• Dhaka Wed, 19 JUNE 2024,
Promising writer Sayef Turan publishes books
An Interview with Poet Arun Budhathoki / ''I don't write poems, it comes spontaneously to me''
Arun Budhathoki was born in September 19, 1986. He is a poet, fiction writer and journalist from Kathmandu, Nepal.  Budhathoki did his undergraduate studies in Nizam College, Hyderabad, India and pursued master's degree in the University of Northampton, England. He has written six books so far. Because of his nomadic nature, he likes travelling around. Edge, his first poetry book was published on 2011 and launched on January 24, 2012 Now he is working as editor-in-chief of Kathmandu Tribune. His works have appeared in India Today, The Huffington Post (India), Daily O, The Citizen (India), Republica, The Kathmandu Post, and Asia Pacific Daily. Siam Sarower Jamil talks to him about his poetry and dreams for Rtv.   What does poetry mean to you?   When I wrote my first lines I never thought it would be a lifetime journey. Poetry, for me, was a spontaneous outburst of explosive feelings—that, I couldn’t translate into violence or any form of humane expression—so I had to carve it on language. In the simplest words, poetry is a lifeline for me. One thing that has helped me to continue living is poetry. While for many it means nothing, poetry holds a special meaning in my heart. It is my voice; I’m incomplete without it.     Do you have a philosophy for how and why you write?   As I explained earlier that poetry is a powerful tool for me to express, I continued to write because I understood how much I could express without uttering words. There are times when I’ve found non-responsive to people. It is the intricate behavior I’ve developed—to ponder, observe, and contemplate. These processes have become the key ingredients for me to write. I write because not I want to but I must in order to survive in this mad world. I mean what really can keep writers sane? That’s a question I’d leave to you.   What do you hope readers will take away from your work?   I want them to interpret and go where I’ve been to. Poetry is not fictional. It can be imaginary but poems can never become fictitious. That’s why it is so powerful. That it speaks to us directly. And I’ve tried to do that with my readers. On the other hand, my stories take the readers to places where they have never been to. One particularly short story called ‘Fighting the Cold’ has earned me readers from the South East Asian countries and the readers often connect with me to explain what the story means. The fact here, however, is that a writer writes to not explain. A writer may discuss the writings but to write and explain is a bit unconventional. And this is what I believe: if you are my reader then you are free to interpret.   When did you start writing and what do you think attracted you to poetry?   I started writing when I was studying in Grade 10 so I would have been around 16 years old then. While sitting at the end of the classroom, I saw shafts of rays passing through the narrow ventilation. That moment changed my perspective—I quickly picked up my pen—and wrote my first poem. I haven’t stopped writing since then. So it’s already been more than a decade. And the same sort of moment captures me again and again. I have even written about sitting in a visa section in London. And at times I’ve written about beer bottles. My detailed observation and extreme sensitivity to stuff around me have pushed me towards writing poetry. A lot of readers have asked me how I write poems. My answer has been simple: it comes automatically to me. It’s spontaneous like a raging river from the Himalayas.   Have you done anything to promote your publications?   Initially, I made use of social media tools like Facebook page (where I am verified) and now there’s a Wikipedia page too so I don’t have to do much online at the moment. Other than that I have spoken at the Sharjah International Book Fair where I was invited there. I did a bit of promoting there. These days people can easily find me if they want to connect with me so I don’t think there’s much to do now to promote my works other than just sit down and write.   How do you respond to writer’s block or not knowing what to write?   I do not believe in writer’s block and it has never been an issue to me. What I’ve realized is that if I become lazy and not sit down to write, that’s when things get complicated. I have always believed in Haruki Murakami’s philosophy. Writing is like running because you need stamina, focus, perseverance, and will. The same thing applies to the art of writing. If you don’t toil you cannot write. Even if you have a talent for writing but you work hard then you will never become a good writer. Let’s not forget that there are writers who got famous after their thirties. It’s never too late to start, they say, but without discipline and will, you will fall into the belief that you got writer’s block. And that’s dangerous for any aspiring writer.   What motivated you to go on to focus on a career in writing?   I’m still not a full-time writer but I plan to do so. These days I’m also focusing on writing for several platforms and it has worked for me. I never thought to focus on writing career but it turned out to be so. I still have a long way to go but this is one of the strengths I have and I shouldn’t let it rot. I always remember what my social studies teacher told me once: you’re a talented person and don’t let it go waste. That really motivated me to write and another time an English teacher declared me a future poet during my High School. Even though I hadn’t realized my potential, my teachers saw something in me, and that too inspired me to write. To be honest, in the beginning, I was jealous of American poet Sylvia Plath and tried to imitate her. I wanted to win her. But now I’ve understood that every writer has their own voice and thanks to Plath I’ve found mine too.   