Well, the Gregorian (western calendar that we all follow) started the year Jesus Christ died, the Islamic calendar marks the Prophet (SM)’s migration from Mecca to Medina, so what happened on the first day of Bengali New Year? Apparently it is a doctored event, created by the courts of Akbar the Great to facilitate the collection of taxes. Oh how unromantic! It does not commemorate any

Why is there such a dearth in public philanthropy in the arts? I am not saying that the rich of Bangladesh are parsimonious scrooges in the flesh. They are not. (more…)

I was reading somewhere that by 2050, our population will be 250 million. Indeed it is a huge number to deal with. At least, I certainly do NOT want to be around, surrounded by millions at this scale. I am not going to delve into some statistical exercise. There is no point in arguing about the declining birth rates, our success in child mortality, women’s empowerment and all that. Yes,

Once all roads led to Rome in that mighty empire of the same name. Now that empire has shrunk, and the roads have devolved in other destinations. Even in those mighty days of the empire, only the highly ambitious made the trek to that mighty city. Consisting of provinces with its own regional bureaucracy, the common citizens did not have to traverse those long roads to Rome, nor did the royal

I recently took the train from Chittagong to Dhaka. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. The train left the port city exactly on the dot, and reached Dhaka within 10 minutes of the announced time. The only drawback was a stone thrown at the moving carriage at high speed, shattering the window of the air-conditioned compartment and narrowly missing the passenger sitting

A couple of days before Eid-ul-fitr, we were gently reminded that the solid earth beneath our feet is not that solid after all. A relatively minor earthquake it was, we were told, but in my room on the fourth floor, the gentle swaying back and forth was not a comfortable place to be. My neighbourhood’s reaction was also subdued. Looking out at the window, I hardly saw any commotion, except