Literature | The Daily Star
  • Mothers and Daughters
    Mothers and Daughters

    Atia crossed over to the window and looked out into the rain-soaked...

  • The Thai Massage
    The Thai Massage

    We had gone on a package tour to South East Asia and on the last...

  • The Guest
    The Guest

    The total number of guests adds up to forty-odd. It is too many,...

  • Silent Words
    Silent Words

    There was a faint sound of an old dog crying somewhere. It was as...

  • 826 children raped in 6 months
    A First-Class Ghost

    We had just moved to Kolkata for our schooling. Not that we thought...

  • The Rainy Day
    The Rainy Day

    Oh, a rainy day Drips of water Falling from the sky

  • Two Haibuns
    Two Haibuns

    Once oysters are nowhere to be found, he searches for shunks. 130...

  • A Mother’s Plight
    A Mother’s Plight

    After a heavy shower the city life sighed a breath of relief. I can...

  • Trial of a Witch
    Trial of a Witch

    “Greetings, fellow children of God,” the Holy man greeted. “We’ve...

  • Distance and Togetherness: A Reading of La Nuit Bengali and Na Han-yate

    Written forty years apart from each other, La Nuit Bengali (Bengal Nights) by Mircea Eliade and Na Hanyate (It Does Not Die) by Maitreyi Devi are yet two sides of the same coin. While some may call them another version of unsuccessful teenage love, the New York Times

  • Violet Flower

    I can see you You are a blooming flower Looking at me

  • Rabindranath’s Monsoonal Music

    A rough count of the songs collected in Gitabitan in the section titled “Prakriti” or “Nature” reveals that Rabindranath Tagore composed about 16 songs of summer, over 100 monsoonal ones, 33 songs of Sharat or early autumn, 5 of Hemanta or late autumn, and a dozen

  • A Monsoon Love-Story

    That’s it. Aura looked with slit eyes at the blabbering boy sitting across her. What was wrong with him? Every other afternoon he sat with Aura to prattle on his crush. He went on and on about Rimi with a wide-eyed enthusiasm that made Aura’s blood boil. She

  • Requiem for the Rain

    “Tell us a story, Khona apu,” Trina said. “You can’t go anywhere in this rain. I’m sure your flight will be cancelled. The runway has become a river by now!” She giggled. “Don’t give me that worried look! Mohon and I will drive you to the airport the moment the roads

  • This Water Feels Good

    This water feels good; —so many times had the silvery water of rain

  • On the Craft of Sentencing

    I teach English at a private university in Dhaka, Bangladesh, having attended universities on three continents. I’m persuaded to think as such that I know what a university is and does. I wish I did! Joe Moran in First You Write a Sentence claims, “A university is a factory

  • Breaking News and the Food Chain

    In the morning when I grabbed the newspaper, the banner headline arrested my attention – “Poor Poland surrenders to the mighty Nazis.” I started to peruse. While I was going through the breaking news, all on a sudden, a spider distracted me. Surreptitiously, it

  • Cliff Hanger

    Look at these tantalising equations of life-

  • The Cigarette (2017)

    He chose me.

  • Musing Home

    For orchid people like us, a tree from a land called home brings a sweeping breeze of mirth. That breeze dances around us and stirs our leaves of memories. Sometimes it comes in the form of a visual presence, sometimes as a crisp smell of some known delicacies, sometimes, as a familiar

  • Sultan Abdul Hamid II: ‘The Unspeakable Turk’ Fights Back (Part II)

    Sultan Abdul Hamid’s ties to the Indian sub-continent are a revelation for those more accustomed to seeing the name of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on main thoroughfares or commemorative stamps. Our knowledge of the Ottomans is usually through the lens of our British authored,

  • From Jibananda Das’ Ruposhi Bangla

    Having lived in the world’s pathways for a long, long time

  • Remembering Abdul Quadir: Life and Anecdotes

    Today, 1 June 2019, is the 113th birth anniversary of litterateur Abdul Quadir (1906-84) who was born in the village of Araisidha in Brahmanbaria. As a tribute to him, this essay offers snippets of his life and brings together some relevant anecdotes and reflections, which have literary-historical significance.

