Oct 30, 2012

From watching this program to that during this eid holiday, a noticeable thing was the way people on TV are talking. Being able to describe someone as 'articulate' is tough these days, unless you have someone like Abdullah Abu Sayeed as a guest or presenter. There are not just problems with phrasing and vocabulary, but also with pronunciations. A regional dialect is hardly meant for a national TV channel anywhere in the world, but even from our news reporters, we hear such speech.

During a better part of the morning, we were mesmerized by the stories told by Saadi Mohammad on '71 - Ekattor TV's Facebook Page (a channel), on a live music show hosted by Alif Alauddin. The show was very entertaining where the songs were being presented on the self-narrated timeline of Saadi Mohammad's life (though prompted by the host), starting with his childhood, to first growing a liking to Tagore music after hearing Hemanta Mukherjee on the radio, to his time at Santiniketon as a student and so on. He also mentioned how pronunciation was an issue with some of his students. People may tell me off for criticizing someone for having a dialect on the news, but what happens when people are trying to sing a song? It makes for temporary comedy, but on a larger scheme of things, its sad. Saadi Mohammad himself mentioned at that point of the show, that its nice to hear someone articulating thoughts and emotions properly, especially for singers and people on television, but really, for everyone (even a prime minister, he proceeded to mention).

Having seen that, when later at night, we see an interview of Ananta Jalil by Munni Shaha, its frustrating.

Ananta Jalil, with all his money and stunts, thinks he has found the formula for good movies, and is out there to claim that he is a properly educated inidividual who has passed O' and A' Levels, and has a bachelors in business (BBA) from the UK (though its commonly known that they provide BComm and not BBA). These claims are meant to throw off everyone who says he has pronunciation poblems (he is often heard with a silent 'r' when it should appear after a 'p') in both Bangla and English.

On the other side of the ring was Munni Shaha, who is a senior reporter for ATN News, and conducts a lot of interviews. Ignoring her annoying nasal voice and frequent 'ehhh's when shes browsing her vocabulary mid-sentence, she (like a few others) has a habit of trying to put words into the mouths of her guests. All in all, it was a pretty bad show of where we are, and who gets to be on our 'media'.

Thats another thing, I see a lot of so-called celebrities, refer to themselves as 'people of the media'. I don't get that! Its like they are trying to elevate themselves to somewhere or something, their own little planet. It just sounds weird to me.

Lawmakers should talk and behave with dignity says Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed

Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012

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Oct 23, 2012

Its been a dismal year. And I say it again today as the news of Sunil Gangapadhyay (সুনীল গঙ্গোপাধ্যায়)'s death reaches us. I have a feeling of loss even though I have read just one of his books, and a few poems.

Translated in English with a still from the movie used as the cover. Buy
I am reminded of the first book that I read of his, a novella titled "Nillohiter Ayna" (নীললোহিতের আয়না), which had a great impression on me. I was still at school at the time, and our bangla teacher convinced that none of us (Chittagong, 'O' levels in the 90s, new school ~ 8 students in my class) was reading much, and to prove it, he said, bring me 4 of your favorite bangla books. I still can't recall what books I brought to class that day except the aforementioned. And I don't know what his plan was when he took those books, and never returned them!

Like often the case with me, I am left with just an impression from a film or a book, having forgotten everything else, but that. Its an abstract sensation that I couldn't express in words, but its one that will cause me to want to get it back. On many trips to bookstores I have asked for it, looked for it, in vain.

Another time, when I had this urge, was for the movie "Pratidwandi"(প্রতিদন্দ্বী), by Satyajit Ray (সত্যজিৎ রায়). This time, it was easier to get it back, and on this occasion it was the first time for my wife to watch it. We were both thoroughly moved with the film. The characters were well made, well directed, and the story of a young individual's struggle with ideologies, effectively told! At the end of that movie, we both noticed that this movie was also adapted from a book by the same name of Sunil. This inspired us to take on another Satyajit Ray/Sunil Gangapadhyay product - Aranyer Dinratri (অরন্যের দিনরাত্রি), which was equally impressive.

I struggle with finding time for books these days, but as people like Sunil pass away, I feel a sense of 'tragedy' in not being able to make time for their books. I have a sense of these times being less and less inspiring for the human race, and with lesser and lesser number of people to grasp these circumstances and to hold it to our faces in the form of literature, film and art.

Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Oct 10, 2012

Dhaliwood Song and Dance, possibly shot outside the country
A lunatic is by definition not attuned to the "real world". On the left, is a shot from a film that was made in our real world - Bangladesh, featuring the one, the only Shakib Khan, who was touted to be the sole actor for our mainstream cinema (Till of course, self proclaimed saviour of cinema, Ananta Jalil [producer, actor, lover, dancer, and stuntman] showed up), and an 'actress' who is wearing a wild ensemble from the Sundarbans in an effort to promote tourism. Though this picture has all the goodness that is cited by most mainstream film producers as necessary for a successful film - Shakib Khan for one, a slightly obese actress who can wear tight clothes and dance, and of course the 'foreign location' where the leading pair can shake their caboose, I don't get it! I leave it upto you lot to please explain, what we've come to accept as our own. I watched many a TV interview and film review programs where these cinema are talked about as the most natural kind of cinema we could have. Of course, I, don't get it!

Try, while I watch this video made from the flash cards my psychologist uses to calm me down.

Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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Oct 3, 2012

How our media can treat such a massive attack on the Buddhist populace as a piece of everyday news, is beyond me. I am ashamed to be part of this society, where these attacks on Buddhist temples and the innocent folks and their houses in Ramu, Ukhia and surrounding places leave its population so unaffected.

I was hoping to see our channels put up a black badge at least to show they felt bad about this violence towards a mass of people from what got shared on one person's Facebook! The government could twist your arms into putting a badge up for their declared 'month of sorrow' in August, but now, it seems you are confused about how you feel, or you don't feel at all! Apathy! How strange was it that the news of this event was also treated like it was nothing! How sad!


Posted on Wednesday, October 03, 2012

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