Weekend 293

of 24/24
  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)



Transcript of Weekend 293

  • vol 3 Issue 29 | FRIDAY, Nov 13, 2015 Dhaka Tribune

    6 TeA wITh wT 15 400 YeARs oF shAkespeARe 20 The BoNg MoMMA



    Volume 3 | Issue 29 | Nov 13, 2015

    EditorZafar Sobhan

    Features EditorSabrina Fatma Ahmad

    Asst Magazine EditorFarina Noireet

    Weekend Tribune TeamSaudia Afrin

    Moumita AhmedN Anita AmreenFaisal MahmudSakib MridhaSaqib Sarker

    Syeda Samira SadequeShuprova Tasneem

    ContributorsMinu AhmedGson BiswasChisty RahimDina Sobhan


    GraphicsMd Mahbub AlamAlamgir HossainTahsin Momin

    Colour SpecialistShekhar Mondal

    AdvertisementShahin Ahsan

    ProductionMasum Billah

    CirculationMasud Kabir Pavel


    Email your letters to:[email protected]

    Editors noteAbout the coverDear Readers,November is a most eventful

    month for cultural enthusiasts in Dhaka. From the recently concluded Jazz and Blues festival, to the upcoming Dhaka Litfest, this month is chock-full of events for anyone interested in the arts.

    To keep things organised, this week, we focus on the music. We take you to Malaysia, where Bangladeshi students are making some sweet, sweet music. Before that, join us for a chat with the grasshoppers from the Ghaashphoring Choir as they prepare for their biggest performance yet. Does the music you listened to as a child

    have any bearing on what you prefer as an adult? We asked three personalities from three very different backgrounds to weigh in.

    We also stopped for a conversation with an instrument maker, to explore the passion poured into the objects of music. Finally, no discussion of local music could possibly be complete without a mention of Lalon Shah, so we have a handy list of trivia about the great mystic poet.

    Heres wishing you a musical week ahead!

    -Sabrina Fatma Ahmad

    News 2 News

    3 Meanwhile

    FeatuRes 4 Trending

    Mens Fashion

    5 Trending Womens Fashion

    8 A Day in the Life of A music instrument maker

    12 Event

    BD students night

    14 Perspective Musical Influences

    15 Culture 400 years of Shakespeare

    17 Listology Lalon Shah

    RegulaRs16 Drama Mama

    18 Stay In

    19 Go Out

    20 The Bong Momma

    TEA wITh wTGhAAShphorinG Choir



    Of Minimal Existence

    Photo: Gson Biswas

    PhOTO STOry

    A DyinG river


    2 NEwS | This week

    Myanmars Suu Kyi set for sweeping power Myanmar is on its way to have the first democratically elected government since the early 1960s with fresh results from Myanmars election, handing democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi the powers to reshape the countrys political landscape.

    The ruling party, which was created by the countrys former junta and is led by retired military officers conceded defeat in an election that was a major milestone on Myanmars

    rocky path from dictatorship to democracy.

    Suu Kyis National League for Democracy (NLD) grabbed more than two-thirds of seats in the lower house of parliament, enough to form Myanmars first democratically elected government since the early 1960s.

    Suu Kyi is barred by the constitution from taking the presidency herself, though has said she will be the real power behind the

    new president, regardless of a charter she has derided as very silly.Photo: AFP

    Shootings at Mexico cockfight, football field kill 14

    A weekend of violence killed at least 16 people in Mexicos troubled southern state of Guerrero as shootings erupted at a cockfight and a football field.

    Twelve people were killed, including two minors, and five others were wounded when a gunfight erupted between armed civilians at Sunday nights cockfight in

    Cuajinicuilapa. Cuajinicuilapa, which lies near the state

    of Oaxaca, is famous for its mixture

    of cultures derived from


    of African slaves.

    The area is not known for the type of violence that has plagued other parts of Guerrero, such as the Pacific resort

    of Acapulco or mountain regions of the interior beset by drug cartel turf wars.

    Acapulco has become Mexicos murder capital, with the violence leaving four dead and three wounded after an amateur football game on the outskirts of the city on Sunday. The attack took place in broad daylight when gunmen burst onto the field and shot at the players as they were relaxing after the game.

    Relatives of the victims removed the bodies before the authorities arrived.Photo: AP

    Two weeks of new thermal scanning in Egypts Giza pyramids have identified anomalies in the 4,500 year-old burial structures, including a major one in the largest pyramid.

    Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty and technical experts working on the project showed the higher temperature being detected in three specific adjacent stones at the bottom of the pyramid in a live thermal camera presentation to journalists.

    The scanning showed a particularly impressive one (anomaly) located on the Eastern side of the Khufu pyramid at ground level, the ministry said in a statement. The largest of the three Giza pyramids is known locally as Khufu and internationally as Cheops.

    Other heat anomalies were detected in the upper half of the pyramid that the experts said need to

    be investigated further.The thermal scanning was carried

    out at all times of the day, including during sunrise, as the sun heats the structures from the outside, and then during sunset as the pyramids are cooling down. The speed of the heating and cooling phases is being used to uncover hypotheses such as empty areas in the pyramids, internal air currents, or different building materials used.

    El-Damaty invited all Egyptologists, especially those interested in ancient Egyptian architecture, to join in the research and help come up with ideas on what could be behind the anomalies.Photo: AFP

    A Sylhet court has handed the death penalty to four persons in the sensational Sheikh Samiul Alam Rajon murder case. Sylhet Metropolitan Sessions Judge Akbar Hossain Mridha passed the verdict on Sunday morning.

    The four death convicts are Kamrul Islam, Moina, Tajuddin and Zakir. Of them, Zakir is absconding. The court also fined them Tk10,000 each.

    The prime accused Kamrul, who left Bangladesh immediately after the Rajon killing, was brought back from Saudi Arabia on October 15. The court handed down life term imprisonment to Nur Ahmed and fined him Tk10,000 for filming the video of the killing. In default, he will have to serve another two months in jail.

    Besides, the court sentenced Kamruls brothers Ali Haider, Muhit Alam and Shamim Ahmed

    and Moina to seven years jail while Dulal Ahmed, Aiyaz Ali and Moina were given one year jail. Moina was sentenced thrice in the case.

    On July 8, 13-year-old Rajon was beaten to death in Sylhets Kumargaon by some men who falsely accused him of stealing a rickshaw van. Later, the footage of the incident went viral on Facebook and it drew massive criticism from the countrymen.

