Image by Rezwan

Overcrowded passenger ferry capsized in the Padma River in Munshiganj, Bangladesh

The World Cup Goal-E Project

This street in Bangladesh has a colorful world cup celebration

New Chum Hill Ruins

Remnants of Kiandra gold mine at New Chum Hill, #nsw #australia

May 31, 2004


My former classmate Arief (a.k.a. Dr. Billi), who is currently residing in Sydney with family finally starts a blog "LIVE AND LET LIVE".

I know that if he writes regularly, I will devote most of my time reading his blog. He is a passionate and reasonable individual.

May 30, 2004


Tokaii is a cartoon character created by Rananbi (Rafikunnabi).

"With a bald head, thin limbs and swollen belly, he is a street urchin of about eight. Clad in a short chequered lungi, he lives on the footpaths or in the big unused construction pipes strewn about this city of Dhaka. He lives on left-overs of others or food thrown away in dustbins. Despite the apparent destitute status, however, the boy is always cheerful making fun and uttering witty scathing reflections, in his usual Dhakaite language, on things around him, which constitute contemporary society. The precocious talkativeness is a major attribute of the boy, who is known by the name of his class rather than a real proper name."

(Picture courtesy the Daily Star)

Tokaii's satire strips were the hit item of the erstwhile weekly magazine "Bichitra". I have grown up reading many of those strips.

Gallery Chitrak is holding an exhibition to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Tokaii. Read the Daily Star report "The myth of Tokai" for details.

Let's say it's 6:15 pm and you're driving home alone after an unusually busy day. You're really tired, and frustrated. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only five miles from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far. Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.

However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing
sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be
repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can manage enough time to get some help or go to nearby hospital.

May 29, 2004

Solitude vs. communal life

Solitude is the state or quality of being alone or remote from others resorting to a lonely or secluded place. It is an act or process of withdrawing, especially from something hazardous. In ancient Indian myths, people used to go to solitude in the woods. Buddha went to solitude leaving all personal belongings including family. But as a communal being, why do we need solitude? As poet Jibanananda Das said;

"Not money, not tiredness, not recognition, not love,
another depressed sensation plays in our blood,
Making us weak, weaker and weakest.
I cannot avoid it."

Solitude sometimes gives the benefit of freedom from irritations we experience when living in what was intended to be a community. If you contemplate about the secrets you share with others, you will find that you cannot share some secrets with your parents, siblings or children. Some secrets you cannot share with your wife or closed friends. There are even one or two you do not dare to share with yourself too! You wish that the secret would have never existed.

Being in solitude, free from distractions of other people, we can explore our own minds with clarity and in depth. Being alone can exaggerate our anxieties, but solitude and silence enhances creativity and solve problems.

In this frantically companionable society, the solitary man or women is branded as anti-social. However people should know that loneliness and solitude are not synonyms. You cannot feel lonely among other people. But Solitude, however, is a state of mind and one can be in solitude wherever one wants to be.

Solitude is very easy to care for. Be sure to give it daily attention and it will grow big and strong. It is like being alone in company, and alone having the company of the world. The spirit is in motion. With me I am more than one. In solitude we deal with our depressed sensation.

May 28, 2004

Rich-poor gap still widening

Bangladesh is a country of great diversities. In Dhaka, you will find a million dollar home standing next to a slum. You will see Mercedes Benz among the city traffic besides a shabby minivan carrying loads of people. This is due to the improper distribution of wealth among the educated & non-educated strata of population. As the primary sector is agriculture, a large number of population works in the agriculture sector, where education is not a key imperative and unplanned and weak work culture do not suit the manufacturing sector. For those who can break through the shackles of poverty, the only key is education. And for the educated mass it is a land of opportunities. If you can earn yourself a good degree and have a well-paid job in the manufacturing or service sector, then you can really have a relaxed living. While the wages of maids and chauffeurs are very low, many can afford them. And specially if you are an entrepreneur and everything goes your way, you can be a King of the country, affording a Mercedes car and a million dollar home.

But how does it feel to those, who live in the Palace besides the shabby slum. Do they feel proud to be rich or do they feel as the colonial lords (British) who have ruled the country long ago. What do they do for their poor relatives, when they starve or have a great financial difficulty? Many among them are proud to be Muslims. But they do not give Jakaat as per Muslim law and the income tax at the rate they should give. If they have done that the gap should not have been so wide. It seems the culture of showing off is engrossing all of us.

