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The fortunes of the Bangladesh cricket team have a happy knack of coinciding with patriotic celebrations. In the 2007 World Cup, during the month of March which marks our Independence Day, Bangladesh eliminated India and moved into the second round of the global tournament for the first time in their history. Earlier this year, again in March, the Tigers beat 2011 World Cup finalists Sri Lanka and India on way to almost winning the Asia Cup, marking a new era of competitiveness.

So it is hardly a surprise that in December, the month of our hard-fought victory in 1971, the Bangladesh cricket team has put in another rousing show, and this one has called upon the true spirit of Bangladesh. Consider this: West Indies are a strong side who recently won the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka; before the ODI series they won the two-Test series against Bangladesh 2-0; and Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh's talismanic all-rounder who can match the bigger sides blow for blow, was ruled out of the series with a shin injury. All indicators pointed to a trouncing; yet the Tigers won the series 3-2 after winning the first two matches of the series with such conviction that all so-called experts were left rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

The first match in Khulna was won by seven wickets as West Indies were clueless against Bangladesh's arsenal of spinners. The second was an even more comprehensive result with Bangladesh winning by 160 runs, their biggest victory margin yet, after scoring 292.

That was followed by two reversals in Dhaka in the third and fourth ODIs, and the fans were braced for a heart-break as the decider started on Saturday. The momentum was against the Tigers, West Indies would surely win the series. By the end of Saturday, the whole country was engulfed in a wave of green and red as Bangladesh proved their maturity with a two-wicket win under extreme pressure.

It is never wise to equate sporting success to a struggle for independence, but it can certainly be said that the belief Bangladesh displayed in beating a stronger opponent without their champion, that too so convincingly, is worthy of a country that displayed the same doggedness to overcome years of oppression.

That they lost the third and fourth ODIs in Dhaka -- the third by four wickets and the fourth by 75 runs after a collapse reminiscent of the dark days -- serves to show how well they performed in Khulna and in the decider, and the reserves of fighting spirit they called upon.

For a team that has long depended on individual feats of brilliance to win matches here and there, the performance shown in the first two matches, in patches of the third and in the final owed solely to teamwork. West Indies have big hitters in Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith -- part of the reason why no pundit gave the home side a prayer in the series -- but for much of the series the Tigers came out and silenced them through a concerted bowling display of discipline, perseverance, and above all bravery.

In each game, the fearsome Chris Gayle got off to starts, hitting fours and sixes at will. But that did not threaten the Tigers, it only served to strengthen their resolve to stick to their disciplines.

The victory is a triumph of resilience and bravery, that very Bangladeshi quality of not being overawed by a power that is believed to be greater. It is a triumph of unity that states that although the opposition may have great, dangerous weapons, they will still be vulnerable if we march as one. Most aptly in the month of victory, it is a triumph that started nine months ago in March with the Asia Cup.

Photo: Firoz Ahmed


Flying colours @JU

When was the last time you chased a butterfly? This question probably reminds you of a long lost childhood you terribly miss. Or, even worse, perhaps it is one of those magical ventures you have never had the chance to embark upon. Indeed, with urbanisation and our life becoming slaves to time, many of life's colourful, delicate and fascinating things are quickly being forgotten.

Celebrations like Butterfly Fair 2012 at Jahangirnagar University -- held on 7 December and organised by its zoology department, with Prokriti O Jibon Foundation as the supporting organisation -- is a haven for nature lovers; a day to lose yourself among hundreds of butterflies. The media partners for this event were Channel i and Radio Bhoomi. The slogan of the fair was “Urley akashey projapoti, prokriti paye notun goti” (The flight of butterflies give nature a new life).

Dr Monwar Hossain, a faculty member of the zoology department of Jahangirnagar University, is the head organiser of the fair.

“We have targeted this fair mainly towards children. Our objective is to create awareness among people to care and protect butterflies. No matter how delicate and small, as living beings, they also have the right to live. The event has been organised as a fair to bring a sense of festivity, so that people understand that butterflies are not just about hard science” he said. “The role of butterflies in nature is very important. Pollination, for example, is a natural course that holds vital importance to our environment and life. Fewer butterflies would take a heavy toll on the environment.”

The daylong fair comprised of many events, including children's art competition on butterfly, butterfly photography exhibition, live butterfly display, butterfly kite flying, debate competition on butterfly and documentary exhibition on butterfly.

The live exhibition of butterflies has been one of the most attractive events of the fair. At the botanical garden, a room (made and bounded by net and fences) was filled with numerous butterflies of dozens of species. With flowers plants and fruits, this was a good place for the butterflies to roam around. Visitors stood in line to get inside the net and see butterflies closely.

“This room is not only for the fair. Here in Jahangirnagar University, we study, conduct research and breed butterflies. We then restore them in the open environment. But of course, we have put more number of butterflies in this room today for this exhibition,” Dr.Monwar Hossain informed.

He is one lucky man who has not given up on childhood ventures; he still chases after butterflies.

The event also saw the launching of a book, named Chonde Chhoraye Projapoti. “Science studies butterfly, which, to some people, might be a bit daunting with all the technicalities. But butterflies, being the amazing and beautiful creatures they are, have made room in literature too. Hence I and my colleague Khaled Hossain from JU's Bangla department set out to write this book. We made this book, which comprises of pictures, descriptions and rhymes about many different species of butterfly, to create awareness among the children.”

Hopefully, we will have more colours around us tomorrow.

