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Showing posts from 2015

Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane is an excellent story from beginning to end. Once I started reading, it was hard to stop reading this fabulous book. The vivid imageries and the tight story plot are awesome!  Loved it.

Sinusoidal Troll - a Poem

Along came a serpent exhaling The miasma of smoky air Hissing the twisted tongue At all the beautiful there For the serpent’s venom Is meant for all No discrimination in its Poisonous crawl
Some in near and far Gloated as they see it as a friend That will vanquish all the misery And the subhuman fiend But the sinusoidal troll chuckles Wrapped in grimy hiss As it readies the toxic teeth For not so friendly blitz

Picture Frame - a Poem

Picture Frame - a Poem

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 thi…

My Fear for You, My Son - a Poem

My fear for you, my son while holding you closest to my heart listening to your mild heartbeat My fear for you, my son Is the world turning into a void full of people without remorse or regret
You walk and giggle all the pure delight shining through you You hold my fingers tight while exploring room to room touching new things, objects of your fascination dancing with your favorite nursery rhymes and building structure with colorful blocks you say broken words, made up words no language puts barrier no religion clouds your simple thoughts and pleasure exploring the world as it is and not make believe by the idiotic adults
My fear for you, my son while feeding you a squeezed orange smearing your face with my clumsy palm that you will grow up in a world receded to the time of medieval feuds where the cries of oppressed and dispossessed are laughed and jeered at with beguiling farce



Badge - a Poem

A night like any other night A day like any other day Trudge along the spiteful blight Dimming the golden ray
Of hopes and dreams Simmer under the scorching sun While the sliced moon beams Over the trembling swan
As the birds and the bees Fly away from the raging fire Engulfing flowers and trees In desiccated dire
Premonitions of a day When badge wearing humans Dissipated into bashing gray Ash, everlasting doldrums!

All the anger and hatred
Thrown at the dehumanized souls
Becalmed at last in kindred
Spirits of acquiesced ghouls

Pray for Paris. Pray for Beirut

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Pray for Paris. Pray for Beirut,
Baghdad, Istanbul
Pray for all the dead,
dying, injured
Pray for lost innocence,
End of hatred
Pray for children
Your, mine and refugees'
Who will inherit this world
Gone mad
with shameful indifference!

On This Remembrance Day

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Freedom is never free, someone said, and the poet Czeslaw Milosz said, "The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them." Remembering all the fallen souls who sacrificed their lives to make this world a better place. Ultimately, senseless wars and violence have the great potential planting the seeds of more wars and violence of the future, but sometimes to protect the innocents and humanity brave souls embark on the difficult journey. I can't even fathom how brave one must be staring down the barrel of a tank or crawling through the fields of mine to rescue the stranded human beings. My maternal grandfather, Moniruddin Ahmed, was one of those brave souls, a world war warrior fighting for the Allies, shoulder to shoulder, combat to combat, along with his British and Indian Army comrades in Europe, who died too early. Today, on this remembrance day, I salute his sacrifice and the sacrifice of countless many like him, regardless of creed, ra…

Tahmina Anam's Article: Bangladesh on the Brink

Tahmina Anan, the critically-acclaimed writer of A Golden Age, a well written novel that I had the pleasure of reading some years ago, is bold and brave pointing out the key issues surrounding the growing murderous criminality in Bangladesh. She rightly observes the following in her The New York Times article: "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…

Justice - a Poem

Such a loaded word justice as if it has any real meaning when words get torn out  ripped asunder  from pages of dusty books countering the crooks  becomes only a daydream of gullible poets and writers who are haunted  by the phantom menace
The words dance  in the cloud and the mind alike, where the ferocity  and calculated grin arising from shadowy goon swoon over the pen a writer holds on his hand thinking to write the next word  or not, instead catching  the bubbles of silence floating mid air  
Justice not served as justice denied a father's agonies is heard from afar  travelling across Ethernet like a category five hurricane brooding on the ocean calm tears, reminder  of a storm, havoc in waiting



Silence is Complicity

Richard Cohen's article titled "The Bigotry of Trump and Farrakhan" is well written, made good points on bigotry and why silence is complicity. Here is an excerpt from this Washington Post article
"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."