    Rajon was brutally tortured to death in front of a workshop near Sultan Ali Market beside Dhaka-Sunamganj road. His father filed the murder case.Source: Dhaka Tribune

    Kamrul, 3 others to die for killing Rajon

    Egypt detects impressive anomaly in Giza pyramids

    The world at a glanceWeekend Tribune



    . . . MEANwhILE 3 Photo of the week

    Most people struggle to hold their breath under water for a few seconds.But this incredibly talented

    mermaid had spectators captivated by this sub-aqua spectacle in the worlds deepest pool.

    In this footage Italian free diver, Ilaria Molinari, 37, relies on her amazing ability to hold her breath without the use of breathing apparatus or scuba gear.

    The champion diver put on this incredible performance using just a nose clip at the worlds deepest swimming pool in the Hotel Millepini Terme in Montegrotto Terme, Italy.

    The pool is not for your average holidaymaker, it is aimed at scuba enthusiasts and freedivers capable of holding their breath for minutes at a time.

    Molinari has been swimming since she was a baby and has won numerous competitions in her native Italy.

    She says her love of the water was inspired by her mother, a marine biologist.

    While Molinari makes swimming with a monofin look easy, it is actually a precarious pastime that can only be done in deep water and undertaken with strong swimmers.Source: Daily Mirror

    A fishermen at Kuakata tries to pull his boat ashore, after a tiring day at seaPhoto: Tanvir Ahmed Siddiky

    Handy chart

    Real life mermaid swims underwater in the worlds deepest pool using only a nose clip


    4 TrENDING | Mens Fashion

    Nowadays, mens fashion is getting more attention, the right attention. Menswear is becoming more and more flexible, allowing beginners and moderates in the game of style to bend the rules a bit. If youre not wearing chinos or suit trousers to work, most likely, youre opting for those beautiful jeans. If youre fortunate enough, you work at an office that gives you a bit of slack in the style department. However, there are offices around the city that lean towards the traditional way of dressing, leaving the jeans for casual Thursdays or Fridays.

    This is where you have to steer clear of some denim donts at the workplace.

    Am I in love with it?Every guy has that one pair of jeans in his closet that he loves the most. Its the favourite of the lot, and you put them on whenever you get the chance. In fact, it may even give you a signature look. There might be more head-turning for your most favoured jeans than any other in your closet. Its also good to feel comfortable, but not too comfortable. Some things in life happen to be common sense. Theres also a thing called common courtesy. You have your co-workers to consider.

    So if your jeans have a certain smell to them, it might not be a good idea to sport them at work. Those jeans can also be so finely, slim-fit that youll be able to see the outline of your underwear, and thats never a flattering look. And, of course, there is always that unwanted bulge, down you know where. You never want to make others comfortable, while attaining your own. Keep your work jeans clean, well-fitted and dressy enough for the occasion.

    Which goes with what?A more common mistake in the denim department is pairing your jeans with a not-so-good looking, dressed up outfit. Its okay, its normal. Not many men actually know how to match or compliment certain items with the rest of the look. To make things easier there is a generalised definition of so called dressy jeans.

    A dark, uniform wash, slim-cut and with a well tailored ankle makes for the perfect dressy jeans. But keep in mind, denim is still not considered formal. Instead of patent leather, shiny lace-ups, you should be aiming for some suede or plain leather. Not only will you keep the style quotient in balance, youve got comfort meshing in with the sophistication effortlessly.

    How much is too much?Would we love wearing jeans all day, every day? Of course we would, and wed wear it with pride. However, for the sake of fashion and your own versatility, switch things up from time to time. Wearing the same outfit, over and over again, can get old very quickly. Youll be singled out as the guy who only wears jeans and cant take a hint when to alter the look that is required for the occasion. So youve found yourself at a work environment that could care less if you wore jeans everyday, it might send you in a downward spiral.Youll lose the initial feeling of how great it is to wear jeans from time to time. Avoiding chinos or dress pants may seem unfamiliar and uncomfortable for times you are required to wear them. Make it a good practice to play with your looks once in a while. Not only do you keep your mind running and sharp, more people will notice your given effort in style. n

    Denim rules not to break at the office

    There are plenty of dos in the denim department, and some very important donts you should avoid Mahmood Hossain

    Illustration: Priyo/Dhaka Tribune


    woMens Fashion | TrENDING 5

    Colours of the windFall pastels take their cue from natureSabrina Fatma Ahmad

    This year, its all about re-purposing trends we usually associate with spring, into fall-friendly pieces. First it was the florals, which went dark, bold and mysterious for the cold season. This time, its the pastels, colours that are normally associated with the soft sunshine and moderate winds of spring, but are making a bold statement on autumn catwalks around the world. Lets talk about three ways to wear them.

    Street StyleIf youre not ready to let go of your sweet spring confections, layer them under edgy autumnal layers, such as trench coats, long cardis, or even blazers with leather accents, once it gets a little cooler. As ankle booties replace the summer flip-flops, pairing them with your autumn pastels and some bold print scarves and ethnic statement jewellery will have you feeling like you stepped out of a magazine.

    Office chicIf these soft shades feel too washed out for the season, wear them with neutrals and they become a boardroom boon. A soft cashmere rose pink tunic gets tough and professional when thrown together with some high-waisted, wide-legged trousers in grey or camel. A pale charteuse top looks strong and fierce when teamed with a pair of military green draped pants. Got that stormy blue pantsuit on sale? Take it to work by throwing on a navy blue blazer and a floral scarf.

    Formal fancyWhat makes Bangladesh a little different from a fashion perspective is our winter wedding season, and the growing popularity for pastel shades as bridal colour. If you dress up your seafoam green in lace, or drown your toffee brown in gold embroidery, its ready to hit the dawat circle. So bring on the bling and shine through the season. n

    The paletteThe pastels of spring this year were modelled on delectable desserts. You had Pantone shades like Strawberry Ice (a warm, sugary pink), Toasted Almond (a nutty brown), and Custard (a mild, buttery yellow).

    The 70s fever going strong through fall, pastels that have turned up on the runway for the colder months lean more towards shades inspired by nature. Think about the soft greens, browns and sandy yellows of a desert bluff, or the downcast shades of an autumn sky. The pinks are warmer, duskier, like an early sunset.

    Outfit: 9am by Nahida Photo: Zia Uddin


    6 TEA wITh wT | GhaashphorinG Choir

    Pitch Perfectopening the DLF with a chorus and a bangShuprova Tasneem

    The Ghaashphoring Choir describes themselves as an ensemble of of voices and sounds filled with love and laughter. Once you sit down with this group, you realise that the description is an apt one. When they arent standing in a circle, harmonising and dancing to the beat, theyre constantly pulling each others legs and bursting into laughter in mid-conversation.

