Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Saturday, August 06, 2005

I wanted a telescope when I was in class-1. I was told that if I stood 1st in class, I would be gifted a telescope. I topped but no telescope came to me.The next year I was in class-2, and the same thing happened. Thus I stood 1st in a row till class-8. Afterwards, I never became first till now. Once I was taken to a telescope shop, given false hopes for the nth time, but still no telescope at my disposal. I guess I’ll have to do it with my naked eyes. It’s okay by me, I guess. As long as Alpha Centauri and Proxima Centauri keep sending light waves to my retina.I once observed a certain kind of planet, which moved quite fast, in retrograde motion up in the evening sky. I noted down each detail of the event, believing it was a UFO but later learned it was in fact an artificial satellite.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Sometimes I don’t understand myself. The statement is in no way meant to raise any importance, and neither is it rhetorical. I really don’t understand myself, and the more I try to, it gets me nowhere, so I resolve in understanding others. The great thing about that is, you don’t even need to know if what you think is true or false. You can mercilessly flirt with the idea and take no sweat about what anybody is thinking whatsoever, but with yourself, you always have to look for clarity. You can lie to yourself, be as illusive and confused as The Hanged Man (consult Tarot Cards), but you can never be sanguine about it. You expect so much from yourself, you see….you don’t expect so much from others. You may really understand others and it doesn’t matter even if you don’t, but you must give a good try to understand yourself….now, now…am I drunk or what? I am repeating the same thing over and over again. What else am I supposed to talk about then, Harry Potter? I don’t know what to do with that book…I mean, I never read it though, but that’s beside the point…someday I will write ‘Hari Puttar’ and read it myself….I think my nose has started running, wonder where my cod-liver oil tablets are….seven seas….why did they name it Seven Seas??? Cods from all the seven seas of the world were butchered, their livers ripped out and oil extracted? Or, a single cod whose oil travels far and wide across the seven seas, I have no clue…meanwhile, the viruses are finding their way through my immune system…wish my lymphatic system did not lay any red carpets for them…I once read a story about an aspiring doctor who could talk to viruses…he felt happy to host for them coz that’s the only way they can really live…poor viruses…

We all try to know so many things…most of us are so curious, yet we never think of death. It’s so much better kept sealed with the deepest fears of mankind. I really wonder why I do things I do. Does it really mean anything, whatever we do? I have an uncanny feeling that it’s all farce. But more important, as of this moment, is that I should really go to sleep now…perhaps, that’s similar to death. Once in 1994, the day we had carnival at school (I had a stall and sold many stuff, and I remember I did have a runny nose that day, might also have had fever…oh and I also remember I bought the audio cassette of the movie Rangeela…that time, I used to listen to lots of A. R. Rahman music…I still do…oh dammit, I even remember the clothes I was wearing that day…It was December, and I was wearing a white cardigan on top of a maroon top with a black crepe long skirt that had prints of western cowboys riding horses…it was my first real carnival, or more commonly “meena-bazaar”…I had a crush over a really stupid guy, six feet two inches, who even treated me phuchka for free from his stall…) I was sure I would die as soon as I would fall asleep…so I was afraid to sleep…I kept awake as long as I could, but the next morning I woke up from a safe sleep…sometimes, you can be so sure of something, but it never happens, which basically means, never be so sure of anything…

Tuesday, August 16, 200511:51:30 PM

I saw a wonderful movie today, Ella Enchanted…there’s so much fantasy into it…I just loved it…I haven’t seen a purely fantasy movie for a long time…I loved the elf in the movie, who hated to perform, and wanted to be a lawyer…but his fellow-elves won’t let him…and there’s Ella whose fairy godmother gave her a gift, as good as a curse, which made her obedient by default…and there were the Giants…

I am also reading a book called Life of Pi…The style of writing is good…I mean, I can read on without having to skip lines…I have become so impatient these days…I want to bite more that I can chew…I once read a comedy novel by Stella Duffy called “Eating the Cake”- it was pretty hilarious…a woman trying to find meaning in life, tries out everything from infidelity to homosexuality…then realizes none of these meant anything whatsoever…The author is Brit…Are all middle-aged Brit woman somewhat like Bridget Jones?

I did manage to squeeze some time for Data Structures…for the first time in my life, I actually opened the book by Tenenbaum…For once I have been able to erase any resemblances with hashish to Hashing. But it still seems pretty obscure to me, at a certain point. The thing is, I understand the language of Biology so well, but it’s difficult for me to adapt to the terms and language of computer science…or mathematics, for that matter…strangely though, I am beginning to find some interest in that recently…moreover, I might really miss on something really important about Life, which only mathematics can probably show me…but of course, I can’t forget my Lingua Pura, the language of Biology.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


“Are you a Bangali?”, the security guard asked me, trying to put up a conversation while I was waiting to meet a distinguished official in the Writers’ Building. I was very puzzled to hear the question. I just told him I was from Bangladesh, and now he is asking me if I was ‘Bangali’ or not! Wasn’t I speaking perfect ‘Bangla’ to him? What kind of a question was that?

For a moment, I thought he was implying if I was a ‘Bangal’ or a ‘Bangali’, but that seemed a bit too far-fetched. The fact that I am a citizen of Bangladesh rules out any possibilities of me not being a ‘Bangal’, as we know it so fantastically from the anecdotes of Bhanu Bandopaddhay.

I answered him yes quite nonchalantly but he asked me again, “Maney, Bangali Bagali tho?” Very strange. ‘Bangali’ itself is an adjective and a noun in itself. Why add a redundant adjective to an all-encompassing noun? I turned around at him and told him the fact that Bengali is my mother-tongue and I was born in a country where ‘Bangla’ is the national language, how can I be anything else except a Bangali? He seemed a bit impressed with my answer, still leaving me confused as to why my explanation was at all impressive anyway. I mean, wasn’t it pretty obvious?

“What’s your name?”, he asked me, trying to dig out every bit of information about me, as if my name was in his dossier! I began wondering if my accent was anything like Marwaris or not. I told my name and then there was this sudden glow on his face. He told me, “I am also ‘pucca’ Bangali. Brahmin.” Now I was alarmed. So, is this what he was implying? That I actually answered all his questions made me feel so fooled and ashamed of myself.

It is unfortunate that Bangali is used for referring Hindus who originate from Bengal. Isn’t that selling the word too short? This guard wanted to know if I was a Muslim or not, since majority of people in Bangladesh are followers of Islam. But does that take away their right to be Bangalis? Does that mean people of Bangladesh are not Bangalis? And what about all the Muslims who originate from Murshidabad or any place else in West Bengal, do they lose their right to be identified as Bangalis?

‘Bangali’ is a regional and a lingual classification. It has nothing to do with religion. In fact, the word ‘Bangali’ has no room for classification religion-wise, for there are no synonyms for ‘religion’ in the Bengali Language. The word we use mistakenly for religion is ‘Dharma’. But the word ‘dharma’ is derived from the Sanskrit ‘dhree+mann’, which literally means the vessel, which contains our mind. Or put simply, it means the way our mind is or our nature is. To be precise, the English word for dharma is ‘properties’ or ‘characteristics’ and not religion.

I feel helpless and unable to do anything to stop this mindless propaganda of a word, which is so dear to me. What will I answer to the insatiable souls of the martyrs, who died for this language refusing to accept Urdu as their national language?

For all we know, four names- Salam, Barkat, Rafiq and Jabbar- will be always engraved with gold, first and foremost, in the history of the Language Movement, among all the youth, who bartered their blood for ‘Bangla’ on 21st February, which eventually baptized my country as Bangladesh from the then East Pakistan.