I am haunted by these questions everyday. Recently I got promoted and got a salary increase. That means I can afford an air-conditioner now, which has become a necessity in these extreme weathers. I pay tax, Jakaat and try to help the needy. But somehow I feel many of the luxuries I can afford and cherish are not worthy for me. When most of my relatives and friends do not have these luxuries, why should I make them feel that I am showing off?

I know that eventually I will not give away the comfort I can afford. I am like those persons who have made the gap between rich and poor wider. I know I am the guilty one.

Bangladesh is unlikely to able to come out of the LDC category in the next 20 years unless it can achieve double-digit growth.

May 27, 2004


I have been pretty busy lately and finally I could spare some time at home to write something for this blog. As I type now I am enjoying a ripe fresh mango cut and served. This was grown in one of the mango trees we have in our compound. The taste is very good. Actually summer is the time when a large variety of vibrant tropical and sub-tropical fruits are available in Bangladesh. Our national fruit is Jackfruit. There are plenty of Jackfruit trees all over the countryside. The other most widely cultivated fruits in summer besides these two are Litchi, Black Berry, Melon, Watermelon, Pineapple, Tamarind etc. May, June & July are specially treated as fruit festival months in Bangladesh when almost all the major and minor fruits are matured & available. The fruits that are available throughout the year include Papaya, Coconut & Banana. The common imported fruits are Orange, Apple, Grapes & Dates.

Mango, the most popular fruit tree in the country has about 3000 varieties both in cultivation and in wild. Over this season a typical Bangladeshi family would be consuming almost 10-15 common varieties of ripe mangoes found in the market. The green mangoes are used to make pickles and chutneys, which are a common table side dish consumed round the year.

May 25, 2004


* Who, except the gods, can live time through forever without any pain?

- Aeschylus BC 525-456, Greek Dramatist

* Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

- Kahlil Gibran 1883-1931, Lebanese Poet, Novelist

* The smallest pain in our little finger gives us more concern than the destruction of millions of our fellow beings.

- William Hazlitt 1778-1830, British Essayist

* There is no coming to consciousness without pain.

- Carl Jung 1875-1961, Swiss Psychiatrist

* Laura was shocked to find that her 13-year-old daughter is cutting herself. These things really haunt parents and leave everyone guessing whose fault is it. Is it the negligence, is it the music, is it the bad company or bad institution? Laura had no idea that she was hurting.

* Dave writes on how the subject of Marriage is dividing Americans as never before.

* Sukanya, famous for her notes from France has come back to Delhi, India. Hope that she continues to post her notes from Delhi.

May 22, 2004


In one of my previous posts I was proud to write about a Bangladesh born British becoming the British high commissioner to Bangladesh. But what happened yesterday was beyond sane people's imagination. A Bomb was hurled at him leaving him and about 70 people injured and 2 people dead. He was visiting his birth place Sylhet and coming out of the 700 years old Hazrat Shahjalal's Shrine after the Friday prayer. Read this for details.

I am glad that he only suffered minor leg injuries but his body guard, the district councilor and many are in critical condition. What was his fault? Being a British and Britain's involvement in Iraq war is the sake of this horrendous act? Clearly the islami militant groups are behind this. A similar bomb was hurled at the same place five months ago, after a threat by the Jamaat-i-Islami leader to stop the Urosh activities in the Shahjalal's shrine.

What did the police do after the first blast, nothing. They are just turning blind to their coalition partner's threats and activities. Had proper action been taken, they would not have dared to do this. The government has failed to deal with the state of lawnessness prevailing in the country because of politicization of investigations.

This has really put the whole nation in a state of shame and disgrace. We owe the British people an apology that we could not protect their diplomat. The enemy is within us who are insane enough to kill their own countrymen or even their own brothers & sisters. Its time the people should awake and start the real fight against these quarters before they destroy us.

May 19, 2004


I have been forwarded this email message today for mass campaigning:

Two instances from our neighboring country and we Bangladeshis /our leaders have a lot to learn.

