Blowin’ in the Wind | The Daily Star
  • A game of kabadi against corruption

    As the old joke has it, there is no lid in the mouth of hell where the Bengalis are kept.

  • No onion, no cry

    In his Ode to the Onion, the Chilean Nobel laureate poet Pablo Neruda praises onions as “the miracle” that happens under the earth.

  • A Corpse of Love Doesn’t Sink in Water

    The title alludes to a very famous folk song by Abdul Alim, Premer Mora Jole Dobe Na. The song pits true love against so-called flings, suggesting that mere water cannot drown the “body” who is in love.

  • Rage, rage against the ragging in the campus

    English professors are known for being sticklers for rules. Even if I try to disassociate myself from the grammar Nazis, there are times when I have to wonder about the usage of certain words.

  • Losing a Loved One: When Doves Cry

    “And my last ask is: if you’re someone’s sister, the next time you see your brother, please hug him… as tightly as you can, for as long as you want, because that’s all I want to do every time I see those photos. But I will never be able to hug Fahim again.”

  • He gave to Mis’ry all he had, a tear

    Attending the peace summit on the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela in 2018, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina quoted both Nelson Mandela and our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

  • Fostering a research culture in higher education

    In an op-ed published on July 27, Prof Syed Saad Andaleeb reviewed the DU annual budget and argued that the dearth of funding should not be blamed for the lack of research.

  • Sacrifice and the Sacred

    Cross border cattle smuggling prior to Eid-ul-Adha is an irritant that keeps officials in both Bangladesh and India nervy.

  • Counting of Crows

    During his regular stroll in the palace garden, Emperor Akbar once saw many crows flying around. He asked his minister, “How many crows are there in our kingdom, Birbal?”

  • Necessary sacrifices, unnecessary thoughts

    The coronavirus crisis posed serious threats to the global stock markets.

  • A hitchhiker’s guide to our educational galaxy

    Let’s admit it: our education today is in crisis. And it was in crisis even before the pandemic was here. The pandemic has exposed the skeletons we have been hiding in the open for a long time.

  • Doctor, doctor, what is wrong with us?

    There was a broken black chair by the window near the gate. On it there was a thin plastic bag containing some mixed up rice, daal, and probably vegetables or curry.

  • Time to rethink our examinations

    Uncertainties loom large over the holding of Higher Secondary Certificates (HSC) and its equivalent exams.

  • The Cost of Education

    I had a senior colleague at Jahangirnagar University who was known to his students at the Pharmacy Department as an eccentric genius.

  • Breathe, Breathe in the Air

    The Amazon rainforest, spread over 2.1 million square miles, is dubbed as the “lungs of the planet” as it produces 20 percent of the oxygen in our planet’s atmosphere.

  • The double piston of love and fear

    His visiting card had two office addresses: one in Scotland and the other in Estonia. There was nothing wrong with it, but the architect who just shared his card explained the oddity.

  • From blackboard to black mirror: Making teaching great again

    Online teaching, at its best, can create a learning environment to ensure transference of knowledge. However, I am not sure if technology and innovations have reached that point to replace the tribal needs of human interactions that define the complex teacher-student relationship in a physical classroom.

  • Herd mentality vs herd immunity

    Remember getting caught by your parents for trying out roadside pickles or tawdry coloured crunchy ice outside your school?

  • Crossing the public-private divide

    I was a young lecturer when private universities appeared for the first time in the higher education scene of Bangladesh. I remember when one of my colleagues left us to join a pioneer private university as a full time faculty, we at the department felt that he had sold his soul to money, deciding to work under a corporate system. The same thing happened when one of my teachers left for a financially lucrative BCS job.

  • The ‘Extraction’ Attraction

    My Face-book newsfeed has been experiencing a little tremor ever since the Dhaka-based action movie Extraction started streaming on Netflix on April 24.

  • Covid-19 Is No Leveller

    The horrific images of white plastic body bags in which the final journeys are set during this great pandemic add to the myth of coronavirus as the great leveller.

  • The masked heroes in Covid’s metamorphoses

    My generation grew up with masked heroes. They could shoot heat beams from their eyes or knock down a skyscraper with a single punch—“kavoom”! They could lead double lives: during the day they could be aristocratic noblemen or dashing socialites, and at night, they could put on their vigilante masks and raid the neighbourhood in search of culprits and criminals.

  • Ice Age: Corona Consequence

    How will the world look like once this not-so-coveted Covid-19 crisis is over? Is this pandemic a virus-driven Ice Age that will change the world the way we know it? Can we ever go back to being normal? Or are we going to have “the new normal”?

  • 2019 novel coronavirus infection

    Be My Quarantine: Some random thoughts on Covid-19 isolation

    Too little money, too much screen time, and uneven distribution of household chores and childcare—a recipe made in hell.

  • Against all odds

    Any bored individual who has nothing better to do than to read the comment threads while listening to some old songs on YouTube must have come across these two ideas: “Who is listening to this in 2020?” Or “So-and-so brought me here”.

  • Emergency preparedness in the education sector

    The closures of academic institutions for two weeks in response to the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the globe have caught many of us involved in the academia by surprise.

  • A river runs through it

    I have seen it on TV, read about it in newspapers, but never thought it would be this bad. I watched it from the deck of a launch, looking forward to a spectacular river cruise that our departmental picnic poster promised.

  • Love in the Time of Coronavirus

    With the number of coronavirus cases crossing 100,000 mark, the official death toll standing at—and forever climbing over—3,652 (live update, worldometers, March 8), and the US flashing 8.3 billion green bucks to shoo away the spread, the outbreak of COVID-19 is no longer a “told-you-not-to-have-that-bat-soup-or-fox-meat” gossip.

  • A deft telling of a daughter’s tale

    With Imax plan-ning to supersize the Netflix streaming service, the merger of our viewing habits is in sight. Last September, there was this David and Goliath agreement between these two opposing movie services that would allow blockbuster cinemas to be made available on small screens, while fringe films under the rubric of Netflix Originals in large cineplexes.

  • When Two Becomes One

    While at the Uni-versity of Arizona, we had a visiting professor from Stanford University, Prof. Joshua Fishman.

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