    The Ghaashphoring Choir was formed in January 2015 - a group of singers performing vocal arrangements

    of traditional, contemporary and original songs, led by singer-songwriter Armeen Musa. Other than Armeen, the choir members currently consist of Rushnaf, Ariba, Lamiya, Sohara, Shararat, Ullash, Deepti, Taufiq, Rehnuma, Sadia, Siffat, Avita, Avishek and Samira, along with band members Moinak, Sanjay and Shihab and manager Shimu Morshed.

    The Choir had their dbut performance in May 2015 and have been performing at small gigs since then, and are poised to open the Dhaka Literature Festival on November 19th 2015.

    How did the Ghaashphoring Choir come together? Armeen first came up with the idea and told Rushnaf, who had been in a choir at school and was immediately enthusiastic about the whole idea. The original plan was to have 25 members in the choir, and we had auditions and picked 17 members. After a few shows though, we had quite a few people drop out due to time pressures and other commitments, and 17 went down to 8.

    We decided to have a second round of auditions as a result, and 9 more people were recruited into the group, and well have 4 more join in December. So now theres kind of an old gang and

    a new gang, although we dont refer to ourselves as that! Were still very fluid about the group composition, and if someone isnt available to perform with us in one gig, the doors are always open for them to join us in the next.

    What sort of music does the Choir perform? So far weve only done Bangla songs, but we have a really diverse repertoire weve done an Abbas Uddin medley, a pop duet, a Nazrul song, a song by S D Burman, Robindroshongeet, a song by Geeta Dutt and so on. Theres no specific genre we focus on, but we do want to perform Bangla songs and get people more interested in them.

    Photo: Avishek Bhattacharjee


    What are the dynamics and relationships like in such a large group? Armeen leads the choir but there is the openness to add a song and she prefers it that way, because the more input everyone gives, the better it sounds. When it comes to making arrangements, Armeen has the most experience and can tend to shoulder the main responsibility, but everyone pitches in with their ideas, like we did for our Arnob medley that is now available on YouTube. There are a few solos in some of our songs as well, but everyone gets their turn and since we are all singers with very different backgrounds, we learn from each other quite a lot.

    Theres no real hierarchy in the group but it functions in a very organic way and everyone does their bit. When Armeen was not in the country for a while, we continued to rehearse on Skype and everyone sort of figured out their responsibilities in the group.

    Obviously, there can be some obstacles in coordination and its not like we can immediately agree on anything and everything. But thats the beauty of it were all such different people but we find it quite easy to work together and we bring our own individuality to our work.

    So who exactly are the Phorings?Weve got quite a few students, and the rest of us are professionals we work in the development sector, in media, in the music industry, etc. Most people here have a history in music and musical performance, a couple were specifically in choirs in their schools, but a few dont have that much experience at all, but we make it work.

    Weve got people from many different backgrounds and the age group of the Choir ranges from 16 to 38, which makes for an interesting mixture! Its quite funny really sometimes it seems like the youngest members are more serious at rehearsals whereas the older ones are just goofing around and making terrible jokes.

    Were now in a place where we know each other very well and have learned so much about each other, so weve forged a bond thats very difficult to break. Everyone in the group has a different dynamic the quiet ones, the jokers, the go-getters and the ones who take initiatives but it all gels very well together, and we feel like we are the best versions of ourselves when we are together.

    What sort of reception has your music gotten so far? Weve got great reception so far and people have really appreciated the video of our Arnob medley online, which were really happy about, because now we know we have fans outside of our family and friends!

    Our best gig was probably for the launch of Dhee the first ever homosexual comic character in Bangladesh. People really appreciated our music and started singing and dancing along with us, which was great. Because choir music isnt really a huge part of the Bangladeshi music scene, quite often people dont really expect what we perform, but so far crowds have really warmed up to us. The performance at the Dhaka Literature Festival will be our biggest show to date.

    What is the future of the Choir?Right now were trying to raise money to make more videos, and we plan to release one every other month. Theres also a few projects were working on, which is a surprise so we can say no more!

    We plan to continue to bond with each other we have a lot of differences in this group but also a lot of love, and we want to spread that. Weve already performed for the LGBT community,

    and we want to be a part of similar causes to spread music and love. We also want to perform for kids and basically anyone who cares about music. Theres no commercial plan we just want to sing and have loads of fun, but our ultimate goal is to take our music to the international market, and also focus on spreading Bangla music.

    For us, its not just about sharing our music with the audience, but about sharing the love. We work from a place where we are saying that there can be love that transgresses social groups and genders and national boundaries, everyone in the whole world can learn to sing together and love each other, and thats the message we want to spread.

    What is the best thing about being a Ghaashphoring?The food! No, the main thing is to be part of such an amazing group. Especially when some of us have a long, hard day at work, its so good to be among friends and focus on something you love. Most importantly, this group has given us a real sense of belonging.

    Do you have anything to say to your fans? Its time for you guys to switch off, its almost winter! (This is followed by groans and bursts of giggling). You see what we mean about the terrible jokes? n

    It has come to a point where each and every one of your needs, some that you dont even know you had, are being taken care of and catered to


    Photo: Taufiq Sufi

    Photo: Avishek Bhattacharjee


    8 A DAy IN ThE LIfE Of | a MusiC insTruMenT Maker

    Located in a small lane in Dhanmondi 1, Liton Halder was busy making a harmonium in his small shop. He greeted me with a warm smile, cordially inviting me to his workshop and asked me to be comfortable, handing a small stool to sit.

    Clad in a green shirt over a lungi, and seemed quite relaxed. He was more than happy to share his story and did not look like he had been working since eight in the morning and still had a long day ahead of him.

    Halder dropped out of school in 1991 when he was in class nine, and has been in the profession of crafting harmoniums since then. Ive been in the this line for over 20 years, and its the only thing Im good at, he says, admitting that it was not just a piece of cake at first he had to train for four long years before he made a complete one himself. Today, he makes 4/5 harmoniums a month, which brings him around Tk10,000-12,000 every month.

    Liton with 8-9 other workers at the shop where he works. Its home away

    from home, a place where we work, eat, sleep and share everyday life with the rest of my mates, he expressed. His usual work day starts with him waking up early in the morning and he begins work by 8am after having a light breakfast. With a two hour break for lunch, his work continues till 11 at night.

    Even though I work long hours, Im still content with the flexibility of my work and the friendly environment, he said. As his employer is very understanding, he can easily talk to him about his problems and get financial help. This is also why he has been here for so long, he claims, as such benefits are not available everywhere. I can work, watch TV, listen to music at the same time, so I dont even realise how each day goes by, Halder added.

