|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 5, Tuesday, February 2, 2010|
This week as we cut the pack of cards for the shuffle, we bring forth guests around the table to share inputs on the biggest and upcoming names in Bangla literature: what to look out for in the boimela and beyond…
Haque believes Mashiul Alam, Ahmad Mustafa Kamal, Shumon Rahman, Rasheda Sultana and Aditi Falguni are the names to look out for. This versatile group of writers adds a new platform in Bangla literature through their outstanding wizardry with words and a playful execution of plots. Something definitely worth going for!
And as for the bestsellers list, if you haven't read their works till now, then bustle through the fair and collect your copies, just to keep yourself updated, if not anything else. The list includes- Muhith Kamal, Shumanata Aslam, Mostofa Mamun, Deboprata Mukkhopaddhay, Quamruzzaman Kamu, Tokon Thakur and Marjuk Rasel!
Next stop: Muktadhara. Since 1971, this publication has been a stalwart in promoting talents and also nourishing the literary needs for re-prints and new, revised editions of classics. A few names have come up through our discussion with this Publication House; we mention a couple: “Shamudra Monthon” a book of poetry written in the form of an epic, by Rajeeb Roy, based on the famous Hindu mythology of churning of the sea. “Manoshik Oboshad O Muktir Upae” is another by Dr. Baren Chakraborty, renowned physician and cardiologist. Those in the know would be informed of his pedigree with the pen. He has in the past written for countless newspapers, magazines and periodicals academic as well as literary. He points out the underlying reasons behind depression, cause, effect and recovery, based on his academic background and personal research.
Third stop: Shamabesh. A sister concern of the well famed “Pathak Shamabesh” it has published a bouquet of English poetry- One Glass Eye - written by Alaka Halder, a young, budding talent with a set of roving eyes that looks through society, a fact that is reflected in her poetry.
Memoirs have recently seen renewed interest amongst readers, and keeping up with the demands Shamabesh has published “Attokotha: Smriti Bistritir Bangladesh” by Akbar Kabir. This book provides a fresh look at the history of Bangladesh through an observer who, although not directly involved in many of the incidences mentioned, provides a third person's view at politics, society and life in general.
Last stop: Shagor Publishers; a house that has over many years inspired young talents and promoted literary works of the young minds. Evan Pasha debuts into this world with his short stories- “Oshmita O Ektukhani Alo.” Currently a student of filmmaking, Pasha's look into the world is full of keen enthusiasm and great depth.
Also out for the mela is “Chor Ebong Bhalobasha”, a compilation of comic short stories by Shamim Shahed.
So, have great fun at the boimela this week and the weeks to come. Until next time. Ciao!
By Mannan Mashhur Zarif
Our office is a second home to every one of us. As the majority of our waking, and a third of our sleeping hours are spent in our cramped, sorry cubicles or in the cold corridors in front of the bosses' office or sipping cups and cups of bad tea in the extremely nasty canteen, we just make the best of the circumstances.
We are a happy lot, not at all stiff and uptight, even when we do not meet deadlines or fail to show up at important press conferences, we take it easy. No worries at all- unless some editors are breathing down our neck- we feel free to watch the tele, read the test match summary on cricinfo, or enjoy out of the world music videos on Youtube. You see stockpiling information is our job, so in what format you gather them is not the problem, it's how truly you disseminate it that matters.
Our floors are always vibrant be it 9am or 2am or 11pm, we are working round the clock, in reality only a hand full are working these crazy hours while the maximum love to play the part. If you drop by any time of the day you are bound to be greeted by hot political debates, shouts and screams and laughter, not to forget lectures on invisible office etiquettes and norms.
The best ones are the philosophical insights by male clerks, who are so full of good advice on anything from how not to get into a tiff with your mom-in-law, whether pink is your colour or not, to what healthy lunch you should get from the 'mini Chinese' next door.
Our meetings are buzzing with old ideas in new wrappers; we make trifling matters sound grand and big. With our cool and oh-so-knowledgeable persona and a slightly absent minded twist to our look, we will gobble down plates of cakes and biscuits and even snatch a bite from the boss; all in a nonchalant manner, while saving the planet.
Even the accounts section is lively and fun only if you don't ask for bills, and we do have very grouchy yet cute men behind the cash. We have our own brand of Santa Claus who drops gifts, cards and food at every desk she passes by on a daily basis.
The stress management strategy in general comprises of the paper ball fights or fistfights, practicing kung fu kicks that invariably miss targets or making funny faces while interviews are underway and of course baby talking.
However, these are simply child's play compared to the unmentionable tactics of the almighty reporting and the news desks.
There is no dearth of trash food in the office though, stuffed inside drawers; in keyboard trays, behind monitors, you will find biscuit crumbs or mutilated shingaras and strands of noodles. We eat like there is no tomorrow, the lousy canteen food, to cakes and chocolates to starchy corn soups and not to forget the office favourite 'lumpsum', which is a combo of kichuri and noodles. (One has to try this to believe it.)
In spite of being totally zany we manage to be evaluated and appreciated every morning by our readers and this is our permit to do what we do best; i.e. vegging at work.
By Raffat Binte Rashid
On The Cover
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