* Sonia Gandhi, heir to India's Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, has tearfully given up her chance to become prime minister to protect her new Congress government from damaging attacks over her Italian birth. "I must humbly decline this post," she told a chaotic party meeting in parliament's timber-paneled central hall, lined with life-sized portraits of former prime ministers, including her husband, Rajiv, and mother-in-law Indira Gandhi, who were both assassinated.

* Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee resigned Thursday following the stunning defeat of his Hindu nationalist-led coalition government. Mr. Vajpayee conceded defeat, Defense Minister George Fernandes told reporters after the Congress party and its allies had swept polls in the world's largest democracy. "We are on a mission. We have no regrets. We respect the mandate of the people," said Venkaiah Naidu, president of BJP.

Folks, it is us who are/will be selecting our country's leaders. We must think twice and try to motivate ourselves/our surroundings for a mutation. General attitude needs to be changed and if we do not start who will?

Please come forward and start a move.

May 18, 2004

Bangladeshi British appointed British High Commissioner to Bangladesh

Welcome Mr. Anwar Choudhury. We hope that he will be more appropriate and successful in maintaining relations with UK as he is accustomed to local cultures and people. Being a large provider of development assistance in Bangladesh (�100 million a year) UK can work together in building a peaceful and prosperous Bangladesh.

E-Vote for Bangladesh

Encouraged by the success of e-voting in Indian general election, Saifur Rahman, the finance minister of Bangladesh has rightly said that all political parties and civil society members should unite in favor of introducing electronic voting system in Bangladesh. It will ensure a smooth, sharp and reliable electoral system.

He points out to a burning truth:

"Our politicians maintain a culture that indulges raising indiscriminate allegations of rigging when defeated in the poll"

I hope that the government gets itself equipped with the e-vote system before the next election.

Source: The Daily Star

The heatwave in Bangladesh continues to disrupt normal life. At times the heat becomes really unbearable. The temperature hits around 40 degree Celsius in day time which is the maximum in last five years. Some occasional drizzles brought some respite but we need some prolonged showers.

Bangladesh's government has told farmers to install fans in poultry houses so their chickens can keep their cool during the heatwave.

Rifat has a hypothesis to tackle this heat. However severe the heat or cold is, he always thinks that there is still more odd weather coming. He claims that this has made him bear the temperature easier than others.

Well I don't know about that as I prefer not to stay outside longer in day time. But it becomes really unbearable when there is no breeze and aircondition and you are being baked inside four corners of a wall .

May 15, 2004


Dhaka's Graphic Arts Institute is renowned as a breeding ground for many eminent artists of Bangladesh. One of its students Nazia Andaleeb Preema has embraced the digital era hosting a virtual exhibition in her website (www.preema.net).

Her works include Oil Painting, Pastel painting, water color & digital painting.

I have been trying some of the new features of blogger and the post via email is great! You can't tell really distinguish them. However, I am finding one problem, I have to type in the full url http://www.rezwanul.blogspot.com instead of http://rezwanul. blogspot.com to see the updated posts after May 13th. I wonder why. Any body has any idea?

Update: The problem seems to be fixed.

Salute to Democracy


There has been a complete turnaround of public faith on Congress & its
allies in the recently concluded Indian Election 2004. The ruling BJP has
generously conceded defeat and prime minister Vajpayee has resigned.

The largest democracy on earth is massive in every scale. There were more
than 700,000 polling stations across the 2,973,190 sq km landmass and
ofcourse millions of voters among total population of 1,065,070,607 (2004
est.). It's amazing that India has managed the election well and with the
introduction of electronic voting system, the whole process become more
transparent, quick and trouble free.

It has become evident that the Indians opted for secularism. The ruling BJP
was confident to win with the facts that they have achieved the phenomenal
GDP growth (above 10%) in last quarter and ice of the relationship with
Pakistan has been breaking. But the people showed that they want the growth
not only in some private sectors and higher-middle class Indians but spread
across the whole population. Significant improvements in the aspects of
poverty, malnutrition, education are still needed among a large portion of

The fact is that BJP conceded defeat rather graciously and without hues &
cries and bloodshed, they have furthered the growth and democracy in India.
As Vajpayee has said:

" BJP has lost but India has won."

Certainly, Vajpayee should be remembered for his contributions in this
enormous transtion of power.
And we, in Bangladesh hope that our political leaders learn from this so
that we can show political maturity and expect this to be replicated in our

For more indepth analysis of the Indian Election, read Jivha.