One Day

One day, the world and its populace will be more matured. One day, the science and technology will leap to a new evolutionary height, so helpful to all humanity, uplifting the dispossessed and the poverty stricken from the depth of despair, solving all the human created and natural problems that have befuddled humanity from the time of antiquity.

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…

The Fake Meat Revolution

"Fake meat" is on the rise. This possibly will have positive impact on the reduction of green house gas as the "livestock cause more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation industry". Also, this is an ethical issue. Humanity has progressed in achieving more compassion towards fellow humans. The logical progression of this compassion is to be more inclusive by abandoning the antiquated brutality that are being done on animals of all kinds for their meat. 

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.

Rest in Peace, Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks died today. A great loss for the humanity. I have come to known about his writings from his various articles, haven't got the chance reading any of his books yet though came very close to reading his book on music titled Musicophilia (now regretting not reading it). In February of this year I'd read his article in The New York Times, a meditative writing coming to terms with his terminal illness. Here is a memorable snippet from that article:
"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&q…

Warming Seas Rising Faster than Predicted

Is it an alarmist article? Like many other similar warnings from reputable scientists, this new warning about warming seas faster than predicted, having global catastrophic consequences for the humanity, may not receive the adequate attention from the world populace. Out attention spectrum is shifting like a nomadic wind, from one distraction to another, from entertainment to sports, mind boggling senseless violence and wars, gossiping about the celebrities and other shape shifting fiasco. All the while this world, our very home planet, the only one so far we know conclusively supporting organic lifeforms are rushing toward an environmental calamity from which reversing the devastating possibility of submerged and washed away populous cities and nations may become a frightening certainty.

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 cal…

Can a Novelist Be Too Productive?

I love Stephen King's writings. He is one of my favorite authors along with a few other exceptional writers. When I was a teenager, his novels and stories that I'd read, had profound effect on my love for contemporary English literature. Whenever time is available in these days of dwindling time in the middle of workday and family life, I still pick up his latest novels. To me Stephen King's prolific output is not shallow contribution to the world of literature.

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 …

Oil Price Tumbling

Oil price is in free fall. Close to $40 a barrel. A shocking downfall from its peak hovering way above $100 a barrel not too long ago. Fear has impact on market. A few factors seem to be behind the oil price fall.
First the supply glut. This is possibly pushing the price down steadily. What is surprising to me is the path that OPEC has taken so far by not cutting the production level. Only plausible reason could be that OPEC is putting pressure on the "unconventional" oil producers, a calculated move to push the competitors away.
Second is the lowering of demand. Because of low oil prices many businesses are affected, directly or indirectly, thus reducing the demand for oil. That's the conventional wisdom. However, some observers pointed out that this time around the "lowering" demand may not be the significant problem, it is the supply glut that has overwhelmed the demand. Here is a quote from the International Energy Agency:
Global oil demand in 2015 is exp…

Normalcy

Not writing anything, no blog post, no comment. This has become normal for me these days. In the old days, the words flew naturally from the tip of my fingers typing furiously on a desktop or laptop's keyboard to the monitor. So many ideas! So many things to write about! The relentless bad news from media, newspaper, magazines, forums, etc., and there gone I stooping in the corner of my quiet room, typing away the thoughts, opinions, pondering about the humanity, the terrible indifference towards the agonies of the distressed, the blood cuddling wars and the senseless violence, the silence of the vast majority in the face of injustice and shameful bias.

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 antiqui…

The Doubt Essential to Faith

Powerful words from Lesley Hazleton on doubt and faith. Earlier today I've first seen this respectful writer's another excellent presentation from 2011 on the page of Samira Karim, that made me curious to read up on Lesley Hazleton and I found this TED presentation of her from 2013. Many misconceptions exist about Muslims, and also misconceptions exist among Muslims about people from other religions or non-religion. Having the privileges of living in several countries spread around multiple continents, I have learnt that the core essence of being human with full of hopes, joys, anxiety, fear, dreams and daily struggles are very much the same in every living being of our world regardless of origins, complexion and other shallow worthless and artificial dividers. My humble salute is for Lesley Hazleton, an agnostic Jew, and other fearless and bias-less writers and speakers who are not afraid speaking the truth, and who share many of humanity's common yearning for a peaceful…

Refugee Crisis

UN's François Crépeau on the refugee crisis: 'Instead of resisting migration, let's organise it' http://gu.com/p/47y4b/stw 
"would we find acceptable that our sons and daughters be treated the same way if they were in the same circumstances? If we answer no, then we have the answer to our moral dilemma."