  • Riverine Reflections

    By the time James Rennell in the 1770’s, working out of Dhaka, finished surveying all the many rivers of Bengal, most of them had changed course, thus showing as much indifference to cartography as to any other form of human presumption.

  • Sultan Abdul Ha-mid II: “The Unspeakable Turk” Fights Back (Part I)

    History as an oft-repeated cliché says is written by the victors. While the winners appropriate exclusive rights for their narratives, the vanquished are seemingly marginalised. Or, are they? For better or for worse, they can now have their say, on television at least. Take the case of the Ottoman Empire

  • Apology From A Muslim Orphan

    I know you know

  • Kazi Nazrul Islam and Our Struggle for Emancipation

    I am a poet of the present, and not a prophet of the future. […] My birth in this country and this society does not mean that I shall remain constricted and confined to them. No, I belong to all countries and to the entirety of humanity. —Kazi Nazrul Islam

  • Two Poems by Kazi Nazrul Islam

    I sing the song of equality –

  • Metaphors of Writ-ing and How We Ac-tually Write

    What is a metaphor? How does it help people learn to write? What good is it to even to ask such questions? Though Bangladeshi culture values literature greatly and so recognizes its value in poetry we do not think much about metaphors beyond aesthetics. People overlook the power

  • Rabindranath: Weaving Miracles and Magic in Melody

    My first encounter with Rabindranath Tagore was on a cold winter’s day in early 1964. He was there as a sketch in pencil, on the mantelpiece of a Bengali home in Quetta. The flowing beard, the penetrating eyes, that sense of gravitas- all of this came alive in that sketch. I asked the host, a colleague of my father

  • The Meal

    Nishat prepares iftari, a sumptuous light meal that includes lemon sorbet, dates, fruits, nuts, begooni, samosa, beans and curd. It is the best part of fasting. But now that she is visiting Bangladesh in preparation for the upcoming Eid ul-Fitr, I manage things on my own at our new home, Dhahran.

  • A Poem

    A ferocious heat induced meditation And the world was blurred in a haze The streets were torrid cauldrons On which the pedestrians baked.

  • On Grammar in Writing

    I always tell my students that I’m not their language nanny. I’m an educator, and I deal with content. Ironically, however, I blue-pencil as many errors–mostly grammatical–as I can while checking their assignments. Mangled grammar turns me off. That’s understandable. Writing initiates a verbal transaction

  • Natir Puja: A Tale of Devotion and Sacrifice as Opposed to Jealousy and Tyranny

    Quite a few of Rabindranath Tagore’s dance dramas and poems develop around the idea of Buddhist philosophy that induces people to lead a simple life, to gain an understanding of the injustice and inequality prevailing in society, and to acquire knowledge and develop a deeper insight about the universe.

  • From Gitabitan

    There’s no end, why then the last word needs to be said. What strikes as a blow will become a flame; Once the clouds have their part, the rain has its start.. The light of my eyes, brings the world in my sight I’ll then have insight, when there’s no light The world out of reach comes alive in my mind And lights you up in its own light.

  • Truth, or Dare

    After finishing college, I wanted to stay in the city a bit longer, to look for a job, read more books, hang out with my friends. But most importantly, I wanted to find out whether Daniel was ready to take the next step.

  • What makes a writer successful?

    That is a really interesting question, and before answering it, there is another question that needs to be considered: whose idea of success are we talking about? Because the truth is, that could be the determining factor in providing an answer to the question being posed.

  • Empty buckets

    Strolling through a concrete jungle

  • In spirit

    Wake up, girl! That song wasn’t sung for you. You’re not Snow White