|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 87, Tuesday, October 13, 2009|
Bowing fields of white
Standing on the sides of the highway, safely away from the maddening traffic that seems to show little concern for safety and the value of lives, I was in awe, inspired by the sight before me. An old Bengali proverb says that if the 'kash' (kans grass) has started flowering, you know the rains are over and autumn has begun. But with time, seasons have changed- it now rains in autumn while the monsoon passes by dry and humid.
Looking up at the sky, I saw masses of grey clouds lurking for an onslaught. I couldn't be merrier. As I gazed at the horizon, I saw acres after acres of pasture occupied by plush vegetation, although weed to many, an astonishing sight of beauty for others. The swivelling of the white Kans grass in the wet, autumn breeze, grass blades heavily laden with morning dew brings out the romantic in me, which of course I am anything but. In a day or two, the grass will be cut; brooms made and livestock fed on the cut shoots.
I saw two children spring out of nowhere chasing a billy goat that had disappeared amidst the thick vegetation. I could follow their trail from the highway; the goat giving the two girls a run for their lives.
I felt like joining them, help them catch their pet and along the way, wet my feet in the water soaked soil, touch the greenery and hold the white fluff of the kash phool in between my fingers.
I was hoping there would be a train in sight. It would complete the scene. The locomotive will whistle by and the two girls will de dazzled at their first sight of a train just like Apu and Durga from "Pather Panchali". But I am sure they have seen a train before. So had I. But I had never seen such a sea of pure whiteness; the tall kash bowing to the ground by the sheer might of the strong winds.
I took off my shoes and walked downhill from the highway onto the grassy fields. I simply had to touch the flower, wet my feet with the morning dew on the green grass. I needed to feel like Apu and Durga, amazed and marvelled at a sight they had never seen.
By Mannan Mashhur Zarif
If you knew that you would find a truth
I was stuck in the unbearable congestion right outside Basundhara City for nearly three quarters of an hour, moving a few paces every 20 minutes. The only good thing I could make out of this experience was the torrential rain and the symphony of the raindrops on the roof of my car. A delight!
I pushed the button and flipped through the stations- Hridoy Khan to Mila to Shubir Nandi to A R Rahman. A good time-pass while moving like a sloth on the streets of Dhaka.
So this week Our pick #1. Fm Radios.
It was while flipping through the stations that I got the news- “Obama awarded Nobel Prize for Peace!” I nearly choked in astonishment. Now that's Change and our SURPRISE of the week.
Still stuck to the Nobel Prize, which is declared throughout October of every year, the award for literature caught my attention. The Prize went to Herta Müller "who”, as the Nobel Committee cited “with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed".
Our pick #2. Chotti Munda Ebong Tar Tir by Mahasweta Devi. Why? Well, she was amongst the top contenders of the Prize this year and her poignant, rebellious literature has enthralled minds craving change for many a decade. And how can we forget that she is a good all Dhaka-girl being born and brought up here until partition, when her family moved to India. If you prefer to read in english, you can read the English translation "Chotti Munda And His Arrow". But I guess you will have a tough time finding the English title.
Well, if you like writings on Naxalites, you may want to watch the film “Hazar Chowrasi ki Ma”- an adaptation from Mahesweta's first major work. The film provides a feminist and urban perspective on the Naxalite movement of the early 1970s that brought peasants and intellectuals together. Apart from Jaya Bachchan, who pours in her acting prowess, the film is an all-star cast: Anupan Kher, Nandita Das and other stalwarts of alternative Indian cinema. This is our pick #3.
We started with change, and I would like to wind up our 'Picks for the Week' with an article that has recently appeared on The Economist. “Mobile Money” is a novel concept that has brought banking to the doorsteps of many African countries with the use of the mobile phone. In Bangladesh, with now nearly two crore registered users the idea has the potential to make life easier and bring business to millions of households and thus ensure self-employment. This brilliant read is our pick #4 and available at www.econimist. com
By Mannan Mashhur Zarif
On The Cover
Add a little grr! to your look this season with some animal prints. For more trend tips, turn to the centrefold.
Bringing the spa home
Now you don't have to dish out thousands for a spa treatment, or worry about booking appointments. With a little thought and planning, you can turn your own bathroom into the perfect spa retreat. Here's how:
That lovin' feeling
Soak up some serenity
While nothing beats a professional spa treatment, this is a quick way to get in some well-deserved pampering at half the cost. Enjoy!
By Sabrina F Ahmad
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