Literature | The Daily Star
  • The Tree

    Doctor Mahtab Uddin looked at the luminescent hands of his watch: 9 pm. Not that late, he thought and sat down on the circular cement platform not far from the patient’s house.

  • In Memoriam: Smaran and Palataka: Tagore’s Elegiac Poems

    Tagore has remained ceaselessly relevant to us not just for his contributions to Bengali literature but also for issues relating to society, politics, gender, education and even environment.

  • The Spirit of 1971 – The Beginning

    The intellectual killing had left the country with severe brain injury in December 1971. We were devoid of cultural, moral and professional leadership all at once.

  • Hossain’s Mother

    We reached the crematorium on the riverside that takes a mischievous turn near a local market. The hushed night was deep and dark.

  • Khwabnama: The Bangladeshi Epic

    A few months ago, during the height of the pandemic, my teacher and mentor who is now a UGC professor called me up one morning to convey to me that he has finally finished reading Akhtaruzzaman Elias’ novel Khwabnama.

  • Megasthenes’ Grin

    You are stuffing gunpowder into the silent cannon All by yourself. Now that the winter is over

  • Infraction

    The police flagged down our driver, who ran a red light on the flyover one cloudy December afternoon. “Didn’t you see the STOP sign?” one of them yelled, as soon as the driver rolled down the window.

  • Vignettes of a Guitarist

    As the guitar strikes And we enjoy its dulcet tunes, My mind wanders someplace else, slowly jamming.

  • Graphic Novel Mujib will draw in, inspire children: Dr Zafar Iqbal

    Children will be more interested towards exploring Bangabandhu’s life owing to the Graphic Novel “Mujib” and his childhood stories will be intriguing to them, said eminent litterateur and educationist Dr Muhammed Zafar Iqbal yesterday.

  • Death is not Funny, Nor is Hamlet a Coward

    I got a visitor today. My mother. It was a bright morning, one of those days when you get a feeling that something good will happen. And then mother came. And mother looked perturbed. And I realised it will be like any other day with nothing but madness all around.

  • Time

    Does Time have the time To ever stop by the Clock? Take a little break? Drink a cup of tea? Come Time, come relax with me.

  • Caution

    Love is ok till it becomes like the curiosity of country-lads when they go to airports just to see how aeroplanes fly

  • A Public Obscenity?

    What does it mean to read a book in a public place these days?

  • 45th Int'l Kolkata Book Fair to be dedicated to Bangabandhu

    The 45th edition of the International Kolkata Book Fair, to be held in July this year, will be dedicated to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Bangladesh will be the country-in-focus of the event, said organisers yesterday.

  • The Deer

    It was that time of year again. I woke up to a furry snout nudging my hand. Lhyelhing the wolf was eagerly trying to get me up; so I pulled off the cover and then immediately went under them as a cold breeze blasted my body.

  • Some Writing Instruction Re-considered

    Writing is not an art suddenly discovered. It’s a craft gradually developed. Writing–both creative and critical– is formulaic, the way math is.

  • On Mint Chocolate and the Meaning of Life: Joyce’s Ulysses

    “Chotto Kaka, I’m not afraid of the bogey-bug (coronavirus) when I have a tummy full of ice cream.” When my seven-year old nephew made this demand, I thought, he could really have taken a leaf out of Ulysses – a masterpiece by the great Irish maverick, James Joyce.

  • The Present and the Future of Rashid

    Turbulent, murky, and eccentrically wide at this time of the rainy seasons, the river Padma flows incessantly. Lashing with fury at its banks on both sides the river flows swallowing fertile lands, homesteads, settlements. It is a different story at Mawabazar though, where humans endeavour to tame the river.

  • Art’s Pantheon

    Mashrur Arefin’s 2019 novel, August Abchhaya, is full of moments that evoke the blood-stained memory behind the language of conflict.

  • Say “Hello” to the Skunks

    “Have you met Mr. Skunk? In case you have not, he is a short black and white fellow that you might often see at the bottom of the stairs, or near the dumpster.” Joe paused for breath.

  • Beautiful tomorrow?

    In the desolation of today, I hang on to the promises of tomorrow: When life will be in harmony And struggles gone.

  • The Twenty-Twenty-One

    Today, on the first day of 2021, I open the 71st chapter of my memoir written – not sure when – probably before time. I want to read what lies ahead. There are only a few more chapters left before I happily reach the final episode.

  • A Bangladeshi Babu Like No Other

    Numair Atif Choudhury’s Babu Bangladesh is a tour de force of a novel. Exuberant, extravagant, learned, zany, ingenious, whimsical, irreverent and provocative, this is a work of amazing merit.

  • When?

    The scents and colours of the morning arouse the wetness of the night. The dewdrop splendour awakens the dawning sunrise drenched in colours

  • There is No Pause

    with its fortress of mahals, brimming with Earth’s treasure, gardens and illusions from the eye of the vulture’s flight, past the roadside dhabas, past the colossal statues and solitary temples, dotting the horizon resting comfortably atop Bygone mosques,

  • Unmindful

    I forbade the clouds to sprawl around this flood plain- the clouds unendingly somersault around my windowpane at the beckoning of drooping hillocks though.

  • Neither Tranquil Mandarins nor Yellow Devils

    Many centuries ago, Chinese pilgrims came up the Bay of Bengal on their way to Buddhist sites in the Subcontinent. We have no record of their conversations with the people of Bengal but it was the accurate accounts of early Chinese travellers that enabled archaeologists in the 19th century to rediscover the lost Buddhist sites like that inside a hill at Paharpur.

  • Regeneration

    I couldn’t get to my university hostel. From Petaling Jaya to Pantai Hill Park, KL Central and Mid Valley, changing one bus after the other; no one knew where my hostel was.

  • The Wind’s Only Recourse

    The wind afire

  • Three Songs of Freedom

    Music has the power to delve into the heart of the listeners and create decision affecting moods. During the liberation war, songs became a weapon to influence the mood and morale of the nation.