    Although his income is not quite enough to make the standards, hes still satisfied as he earns a steady income due to the fact that there are no off seasons in this industry. People, especially youngsters come in throughout the year to buy harmoniums, he stated. However,

    if given an opportunity, he would like to move on to some other source of earning where he would not have to stay away from home. I miss my family. They stay in Barisal, my home town, but I have to stay here for work. My daughters in class five, and will be sitting for her Board Examination soon, I think it would be better if I could be there and help her with her studies, Liton expressed sadly.

    Despite the fact that Liton can make up to seven different types of harmoniums, there are still many other more advanced types he cannot make and in order to gain the skills to make of those special ones, he needs to go to Kolkata for training. It is an expensive dream I cant afford, he said disappointedly.

    Sitting in the two-storeyed wooded shop, surrounded by bits and pieces of his work, Liton Halder looked very satisfied and enthusiastic about his work. His every day struggles, the hardships of staying away from his relatives, and the basic wage did not seem to take away his smile and positivity about life in general. n

    in the art of crafting musicMoumita Ahmed

    Ebony and ivory

    Photos: Courtesy


    a dyinG river | PhOTO STOry 9

    Photos and text: GSon BiswasA sudden plan to visit river Kaliganga was made last May. Though it was a high- summer, it was not the river i expected to experience. From Tora Bridge what i saw that day was a hard defeat of a piece of nature to the machinations of man. It was a river with no waves and mostly filled with sand. Men and women walked across most of it. The boats which once had ruled over mighty waves then became humble homes as they had stopped moving for a good while. And they lay idly beside fields of stubble, which meant the belly of Kaliganga has experienced one or two harvests as well. Trucks came by with sands and stones. And the emptiness in each frame captured, pointed out harshly the minimum existence, of both the river and the lives around it. i left in silent prayer may the rainy seasons flood some life back in it. Amen.

    Tales from Tora: The Dying Kaliganga

    GSon Biswas has studied Photography in Alliance Franaise de Dhaka and is currently pursuing BA (Honrs.) in English at Jahangirnagar University

    Where stubbles stumble

    The dead heart


    10 PhOTO STOry | a dyinG river

    Check in

    Sands sent away




    Earthly settlement Of tyres and tires

    Of meals and boons


    12 EvENT | Bd sTudenTs niGhT

    A piece of Bangladesh in the heart of MalaysiaSakib Mridha

    Bangladesh Students Night in Malaysia V4.0

    It takes around a four hour flight to reach Malaysia, which is around 35 miles away from Bangladesh. A country that boasts one of the worlds tallest structures, the Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia is a huge and promising job market that attracts a lot of Bangladeshi job-seekers. In recent years, a large number of Bangladeshi students have enrolled in Malaysian universities. Degrees that are acknowledged around the world, easy accommodation, friendly bumiputras (locals) and the relative proximity to home are the main reasons for our students to choose Malaysia as a place to study.

    Currently, almost 25,000 students are studying in several Malaysian universities that have campuses all over the country. Occasionally, small events are celebrated on individual campuses by groups of Bengali students. However, to date there have been no large gathering of Bangladeshi students where they are able to celebrate their culture and national identity.

    A group of young Bangladeshi dreamers, studying in the University of Malaya (UM), felt the urge to break this trend and gather all the Bangladeshis under the same roof. That is how the dream of Bangladeshi Students Night (BSN) was turned into a reality.

    BSN was first staged in Dewan

    Tunku Chancelor, University of Malaya on December 1, 2012 with a mere 300 in attendance. This year, BSN was held on October 31 with around 1600 in attendance at the same venue, including approximately 300 internationals. BSN broke the tradition of keeping Bangladeshi programmes within cultural boundaries and started inviting the international community to learn about Bangladeshi culture. This was done by promoting the event in social media, hanging banners and distributing flyers at various universities and other public places.

    With 20 members in the organising committee and some 50 volunteers from different universities, this years

    BSN was a show that ran for almost four hours. Forty five performers from four universities performed in various cultural shows such as dance by the BSN dance group; the directors hip-hop performance; songs from various artists, especially Midnights Children a band from International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM); and a comedy performance by Jordanian Azmaine and Diknash. Ten internationals performed simultaneously with Bangladeshi performers. Renowned Bangladeshi band Shunno was the exclusive guest performer who flew to Kuala Lumpur just for Bangladesh Students Night and created a huge fan frenzy.

    Photos: Courtesy



    The show kicked off with a cultural dance performed by the BSN dance crew, wearing green and red outfits to represent the colours of the Bangladesh national flag. The vibrant event was attended by Associate Prof Dr Kamila Ghazali, Associate Vice Chancellor of University of Malaya, Collins Chong, representative of the International Student Centre at University of Malaya, Mardiansha, Assistant Registrar of Institute of Graduate Studies at University of Malaya and Sarah Tanvi, Director of Red and Green Academy in Malaysia. The director delivered a brief speech expressing gratitude for their patriotism. The chief guests also spoke of their appreciation of the initiative and congratulated the students for their efforts. After this, five students were awarded with the BSN Academic Award for their academic excellence.

    The cultural show started with Midnights Children, a band formed by two Bangladeshis, Imad and Rafee, and Russian student Haydar, who covered two hit Bangla songs - Etota Bhalobashi by Recall and Aamar Pothchola by Artcell. Hayders love of the Bangla language and Bangladesh, resulting in his perfect delivery of both songs, mesmerised the audiences. Midnights Children were joined by another Bangladeshi student Zinia, who also attended as a guest artist from IIUM.

    MC Square, a third year engineering student from UM did a beatboxing performance of the famous Bangladeshi song Aabar jigay and the audience simply loved it. Diknash and Azmaine, Jordanian students from the Multimedia University(MMU), who happen to be Bangla enthusiasts and havr learnt the language, staged a comedy. The audience really appreciated the foreign students performing in our own mother tongue.

    Shunno were really thrilled to have a show inside a Malaysian University with a full house. Their performance had two sessions. They played their hits Shoto Asha and Khachar Bhetor Ochin Pakhi in the first half of the show. Later, the concert began in full force, and ten back to back fan favourites were played, and there was an incredible level of audience interaction. The band expressed their gratitude to the audience and the BSN committee for such a fantastic opportunity, and in return, the audience showered them with rounds of applauses.

    The hall was decorated lavishly, in line with such a huge event. Maxis Bhd were the Platinum sponsors of the event, whereas KPJ Healthcare Sdn Bhd, Dhakagate, MyIdeal2nd Home (Mm2H) Sdn Bhd played the roles of silver sponsors. n

    What motivated you to organise this event in the first place? There were few similar events in some universities back in 2012 and even before that, but on a much smaller scale. IIUM and the Sunway community used to take the lead with their small Bangladeshi celebrations, and there were small teams of Bangladeshi performers in a few universities like APU, Monash, IIUM and MMU. The community was scattered and many Bangladeshi didnt even know that there are other Bangladeshis around them. The plan was to unite everyone under the same roof and create a master event where all the students (later on any profession started being welcomed) can come together. The primary plan was to promote UM, as the university is considered the best in Malaysia. As a result, the organising team was from UM and was supported by students from MMU and IIUM. But later on the event became bigger and the organising team

    was also strengthened with the presence of students from multiple universities, and slowly BSN became more recognised.