By M H Haider
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


By Tanziral Dilshad Ditan

Celebrating feminist authors; a tribute to Adrienne Cecile Rich
Date: Tuesday, 11 December
Time: 4pm to 6pm
Venue: Level 9, Midas Center, Road #27 (old), Dhanmondi

Gantha and Dr. Niaz Zaman would like to invite you to a discussion and reading of works (and Bengali translations), by American feminist authors. The event will also pay tribute to American poet, essayist, and feminist author Adrienne Cecile Rich (May 16, 1929 - March 27, 2012). Rich, in the words of Margalit Fox, “was a poet of towering reputation and towering rage, whose work -- distinguished by an unswerving progressive vision and a dazzling, empathic ferocity -- brought the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse and kept it there for nearly a half-century.”
A must for all literature buffs.

Winter Bonfire Fest 2012: Powered by The Tretton Ltd
Date: 15-16 December
Time: 10am till 10.30pm
Venue: Banani Play Ground at Kemal Ataturk Road

It is time to mark your calendars for an exclusive event. For the first time in Dhaka, to celebrate winter, Tretton Ltd. is organising a winter bonfire fest -- a perfect way to spend a whole day out with loved ones. Campfire, fire torch, fire spinning, fireworks, live music, fashion show, clothing stalls, gaming stalls, food stalls, accessory stall, etc. are some special attractions.
For stall booking and other queries contact: Munawwar Mahmood Chowdhury (0171 552 7477); Iraz Ahmed (0176 413 8797).

Bijoy Ride
Date: Saturday, 16 December
Reporting time: 7am
Event: 8am sharp

BDCyclists once again has arranged a get-together on the theme of green and red.
Rendezvous: In front of Shangshad Bhaban at Manik Mia Ave.
Please carry a bag with your bike, a helmet is a must, so is a water bottle. Please bring dry food for light breakfast.
Please note: No Helmet means no ride.

International Short and Independent Film Festival
Date: 13-19 December
Time: 4.30pm till 4.30 pm
Venue: Bangladesh Short Film Forum 108, Aziz Super Market, Shahbagh

If you are a film buff, there is a seven-day long film festival for you to enjoy. The slogan for the festival is “Free Cinema, Free Expression.” The objective of the show is to showcase internationally acclaimed foreign films to the Bangladeshi audience.

Workshop on DSLR Cinematography
Date: 15 December 2012 to 23 February, 2013
Time: 11am till 8pm
Venue: Asian Institute of Media and Communications Center (AIMC), Road #10/A, Dhanmondi.

AIMC is proud to organise, for the first time in Bangladesh, a workshop on "DSLR Cinematography". Course director: Razibul Hossain
Course duration: 2 months
Course hours: 60 hours
Class time: Every Saturday (11am to 8pm)
Course Fee: Tk.14,000
For details contact: 0173 830 1003. Email: info@aimcbangladesh.com
Venue: Room #201, House #38, Road #10/A, Junior Laboratory School, Dhanmondi.

Spot registration: 5pm to 8pm everyday at Room 201, House #38, Road #10/A.
Junior Laboratory School, Dhanmondi.

WDA-AP Dance Research Methodology Workshop
Date: 17-23 December
Time: 10am till 5pm
Venue: Level 9, Midas Center, Road #27(old), Dhanmondi

Under the auspices of the World Dance Alliance - Asia Pacific and with the support of Transcom Group (Bangladesh), a workshop on Dance Research Methodology will be held at the EMK Center from December 17-23, 2012. Notable ethnochoreologist, Professor Dr. Mohd Anis of University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, will act as interlocutor of the sessions. This initiative will be conducted in two phases: training and critical assessments; and a monograph/book publication (at least six months from the date of the first phase activities).

Freelance writers, graduate students and dance researchers who have knowledge of writing in the English language and have some previous experience in dance research and writing are invited to participate. Interested, qualified applicants are requested to forward a CV and cover letter by email to kanchendzonga@gmail.com or at info@emk.com.bd

“Circus Circus” by Spectators Society of Prachyanat
Date: Sunday, 16 December
Time: 6.30pm till 9.30pm
Venue: Shilpakala Academy, 14/3 Segunbagicha, Ramna

”Circus Circus” was the first full-length play by the group and was quickly recognised as one of the major productions of the year. The yearly publication of International Theatre Institute (ITI) in 1998 singled out “Circus Circus” as the most promising new play by a new theatre group.

The plot: “The Great Bengal Circus” once enjoyed widespread fame under its founder owner Laksman Das. The company is now being managed by his brother, who rebuilt the company that was ravaged during the liberation war of 1971.

The company faces various problems -- unskilled performers, strained relationship, rivalry among the members, etc. Members of a fundamentalist religious group threaten to stop the show. The play is written and directed by Azad Abul Kalam.

Musical night @ Mermaid Café
Date: Friday, 14 December,
Time: 8pm till 10pm,
Venue: Mermaid café, Gulshan

Emulating the very popular eatery in Cox's Bazar Central, Mermaid Eco Concern's latest addition to its product portfolio, the Mermaid Cafe in Gulshan, is a jazzy place to be. The restaurant's thematic menu boasts of fresh seafood flown in on a daily basis and is one of a kind. And if that is not all, the authorities have added that extra special something, something for the entertainment of its patrons on Friday, 14 December, 2012. In tribute to the sentiments of Bijoy Dibosh, the jazz & blues band Aronno will be stepping out of its usual genre to play classical Rabindra Shangeet from 8pm to 10.30pm.

The food at Mermaid Cafe, Gulshan is scrumptious undoubtedly and it can only be expected to enchant the palate.

Regular menu with no entry fee.


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