May 13, 2004


After the 9/11 incident, activities of the homeland security left many South Asian immigrants (specially those are muslims) feeling that they are a second class American citizens. There are over 2 million South Asian in the United States, and all of them felt some impact from the post-9/11 backlash.

Tanzila Ahmed, a Bangladeshi American has established a non profit organization called 'South Asian American Voting Youth' (SAAVY) to raise a voice against these abuses. She graduated from the University of Southern California and has been an organizer in the youth environmental movement for four years. She is vice board chair for Project Democracy. In her voice:

I felt that if the South Asian community had been able to unite and represent their power in a political voice, we could have avoided the wrath of the Patriot Act. As a youth, a Muslim and a South Asian American, I was tired of being ignored and knew that things had to change by the 2004 elections.

There are two things that the people in power pay attention to: the power of money and the power of the vote. Since we don't have the money, we need to do everything possible to influence our power of the vote.

I want to live in a world where the South Asian community can call their representatives without fear of the FBI tracking them, and where politicians start addressing the issues important to South Asians.

If joining the SAAVY fight is something you'd be interested in, please check out www.saavy.org and email taz@saavy.org.

Source: WireTap

Bangladesh's main opposition Awami League finally returned to Parliament ending a 71-day boycott of the House after about a year.

The Parliament's main business was marked by the mourning of the assassinated Awami League MP Ahsan Ullah Master, that has shocked the country. The prime minister Begum Zia asserted that his killers will be brought to justice and be tried under the speedy trial act. She called for a wholehearted cooperation from the AL.

AL sources, however, said the party may not continue its presence in the sittings of Parliament. The fact is that if a member is not present in the house for 90 days at a stretch then his seat is automatically vacated by statute. So actually their presence was a step to keep their seats intact.

According to the World Bank South Asian chief, Praful Patel:

"In a robust society, the government, civil society and the opposition should be engaged. What we are finding here is that the opposition is not engaged in the democratic process in parliament.

If the country wants to end its dysfunctional politics it is the government who has to share the bigger burden in reaching out to the opposition."

I hope that they will contribute in the parliament to bring some justice to their eagerness to retain the seats. If they want to bring the govt. down and ask for fresh elections, why can't they do it from the parliament?

After the recent one-day win in Zimbabwe, Bangladesh cricket team is more confident than before. We are anxiously following Bangladesh's current tour in West Indies.

The fact that the team has won the warm up match against the West Indies Cricket Board XI, has inspired many that Bangladesh can clinch one or more victory among the one-dayers starting from 15th of May. It seems that spin bowling will be the main strength of Bangladesh team against the experienced but inconsistent Windies team. Their master batsman Lara (World record holder of highest runs in Test Cricket) is out of the first two one-dayers because of a finger injury. Would that be also a motivation for Bangladesh?

May 09, 2004


Whoa! Its 7 PM and I am still at office! I am hosting a party at my home tonight and I have lost track of time. Its a shame cause people would be waiting and my love would be going crazy trying to manage them. Well I guess they will excuse me as I am the birthday boy.

May 08, 2004


Shit really happens. I was really scared when I had discovered that half of the template of my blog was deleted as I was merely updating a post. I could not see any post including the archives. It took sometime to overcome the panic and fortunately I was saved by a recent backup of the current template. Thanks god nothing happened with my posts as I reinstated everything by republishing the entire site.

So if you are a new blogger user better save a copy of your template somewhere. You never know when you are going to be needing this. And if you have an Gmail account, it is better to mention that in the settings so that every post would be mailed to you. You can keep that as an archive of your posts.

This & this are barbaric acts.

What is really happening in Bangladesh? Who are behind all this? It seems the lethargy in the judicial system and political influence on trials are making the country a heaven for hooligans. You can get away with almost everything (specially when the acts are politically motivated). The fault of the slain opposition (AL) Member of Parliament was that he was an honest & very popular leader in his constituency. He achieved a landslide victory in the last election when his colleagues lost their seats in and around Dhaka. He was an everlasting threat to the present coalition govt. The govt. media (BTV) came into conclusion in a news broadcast at the night of his death that he was a victim of internal conflicts of his party when the investigation was yet to be started.