    What drives you to do this show? In the beginning it was extremely difficult, but the show finally shined after 2013. We started seeing success and the project was hugely appreciated from all corners and new talents started joining in. With BSN, we found many new connections which helped either in sponsorship, organising, performance or simply inviting many guests. Our dedicated committee grew stronger every day. We started receiving invitations to work for various other events around Malaysia. What is exciting is that everyone who is putting so much time and effort into making this show a success wants nothing in return, except to promote Bangladesh to the Bangladeshi community and others in Malaysia.

    ttette with Director Rashik Haider:


    They say music heals. But in reality, it does a lot more than that. It mends, shapes, maddens. It creates. My personal journey into music

    has been quite strange. I grew up in a household with little access to anything other than Bangla music. So, for the longest time, anything that they term English music was way out of my radar. I was also forced to take music lessons for 10 years which I faked an illness to quit.

    But even though I left music, music never quite left me. And over the years, I found myself going back to it in different forms either singing my favourite song in the shower, or impulsively joining a choir in college, or dedicating 7am of every Saturday morning to classical music lessons.

    I did all this without even realising how badly I wanted or needed to get back to music. Having officially returned to music just a year ago, Im currently in the process of understanding and deconstructing how music can and does affect us from very early on.

    I asked around musicians, non-musicians about their experience with music. And heres what they shared

    How has your early exposure to music shaped your current taste?

    Armeen Musa, MusicianMy earliest memory of music is of my mom doing her morning classical rewaz. The music from my childhood was Indian classical music. I loved the bhajans and bandishes my mom sang.

    It eventually became the love of my life. Despite being into jazz and

    reggae as a performer, Indian classical is the root and core of my existence as a musician. Its my go-to for my best and worst times, and it has guided me throughout my whole journey.

    Saif Kamal, Founder, Toru, a social innovation hubMy childhood memory of music is with my mom, with Robindroshongeet playing against the lovely wind in our home.

    My favourite childhood song would be Abar Elo Jey Shondha.

    Im one of those people who have grown up in different parts of the world but the only music I love is Bangla. There are some Hindi and Urdu songs I enjoy too and thats shaped me

    because every chord of music in my life is from my mother and how she appreciated music. And thats stuck with me and thats shaped my taste of music throughout.

    Maisha Rahim, NGO worker, flautist My earliest memory of music is Bangla songs playing at home in the mornings and during long car rides. There were lots of Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey, Bhupen Hajarika, Satinath, Hemanta, Manabendra, Salil Chowdhury songs, SD Burman. Mostly old Bangla songs.

    And some Bollywood. But the old ones.

    My favourite song from my childhood would have to be Mukto malar chati mathae borsha elo re a

    song I used to sing with my cousins. But I cannot really relate to that

    anymore. I can still appreciate it because of the fond childhood memories that come to mind, but my musical tastes have changed immensely since then.

    My musical tastes are much more diverse now, ranging from Indian classical to western folk to progressive jazz and all sorts of fusions and musical experiments that cannot really be categorised. I currently train in Indian classical, but my interest in this discipline is recent. To some extent, I can understand or relate to Indian classical music now since most of the older Bangla and Hhindi songs were based on raags, but thats about it. n

    14 PErSPECTIvE | MusiCal inFluenCes

    Where the madness begins

    Photo: Bigstock

    What shapes our musical journeys? is there any link between the music we start our lives with and the music we end up enjoying as adults? Meera Sal


    Its very difficult to live in this world, know the English language and not know Shakespeare. Whether his plays have been forced down your throat during English class in school, or youve watched some of his plays turned movies on TV (young Dicaprio as Romeo springs to mind) or if youve just discovered the magic and beauty of his words on your own time, which is definitely the best way to go about it there is no denying that Shakespeare is a force to be reckoned with.

    Next year in April, it will be exactly 400 years since this famous bearded bard from Stratford-upon-Avon died, but his works continue to be as relevant today, especially in its original format. Shakespeare has been performed on stage for centuries, and is considered almost a rite of passage for serious actors.

    Stepping stone to stardomMany Hollywood heavyweights started their career on stage, and often with Shakespeare such as Dame Judi Dench who spent a majority of her professional career on stage, debuting as Ophelia in Hamlet in 1957, and later moving on to be Juliet and Lady Macbeth as a part of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). Dame Maggie Smith also began her career in Twelfth Night, later appearing on stage in Antony and Cleopatra and Macbeth, and earned her first Academy Award nomination as Desdemona in the film version of Othello.

    When Sir Patrick Stewart first appeared on Star Trek in 1987, the Los Angeles Times called him an unknown British Shakespearian actor, which says enough about the 16 years hed spent on stage earlier on in his career as a member of the RSC. Although Sir Ian McKellen began his career on stage as well, he really got into Shakespeare in the 70s and 80s, starring alongside Judi Dench as Macbeth, something that

    every Shakespeare fan in the world would sell their souls to see again.

    And the list goes on and on. Whats interesting though is that in recent years, Shakespeare hasnt been just a stepping stone to stardom for budding actors. Instead, actors who have earned fame on the silver screen have returned to the West End to take on the daunting task of doing justice to the works of one of the worlds most famous playwrights.

    Bringing Shakespeare to fandomsThis year, Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch was all the rage in London with his starring role as Hamlet in the Barbican theatre, which ran from August 5th to October 31st. Cumberbatch has been lauded for bringing his own take to Lyndsey Turners reinvention of one of Shakespeares most famous plays he steps into his role as the prince on the brink of madness, depressed and burning to avenge the death of his father. Although critics have pointed out how Cumberbatch brings a certain level of self-assurance and control to the performance that made Hamlet seem less of a disturbed young man than he is meant to be, they have also commended his ability to make the entire play more significant and politically potent through this fierce interpretation. He also decided to not limit the political significance to only within the play, and at the end of every performance, spoke out against the British governments poor response to the refugee crisis, which makes him all the more amazing (at least in the eyes of this avid fan).

