Working with Star Insight: Knowing my Roots
Zahidul Naim Zakaria
Life is a like a book, those who don't travel, read only a page. And when it comes to Dhaka dwellers that have never visited elsewhere, they read perhaps only a paragraph. Dhaka consists of approximately 10% of the country's population, and the larger cake is out there with intense experiences and memorable existences. And that is where Star Insight came in, to help people "know Bangladesh better" by not replacing travel, but giving readers a flavour of the pages they have missed out on.
For as long as I can remember, I had been addicted to writing. The only form of hobby or leisure activity I had was writing itself, and I had resorted to writing about almost anything that I pondered of. Occasionally, Star Campus publishes my articles. My addiction to finding diverse forms of expressions in the course of different forms of writing led to my introduction to Rafi Bhai, the in-charge of Star Insight. He welcomed me on board as a translator for the magazine.
In the past three months, I have translated about a dozen articles, some of which were specific features and some of which were cover stories. And in my experience working with Insight, I discovered a whole new world inside Bangladesh that was right outside my door, but to what I was completely oblivious. As the readers already know, Star Insight, a fortnightly feature, focuses on inspirational personas and cultures that are based outside the capital city, thus making the countryside more familiar to those who have never had the opportunity of physically going around the country. I learned about aborigines who maintain their own beliefs and rituals even in the melting pot we call today's society, I learned of those who have had unimaginable contribution to the shaping of our country and I learned about people who rarely come to the limelight but have spent their lives in the struggle of illuminating lives of people around them. I have worked with revolutionaries and humanitarians; wrote about tragic yet inspirational events, and above all I have found out more about my own genesis than I had ever known before.
When translating and rewriting stories for Insight, I realized that my work was not the same as the translator next door. I was not to just give the same meaning in a different language, but rather to deliver exactly the same essence and atmosphere to the readers as I found it in the original Bengali text. In the process of doing so, I became increasingly an expert at going into the substance of the story and reading between the lines, which enabled me further to express to our readers, what 90% of Bangladesh is all about.
Working with Insight was an extremely rewarding experience, as it gave me a much needed exposure to my own roots, my motherland, who I still feel I need to know better.
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