May 06, 2004


If you are a resident of Dhaka, then you definitely know what Banga Bazaar is. It is a wallet friendly apparels market which sells the factory rejects. The fact is that Bangladesh's main export earning (almost 60%) is from readymade garments export. The buyers are renowned labels like Levis, GAP, C&A, Wall Mart etc. They have stringent quality control requirements. So it usually happens that a portion of garments with smallest of defects, which you can never discover (Like stiching wrong size label, simplest deviation from design etc.) is rejected and they land at Banga Bazaar. So these garments are lucrative for everybody from rich to poor. Many of the buyers are foreigners who can buy branded garments at a very low cost from here. You can have many varieties and if you know how to look for them and bargain, then you can purchase goods at awesome prices. For some bargaining tips and more idea of this market read this.

Now according to this report, there are street markets flourishing in Calcutta streets in areas like the Chowringhee-Park Street stretch and Gariahat. According to the vendors, these apparels are either export rejects from Bangladesh or seconds bought from auctions at the Kidderpore dock.

The only difference is that you will get no second hand goods in Dhaka's Banga Bazaar. In Dhaka there are many well decorated fixed priced shops growing up in numbers (like Big Boss, Pre Tex etc) which sell factory second apparels. The price is a bit higher then Banga Bazaars but some are willing to spend that to avoid bargaining hassles. No wonder clothes are dirt cheap in Bangladesh if you compare it with other countries (except China).

Another year, another round of awards. This time it is hosted by MISOHONI Forums. The creator of Misohoni is Giles Dawe, a Web Site Design Freelancer who started Misohoni to promote his two favorite subjects - Art and Soccer.

I am already nominated in the best Bangladesh weblog category. This year there are many Bangladeshi bloggers who can be in the forefront and deserve more recognition than me. So I would request the interested ones to go check it out and contact Giles to get your sites nominated. Let the readers do the rest.

Meanwhile I am very busy with work and blogging will be intermittent for another week or so. Have fun.

May 03, 2004


* If you are pre-occupied with life and death then you aren't ready for heaven.

* If you're too busy to help those around you succeed, you're too busy.

- Source unknown

May 02, 2004

GMAIL and proliferation of blogs

The word is out that the blogspot users are getting invitation for GMAIL beta version (I have got one too). Its not open for all yet. Its features include:

* 1000 MB of free email space

* You can use google search to search through your mail

* You dont need to delete your mails, you just archieve it, and you can search for the mail you want through google search. 100MB is hell lota space.

* The only web based email client with keyboard shortcuts.

Now that news should induce more and more people to use blogspot & blog.

I have come across this blog recently which contains just a one line post:

hello sir plz give me free mail account i m ruhin from bangladesh

Well he has come straight to the point and I wonder whether he would really get the invitation from GMAIL.

May 01, 2004


Here is an updated list of Blogs maintained by persons of Bangladesh Origin:

* Close your eyes & try to see- Bangladesh
* I look I see -Bangladesh
* Bongo Vongo -UK
* Man Machine: Diary of an Android -Congo
* Feerozac -My Blog -UK
* Gene Expression (Group Blog including Razib) -USA
* Tarfia -USA
* Electric Blues -USA
* The Desh in Me -USA
* Glittergirl -Singapore
* Blu3crash v 8.0 -USA
* Ullah.net -Canada
* Ish's Random Thoughts -Australia
* Lungis.com - Modern Lungis for modern deshi man -USA
* Kabir's Blog -USA
* LiveJournal Bangladesh Community Blogs -Mostly USA
* My World -USA
* MoodLogic
* BD Gamer -Rajiv's Game Blog- Bangladesh
* The 3rd world view-Bangladesh
* Just a blog -Bangladesh

Blogs on Bangladesh by persons of Non Bangladesh Origin:

* Root: Adventure in Bangladesh
* Ronny reist rum -Auf Deutsch

Blogs by other Bengalis of Indian Origin:

* Niraj Agarwalla-USA
* The Kolkata Libertarian-USA
* Notes from France -By Sukanya
* Null Pointer -India

Kindly note that this list is not complete and I would like to receive inputs from others regarding correctness of the information. I would appreciate if you could inform me about more Bangladeshi Blogs.