    Not to be outdone by Sherlock, Loki also recently took to the stage with a Shakespearian tragedy. Tom Hiddleston starred in Coriolanus, a lesser known play based on the life of a legendary Roman general, a mother-

    dominated military hero in conflict with a grievance-filled population. Hiddlestons performance in this play was filled with raw emotion and brought forward the complexities of his character a man with strong morals, yet filled with reckless impetuosity that ultimately leads to his destruction. The political nature of Shakespeares work is also obvious in this play. The Telegraph gives the most apt description of Hiddlestons character - He is greater than his foes, but one could almost say that he deserves to die. Thats politics. This play also featured Mark Gatiss, more popularly known as Mycroft Holmes from Sherlock, and also a stage stalwart in Londons West End.

    Last but definitely not least, fans of the cult sci-fi show Doctor Who will be familiar with David Tennant, who has already made a name himself on stage as a part of the RSC, especially in his role as Hamlet. Tennant has also played the lead role in Shakespeares Richard II, and will be reprising this for a limited season from January 7th to 10th, 2016. Tennant really displays his acting prowess on stage it is almost impossible to believe this power-abusing and tragically dignified wasteful king is also the charming

    and delightfully chatty tenth Doctor from the BBC series.

    Shakespeare lives onIt is almost impossible to talk about Shakespeare at the West End without mentioning Sir Kenneth Branagh. He has directed and/or starred in several film adaptations of Shakespeare, one of which earned him two Academy Award nominations, and he has brought multiple productions to the stage. The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company is currently staging The Winters Tale in the West End, which opened on October 17th, and stars Shakespearean superstar Judi Dench, as well as Branagh himself. So far, the play has received five star reviews and has been commended by almost all critics as being simply brilliant. The Winters Tale will be broadcast to cinemas worldwide on November 26th, 2015. The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company is also bringing the classic love story of Romeo and Juliet back to the stage from May 12th to August 13th, 2016, starring Richard Madden and Lily James as the main characters, who last performed together as Cinderella and Prince Kit in Disneys latest movie version. n

    400 years oF shakespeare | CuLTurE 15

    All the worlds a stageShuprova Tasneem

    Shakespeares Superheroes

    Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet in the production of Hamlet at the Barbican centre

    Tom Hiddleston as Coriolanus


    16 DrAMA MAMA | dina soBhan

    Motherly loveI have always taught my son to be kind, generous and compassionate. But his manipulative friends dupe him out of his allowance,

    and he doesnt seem to understand that they are taking advantage of his generosity. When we try to explain that his newfound friends are draining him dry, he gets defensive. How do I show him their true colours?

    Nobody wants to be wanted only for his possessions. Deep down, your son probably knows his friends are using him,

    but his loneliness and desire to fit in has him convinced that its better than being alone. While you may be eager to prove a point, its better

    for him to find out for himself. It will serve as an important lesson for his future, when you wont be there to protect him. Moreover, your son will feel humiliated if you continue to tell him that people like him not for himself but his money. It certainly wont help his already low self-esteem to hear that, and will compound any existing feelings of failure. However, if you want to prove your theory without directly hurting his feelings, the best way is to stop your sons allowance for a couple of weeks on some pretext, and see if his friends continue to fraternise with him. While it wont make him feel any better to know you were right, it may teach help him be more selective in who he chooses as friends in future. n

    My daughter has been involved with a boy for quite some time now, but does not confide her feelings to me. I know they

    care for each other but at the moment things between the two of them are quite shaky. I dont mean to be a nosy mother but I really want them to stay together. How do I address this situation without upsetting her? I know shes in love; its a mothers instinct.

    While I understand your motherly desire to protect your daughter and do what you think is right, you need to stay out of

    it. Your daughter needs to navigate the course of her relationship by

    herself in order to do what is best for her. There may be aspects of their relationship that you are unaware of, and a dynamic between them to which you have not been privy. Relationships between two people can never be fully understood by an outside person and it would be foolish to try, particularly for someone as personally invested in the outcome as yourself. You should give your daughter a wide berth, and wait for her to come to your for advice if she needs it. She will resent you for interfering, particularly if she is a very private person. Do yourself and your daughter a favour by respecting her privacy, but be there for her if she needs you, whatever the outcome. n




    ADina Sobhan is a free-lance writer, a part-time counsellor and a full-time mom

    Photos: Bigstock


    lalon shah | LISTOLOGy 17

    7 things you (probably) didnt know about Lalon

    Lalon presumably lived for 116 years.Even though it is impossible to trace back to the time of his birth, Lalon has been predicted to have lived a very long life. There are no written evidences of how, and where he came from. Neither are there any solid signs that prove his where abouts.

    Lalon was assumed dead when he fell sick during his trip to the Ganga River.After falling sick due to chicken pox, Lalons body was sent floating on a raft on Ganga River instead of burning it (as per Hindu religious funeral). He was later discovered breathing by a Muslim woman who took him in and treated his illness. After recovering, Lalon could not remember his past and joined the path of Baul Shongith Chorcha under his Guru fokir Shiraj Shai.

    Lalon had a wifeLalon married young, and he lost his father to chicken pox as well. His father could not recover from the disease. Lalon loved his wife and wrote songs about her. After his tragic

    Facts about the mysticChisty Rahim

    incident, his memory loss prevented him from seeing her for a long time. But with time, Lalons memory returned and he went back to his village to see his wife and widowed mother. Falling under the unfortunate circumstances of the then Hindu-Muslim clashes of British-India era, he was declared a man without identity/soul by the villagers and his mother since he was fed and touched by a Muslim woman. Abandoned by the people he loved, Lalon left and never looked back.

    Lalon didnt have a religionLalon did not believe in the divisions of religion. According to him, there was one creator who he referred to as Alek Shaheb. However, Lalon had no grudges against any religion, he rather respected and learned from them. He believed in soul searching, and often mentioned the phrases ochin pakhi and moner manush in his songs.

    Lalons exact birth place was never discovered Lalon was born in Kushtia district, and died in Chheuriya of Kushtia. But no one knows the village he was born in.

    Lalon created his own village which he called AnandobajaarLalon rejoined Shiraj Shai after being refused to rejoin his family. But soon after that, he went on his own and lived in a forest where he met his friend Solaiman. The two of them built houses to live there. With time, other people joined them and the village grew. The village was built on the property of the Tagore family. Debendronath Tagore himself invited Lalon for a chat and drew a portrait of him. He was so moved by his music and thoughts that he wrote the property off to him, promising no disturbances from him or anyone whatsoever.