The Circle by Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers' The Circle: Well paced and cleverly crafted novel with scary allegories portraying a time not too far in the future. A future that has lots of similarities with our time but that is progressing toward a "complete circle", though benevolent in its purported intention of getting absolute transparency and supposed honesty from every level of the society but as the predatory shark shows in so painstakingly detail metaphor that all the good intentions may get submerged by the base instinct of unchecked predation. Dave Eggers' "The Circle" is a thought provoking novel.

Science on Diets

New science on cholesterol, eggs and vegetarian diets http://goo.gl/9LWTDg Politics in food! Who knew?

Social Media is Helping Moms Win the War Over Public Breastfeeding

Social Media Is Helping Moms Win the War Over Public Breastfeeding: http://ti.me/1DdfOE8 breaking the ridiculous cultural fixation. Excerpt fron this good article:
"The problem isn’t social media; it’s our cultural fixation on women as objects to titillate and entertain rather than women as human beings with lives and hardships. By using social media to mobilize our efforts to gain the right to breastfeed without being harassed, we are turning the tide, slowly — one picture, one instance, at a time. But until we can affect a deep change in the way society views women in general, and breastfeeding mothers in particular, we will not be able to win the war."

Vegan diet best for planet

Federal report: Vegan diet best for planet  http://goo.gl/SVwXdC - most possibly is true but the meat industry is too powerful. Change it.

A Real Life Hero: John St. Jean

A real life hero: "Someone's got to protect the underdog." My utmost respect to John St. Jean. May he recover quick. A man like him is more needed in this world.

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/john-st-jean-on-life-support-after-beating-in-grande-prairie-parking
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How come a mother is prevented to nurse her seven months old infant?

I am flabbergasted seeing this first on Saima Jamal's page. How come a mother is prevented to nurse her seven months old infant? I thought intolerance resides in the faraway la-la-la lands only! Delusional naivete.

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 …

Confronting Our Intolerance

We all killed Avijit and Oyasiqur http://t.co/VhYYC5bIIq Confronting our own ingrained intolerance is the first step for a better world.

Human right is transcendental

Blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes http://wpo.st/2A_B0 human right is transcendental, unbounded by any so called "red line". Free Badawi! No compulsion in religion.

Opposing Discrimination

Opposing discrimination takes courage, it’s time for all of us to be courageous. A timely article: http://wpo.st/mHTA0

Ei Duniya Ekhon To Aar - Instrumental Music

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".

Bangla lyrics:

এই দুনিয়া এখন তো আর সেই দুনিয়া নাই
মানুষ নামের মানুষ আছে
দুনিয়া বোঝাই
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।

A Tribute to Avijit Roy

The news of Avijit Roy's brutal murder in Bangladesh stunned me, took away all my words for last few days. I knew Avijit from the early days of discussion forums and blogs, had good exchanges of ideas and debate with him from time to time. Last few years I've lost the contact with this man of profound curiosity and genuine outlook to understand our common humanity and existence.

The murder of this immensely talented writer by the thugs, whose identity still remain unknown even though there were many security cameras pointing toward the exact spot where he was struck from behind amplifying the cowardice killers' heartless method once more, even allegedly only a short distance from Bangladeshi law enforcement folks who just looked on while the killers assaulted Avijit and his wife in front of many other onlookers. No one came forward to help them. No one screamed and showed compassion for a human being who had in his relatively short lifetime always stepped forward to prote…

The True Power of the Pen

Words cannot be compared with the glistening swords or the mighty guns. A writer can only hope that the words that he writes has meaning, that can inspire human souls to dream for a better world. From the time immemorial, freedom of expression of all forms, in written, in artistic paintings, satirical cartoons, poetry or prose, metered or un-metered, came under incessant attacks from the fringe quarters, sometime from the highly pompous and mighty, and sometime from the alienated and disenfranchised rebels that in many times get exploited and stringed like the meagre pawns on a strategical chessboard. 
Violence, the killings of innocents, writer, the cartoonists, the editors, in the name of any religion does not do any good service for that religion or any belief system. Humanity has gone through many cross roads in its restive history, for which only a few thousand years of provable recorded documents exist, many more perhaps could have existed if our ancestors were not involved in …