April, 2013

Tears in Garments from Bangladesh

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The heartbreaking image above is from The Daily Star. A sister crying over the photo of her brother who is trapped in that collapsed building at the Rana Plaza in Savar, Bangladesh. This is the day five after that collapse, killing hundreds of workers and injuring many. The total number of casualties is still unknown as many more are feared to be trapped underneath the piles of concretes of the collapsed building. 

Every day the hopes for finding more survivors are diminishing. Miracles do happen, and some are still getting rescued because of some heroic and tireless rescue efforts. The relatives, standing near, holding their loved one's photos in outstretched hands, looking toward the rubble, a live tomb, where many garments workers died for the sole reason of complete indifference toward workers' basic human rights for a safe work environment. Was it too much to ask for? 

Garments workers in Bangladesh get one of the lowest wages in the entire world. This unfortunate fact is a…

Tragedies in Bangladesh - a Forewarning

This tragedy in Bangladesh is incomprehensible to me. Collapsed building. Possibly many hundreds poor workers died. Women, children and men. There was clear warning. Even a bank's branch in the same building told their employees not to go to work in that fateful day. But for the garments workers, the warning didn't matter, the owner of the building looked like colluded with the owners of the garments factories and forced their impoverished employees to come to work in that cracked building, that collapsed and killed and injured many. 
Why this type of tragedy gets repeated in Bangladesh? Only a few months ago, another devastating incident happened, when another garments factory burnt down, and more than a hundred of their employees perished, some of their bodies charred to beyond recognition. 
Is it only the faults of the garments owners? Does the government of Bangladesh share any responsibility? Why wouldn't there be strict enforcement of already existing regulations on …

Coffee Houser Sei Addata – a Nostalgic Song of Manna Dey – Transient Moments

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A very old song from Manna Dey, the legendary Bengali singer, “Coffee Houser Sei Addata Aaj ar Nei” – meaning, “That hangout in the coffee house is no more” – is such a melancholic and nostalgic song that the listeners, the lovers of this timeless song can easily get completely immersed with the vivid images that the lyrics describe, the life of old friends, the successful ones, and the ones whose poems never get published, and the one whom the life has not forgiven, who is dying from cancer, and the editor of a newspaper, and his critiques, the debates of poets and their poetry, the artist who used to draw for an advertising firm, and his silent admirer, these are all lyrically sung by Manna Dey, a singer who is undoubtedly remain in the highest respectable place in listeners’ hearts.
This is a song of life and its transient moments of happiness, fleeting and temporary, seems too short of a life, the forgotten and the faded faces of long lost friends, scattered around, some lost in …

Deja Vu

[This is my Toastmasters speech that I delivered earlier today, April 18, 2013 at my local club]
Do you have that eerie déjà vu feeling sometime? Like, don’t I know this or that person from somewhere, but in reality you have met for the first time. Or, you went to a beautiful vacation spot where you have never been before, and you look at the crushing blue waves, its bubbly whitish froths and the rising sun peaking from the glowing horizon, and suddenly you remember being in that very spot, standing on the soft sands, but actually this was the first time you have visited this particular sea beach.
I find these déjà vu feeling fascinating. What is the reason of it? Is it some kind of trick that our curious mind plays on us? Is it the manifestation of brain’s synaptic circuitry’s random spike? Or is there a deeper reason behind it? Is it a glimpse of a past life, and possibly this reincarnated life has a flash from that forgotten memory?
I was watching the first season episode from a T…

Sleep

[This is a Toastmasters speech that I delivered last month, March 2013 at my local club]
I woke up this morning feeling groggy. Slight weakness I felt while dragging my sleepy feet doing my morning chores getting prepared to come to work like any other days. Maybe you have gone through one of these sleepy head morning yourself dear Toastmasters when your body would like to go back to bed in the warm comfort of a comforter and snuggled to your loved one, but your alarmed mind would snap back at you for that foolish desire to take the extra nap in the morning of a busy weekday. Wishful thinking, huh!
The main reason that a person can feel sleepy in the morning is not having enough sleep the previous night because of being immersed in a donkey party or staying awake watching late night comedy show in TV. The current scientific research from respected scholars suggests that a healthy human being needs between 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. A baby sleeps much more than that, and when you r…

Buzz

[Text from my Toastmasters Speech - Delivered two months ago]
The day before yesterday, I started hearing a buzz noise in my head. Please don’t laugh! This is not a joke. The first time I noticed it, I thought this was an ambient sound in my house. It was late at night. I was about to sleep. I was hearing a slight light pitched humming sound, as if hundreds of bees were swarming and buzzing not too far from me. I switched on my bedside lamp and looked around, really! And there were no bees. I did feel stressed a bit, thinking what was happening to me? What was that noise around or in my head? It took sometime for me to calm down and fall into sleep that night.
When I woke up in another wintry and dark morning, I could still hear the buzzing noise. Before going out to my drive to work through morning rush, I checked the net and searched for the causes of having this condition and found that there are many possibilities. Some of these possibilities are very scary, like brain tumor, neuro…

We Are One Species

1. Iain Banks’s writing is not familiar to me. A few days ago, from a BBC news article I came to know about his terminal cancer. So sad that news was! Only 59 years old. The Times mentioned him in their 2008 list “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. Per Wiki he wrote 26 novels and is apparently to publish his last novel this year.
I have read a second article today in The Guardian, and the writer is Iain Banks. This article was extracted from an earlier essay the writer wrote as “Our People” in 2010 in a book titled “Generation Palestine: Voices from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement”.
I find that it is not easy to write anything about the mess both Palestinians and Israelis are in for many decades. I’d written some articles before, denouncing both the bloody terrorism and disproportionate responses and meaningless provocations from both sides. These days I am hesitant to write anything more on this painful subject, as so many essays, books and fine analysis writt…