    It is now known as the Lalons Akhra of Kushtia.Every year during the first week of April, Lalons Akhra hosts a festival.Lalons Akhra has been there for over 150 years. The people in charge of the place now hosts a festival in his remembrance every year. The festival is a joyous event that lasts for about five days. The entire ambiance of the place fills up with music. n

    Photos: Courtesy


    18 STAy IN

    S u d o k uUse the numbers 1-9 to complete each of the 3x3 square grids such that each horizontal and vertical line also contains all of the digits from 1-9

    Last weeks sudoku solutions

    ACROSS1 What was lost was new gate (7)4 The real change is material (7) 6 One MP, the Queen, 49 put at risk (7)7 Sing about English medicinal plant (7)

    DOWN1 Raise law above monarch on the move (7)2 Put your foot down on postal charge (5)3 Organ stop reduces sound input (7)5 Animal found on shifting shore (5)







    aCROss1 Float above ground initialy half finished (5)5 Im in a right atmosphere (3) 6 Stain changed cloth (5)8 Sign on right in single return (5)10 Strange spirit (3)11 Rugby Union comeback veto in city (5)

    DOwN1 Tale of greeting in the past (7)2 Check credentials of medic (3)3 Managed and belted (3)4 Type of sleep left in family citadel (7)7 Man in a muddle (3)8 Bird described in dance music (3)9 Endless probe into hold-up (3)


    Solved it? Email answers to [email protected] and win one free month of the Dhaka Tribune.

    Mini crypticsho



    Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19): Youve got your mojo sharpened this week and at the same time youll also be busy planning a party for your friends. Not a bad idea catching up with those old buffoons and having a laugh.

    Taurus (Apr 20-May20): This week is all about setting your mind to take some risks and preparing yourself for the outcomes. Best of luck.

    Gemini (May 21-June 20): The brilliant opportunities that you see in front of you that others see as problems will soon be moulded into creative investment. Keep upping your game and there will be people following you in your cause. God speed!

    Cancer (June 21-Jul22): Now is the time for you to prance around

    town and take that extra hidden cash to visit all your favourite restaurants. Perhaps now you can finally spend some time with your friends and family after a months of hard work.

    Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22): Something flashy, something shiny, something colourful and something new? A lot

    of ribbons, flowers and perfumed envelopes are coming for you. While this may give out the idea of someone trying to woo you, this week foresees new developments in business sector.

    Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22): Seems like you should take some time away from your friends for a while as theres some tension lurking around. Take a break for a while and when things cool down itll all turn back to normal.

    Libra (Sep 23-Oct 22): You dont have to become a martyr for those that you care about and you really dont have to carry their entire emotional burden on your shoulders. Let them deal with their problems and sort out all their dilemmas and drama. You have done enough, you have been

    more than a support to them, you dont need to be their crutch.

    Scorpio (Oct23-Nov21): You are the leader of your tribe and are about to welcome some more people exciting, fun and wild members in. Be sure to tame them before they spin out of control. Sagittarius (Nov22-Dec 21): They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. But it seems like in your case its making the heart grow colder.

    Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan19): Dont go breaking those hearts now, it is after all the years end. Being alone during the holidays and during the winter without having someone to warm up to can be difficult.

    Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18): Perhaps its time for you to get back in the dating and mating game. Its not too late to go out there in style and have everyone shameless gaze at you with their eyes.

    Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20): Hey big spender! Spent all your money already? Got only enough to pay the bills? Its okay, you can cry as much as you want, better out than in.


    GO OuT 19

    Weekly Planner Nov 13-14Cinema | Dhaka Korean Film Festival 2015When 3-6pmWhere Bangladesh National Museum, Shahbag Circle, Dhaka, BangladeshWhat Embassy of the Republic of Korea cordially invites you to the Dhaka Korean Film Festival 2015

    Movie title and screening time: Forever the Moment will be shown at 3pm on November 13th; Welcome to Dongmakgol will start at 6pm on November 13th; The Face Reader will start at 3pm on November 14th; How to Steal a Dog will start at 6pm on November 14th

    All the movies will include English and Bangla subtitles.

    Attractions will be handbook center, photo booth, celebrity cutouts and many more surprises

    Entry is completely free.Visit: https://www.facebook.com/

    BD.KFamily or email: [email protected] for more information.

    Nov 14Education | Scholarship & Life at Georgetown UniversityWhen 1pm Where EMK Center, House 5, Road

    16(New) 27(Old), 9th Floor, Midas Center, Dhanmondi R/AWhat Rahman, an Alumni of Georgetown University will talk about his experience as an international student in the United States, as well as the application process and applying for scholarships at the university.

    Nov 15Education | English for HomemakersWhen 10am-12pmWhere EMK Center, House 5, Road 16(New) 27(Old), 9th Floor, Midas Center, Dhanmondi R/AWhat English for life (EfL) with EMK Center has come forward to assist Bangladeshi homemakers and mothers to upgrade their English language skills.

    EMK Center invites homemakers and mothers of school-going children to join the free workshops conducted by us in association with EMK Center.

    For Free Registration Write1. Your Name2. Name of school your kid/kids

    goes tosend SMS to 01926 666 995

    Nov 15-26Exhibition | Flower and Thread: An Exhibition by Robin Pacific and Clare SamuelWhen 10am-8pmWhere EMK Center, House 5, Road 27(Old), 9th Floor, Midas Center, Dhanmondi R/AWhat Flowers and Threads is an installation that establishes and furthers relationships between Bangladeshi artists, garment workers, North American artists, garment workers and womens groups. Across difference of geography, of race, of religion, of class Canadian artists Robin Pacific and Clare Samuel build a bridge of art, weaving threads of solidarity through the flowering of a shared creative experience.

    Toronto artist Robin Pacific travelled to Dhaka in November, 2014, with fellow artist Leah Houston and portrait photographer Clare Samuel. They wanted to meet and make art with, and about the women who make their clothes. With the support of Alonzo Suson of Solidarity Center/Bangladesh, Kalpona Akter, Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity, Amirul Haque Amin, National Garments Workers

    Federation, and Md Shawkat Hossain, Centre for Services and Information on Disability (Rana Plaza survivors), they met with some 100 garment workers.

    Inspired by the shapla, the workers made drawings on Japanese paper petals. Robin had conversations with 36 of them, and Clare made 60 photographs.

    Nov 17- Dec 5Art | Rokeya, a solo exhibition by Rokeya Sultana.When 6-8pm(opening day), 12-8pm(other days)Where Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, House 42, Road No 16, Dhanmondi R/AWhat Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts is arranging a solo exhibition by Rokeya Sultana and invites everyone at the inaugural ceremony of the exhibition. Dr Gowher Rizvi, International Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister, and Merete Lundemo, Norwegian Ambassador to Bangladesh, will jointly inaugurate the exhibition at 6pm on Tuesday, November 17th, 2015.

    Nov 19-21Culture | Dhaka Lit Fest 2015 When 9:30am-8pmWhere Bangla AcademyWhat The 5th installation of Dhaka Literary Festival is going to be held at the Bangla Academy. This years event is notable for featuring not one, but two Nobel Prize laureates: VS Naipaul, author of A House for Mr Biswas and A Bend In The River, among other classics, and Harold Varmus, the cancer researcher and author of The Art and Politics of Science.

