Every year around Mother’s Day, I find myself looking for films that portray most introspectively the concept of the mother. My all-time favourite is Soviet director Grigori Chukhrai’s Ballad of a Soldier (1959), an existential film about a mother’s love and yearning for his son, an adolescent Red Army soldier. Set during World War II, the film was less about war than about the anguish

The recent saga of the BGMEA Tower is no less an epitome of our national narrative. Read the 15-storey building’s brief and immodest history and you get an illuminating window into our judicial quandary, inefficient urban governance, incoherent environmental policies and, of course, the inexhaustible culture of influence-peddling. (more…)


Adnan Morshed | 6th Mar 2011.

This piece is not about whether Grameen Bank’s management practices have been lawful or not, nor is it about idolising Muhammad Yunus as the saviour of the poor. Instead, this piece is simply about the way the Government of Bangladesh is handling the status of Grameen’s founder (and his perceived threat for the ruling party). For any dispassionate observer, the ouster of Yunus from an

I have to acknowledge that I felt deeply conflicted about the proposed airport project at Arial Beel. On the one hand, in the age of globalisation and global mobility an airport is after all the de facto gateway to a country. That crucial first impression is made at the airport. The poorly designed and stinking toilets at the Shahjalal International Airport take on, sadly, a kind of

Traffic congestion has become, alas, an iconic image of Dhaka and the hot-button issue in any dialogue on urban affairs. Recommendations that are typically offered, however, hinge on the flawed idea that there is a quick technical fix (for instance, a fly-over or an elevated expressway). Sure, there could be multiple technical approaches, but the problem is that rarely are these approaches