    Led by directors Sadaf Saaz, Ahsan Akbar and K Anis Ahmed, the festival will present a wide array of international talents of diverse origins and genres: Indian bestseller Shobhaa De, British journalist and TV presenter Jon Snow, top Cuban science fiction writer Yoss, Kenyan childrens storyteller Muthoni Garland, Indian writer and activist Nayantara Sahgal, Pakistani human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir, Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan, novelist Amit Chaudhuri, acclaimed

    filmmaker Leslee Udwin and poet Arvind Krishna Mehrotra.

    The festival will also host the launch of a special Bangladesh issue of the world-renowned journal Wasafiri. This is the first time that any international journal has devoted an entire issue to Bangladeshi writing, and Wasafiri editor, Susheila Nasta will be in conversation with guest editors Ahsan Akbar and K Anis Ahmed.

    This year, the festival will also feature the launch of a memoir by economist Rehman Sobhan, along with recitations by poet Nirmalendu Goon and discussion with novelist Imdadul Haq Milon. Previously known as Hay Festival Dhaka, the festival has featured international authors such as Vikram Seth, Tariq Ali, William Dalrymple, Ahdaf Soueif, Shashi Tharoor, Jung Chang, Mohammed Hanif and

    Pankaj Mishra. Amongst many others, Bengali literary stars such as Selina Hossain, Debesh Roy, Asad Chowdhury, and Joy Goswami have also graced the stage.

    Keeping with that trend, this year the festival will see Papri Rahman, Farid Kabir and Shahnaz Munni among many others. The festival will see launches by Bangladeshi authors from other shores: Ghalib Islam from Canada and Dilruba Z Ara from Sweden.

    The festival will also be full of recitations and performances, from latest urban expressions to authentic folk arts, to showcase the diversity of our culture, and will stage 90 panels by over 250 artists from home and abroad.

    Dhaka Tribune is title sponsor of this festival. n


    The eighth month of my pregnancy ended with an impromptu trip to Coxs Bazar. I must admit, I was extremely self-conscious of my pregnant body before going, because as much as the sun and sand beckoned to me, I didnt want to be stared at like a zoo animal!

    Since it was off-season, the hotel rates were cheap and we got a great deal at a posh hotel. The Husband, my sister and my father were the tag-a-longs on this trip, and the first time any members of my family spent so much time with The Husband. They would soon become very acquainted with The Husbands quirky ways, spending a weekend together in very close quarters. Their first taste of The

    20 ThE BONG MOMMA | Tales FroM a FirsT-TiMe MoM

    The last holiday and preparations before D-dayMinu Ahmed

    Minu Ahmed is your not-so-average homemaker, norm-shirker and abomination of awesomeness, juggling a career in communication, mother- hood and a fatter half. Questions? Send to [email protected]

    Photo: Bigstock

    Husbands eccentricity occurred during the flight to Coxs Bazar. The Husband was as excited as a child on a sugar high, and wouldnt stop talking and fidgeting. But the revelation came when the plane got ready to take off, and this was my first time on a plane with him too, when we discovered The Husbands fear of flying in small planes.

    The poor man hung on to his seat for dear life, sweating profusely and looking extremely constipated. I made him listen to loud music, eat the meagre offerings of plane food, and he even tried to read the newspaper, but every attempt was futile. By the time we landed after the excruciatingly slow half-hour flight, The Husbands t-shirt was soaked through with sweat and he looked like he had seen a ghost. As for my family, my sister had stared out the window the entire time, while my father snored away noisily beside her.

    After reaching the hotel, we just stashed the luggage and headed out to the beach. The weather was surprisingly very pleasant, warm but not too sunny. My father was clad in his holiday wear, which consisted of a half-sleeved shirt in a very loud and tropical print, with khaki shorts, a baseball cap and sandals.

    The Husband left his pregnant wife stranded and went off to wade along the shore line. I lounged around on a beach chair with my sister, wiggling my toes to remove the sand in between them.

    We enjoyed being lazy on the beach for quite some time before heading back to the hotel for a huge lunch. After a quick nap, we spent the rest of the evening playing pool until dinner. The next day after breakfast, the four of us got on a tuktuk and took a very typical, tourist-like ride around Coxs Bazar. We came across this park where you could climb down into caves. We hiked down the muddy and watery path and at some parts it was scary, but it didnt take very long to reach the caves. We took pictures and made our way back, and then returned to the hotel.

    I went in for a shower at the hotel, only to find a leech gloriously gnawing at the back of my knee. The critter had probably hitched a ride onto my leg from the visit to the park. I called The Husband and showed him the leech. Now, the leech must have been about half an inch long, but The Husband reacted like I had an anaconda latched onto my leg. I assured him that I was fine and I had been bitten by a leech before on a previous trip, and that it was not a big deal. Not listening to a word I had said, The Husband frantically called my father-in-law, who told him to sprinkle some salt onto my leg near the leechs mouth and that it would let go on its own. He called room service and asked them to send some salt, and specifically told them why. While we waited for our bowl of salt to arrive, I contemplated initiating Lamaze breathing exercises with The

    Preparing To PopPreparing To Pop

    Husband to help him relax. Right then, an attendant arrived hurriedly, holding...a salt shaker. Feeling incredulous, I proceeded to shake some salt onto my leg. The leech fell off in a second and I was saved!

    We had a barbecue dinner that night, to celebrate The Husbands heroic rescue of his heavily pregnant damsel in distress. I was sad to have to leave for home the next morning, but I was looking forward to staying at my parents house until the delivery.

    With no husband-related obligations at my parents place, I made a checklist for all the things I wanted to do before the baby arrived. I browsed for prenatal yoga videos on the Internet and read up on natural childbirths. The attempt at yoga was very short-lived, as I tried to mould my body into the various positions, I couldnt get out of them. A lot of the positions involved kneeling on all fours and it made me feel like a very pregnant cow!

    I feel that many women tend to ignore themselves while they are pregnant and focus too much on the baby, the delivery and buying baby products. So I made it a point to go to the parlour and treat myself to some pampering. A facial and a mani-pedi later, I was ready to have this baby in style!

    I also spent a lot of time relaxing, napping and getting massages at home. It really helped with the back pains and breathlessness. To relax, I would simply sit upright with my legs crossed and breathe deeply. Some soothing music playing alongside was pure bliss.

    I also prepared the babys cot and washed and ironed all the clothes and bedding myself. The baby clothes were so adorable and I would daydream about the tiny person who would fit into them soon.

    I went through rounds of happiness, fear, nervousness, and as days passed and as my due date drew closer, my anticipation increased threefold. n