What’s the best experience you’ve gained through your writing?    I’ve understood the world and gained an in-depth understanding of my own soul. I wouldn’t say it’s nirvana or awakening but to be able to achieve that through writing—it’s the best experience I ever had.   Where do you see yourself going next?   I’d say there will be more short stories collection, novel, and poetry. And I’m definitely going to do quality journalism here and there. I’m also thinking to do a doctorate degree so let’s see how it goes. I want to travel extensively and make a poetry collection that bridges race, people, and nations. I strongly feel a poet and writer has that responsibility to make the world a better place.   If you could pass along only one piece of advice for other poets, what would it be?   No one can teach you poetry but you can definitely learn its structure and emotion from others. You should always read and be open to criticism and experiment. I’ve written hundreds of poems over more than fourteen years and still I am not sure how I write it. If you too find in that illusion then you’re good to be a wise poet. And you should write poems not because you like to write it but you feel a strong desire to express your emotions. Poetry can never be robotic. AH
JCI Bangladesh to change society with youth
'Farooki’s health condition has improved'
Kalyani Kazi no more
Bangladesh reports 11,596 fresh cases, 33 deaths from Covid-19
PM urges Maldives to be partner in Bangladesh’s development journey
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (Thursday) called upon the government and private sector of Maldives to be partner in Bangladesh’s development journey for mutual benefits, as she addressed the Maldivian national parliament in Male.   “I hope that our warm and friendly relations will further be consolidated. Bangladesh is thriving with possibilities and potentials. I call upon both the government and private sector of the Maldives to be our partner in the development journey in the next fifty years for mutual benefit,” she said.  Mentioning that no country in the world can prosper in isolation, the premier said the Covid-19 pandemic has taught all that they are interdependent and have to share their experiences for the sake of a better, secured, and prosperous world.  “We reiterate our principled position of collaboration with our fraternal neighbors in South Asia, as had been enunciated by our Father of the Nation,” she said.  On the Bangladeshi Prime Minister’s arrival at the People’s Majlis, she was received by Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and the Deputy Speaker.   The Maldivian Parliament Speaker in his speech highly praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her role in leading the developing nations particularly to fight the climate change impact on the global stage.  He referred to a BBC report that described Sheikh Hasina as one of the five deal makers to pursue the climate change issues at the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The Speaker presented the Prime Minister a boat painting. The Prime Minister later signed the visitors' book and held a meeting with the Speaker of the Maldives parliament.  Addressing the parliament, Sheikh Hasina said, “We are particularly encouraged to witness your development journey, your successful transition from LDC to a middle-income country, and we hope Bangladesh and Maldives would tap the complementarities.”  “I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to address the distinguished members of the Majlis, at this home of politics and policies, which is the heart of democracy of this beautiful country,” she told the Maldives parliament.  “As a person who has been involved in politics all her life, I am delighted to be here at the Parliament of a fraternal country with whom we share historical linkages, multiple commonalities, similar challenges, and a shared vision of prosperity,” she added.  The Bangladesh premier said that 2021 was a landmark year for Bangladesh-Maldives bilateral relations with the exchange of high-level visits, fruitful bilateral discussions among relevant authorities, and goodwill exchange of collaboration on many areas of bilateral interests. “We firmly believe we would further consolidate our bilateral relations through further expansion of trade, investment, connectivity, tourism, and people-to-people contacts,” she added.   The Prime Minister said she hopes that the next fifty years’ journey of the two countries will be even more fruitful and bring meaningful changes to the lives of the people.  “I wish prosperity and happiness for the people of the Maldives and its pioneering leaders,” she said.  Taking this opportunity, she said, “I want to pay homage to our Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who selflessly devoted his whole life for the cause of democracy and establishing a society free from hunger-poverty, deprivation and injustice.” The Prime Minister thanked President Solih for attending the opening celebrations of the Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence in March last.  “Our path to independence and emancipation has not been an easy one. Our Father of the Nation struggled all his life to bring happiness to the people of Bengal. He spent about 13 years out of 24 years from 1947 to 1971 in jail with occasional intervals,” she added.  The Father of the Nation took responsibility for his people after returning home on 10 January 1972 and started reconstructing and rebuilding the war-ravaged country and rolled on the wheels of its economy and transformed a newborn country from rubles into a Least Developed Country (LDC) status within only three and a half years, she said.  Unfortunately, Father of the Nation was brutally assassinated on August 15 in 1975 along with 18 family members, she told the Maldivian parliament.  “My younger sister and I escaped since we were out of the country. I spent six years in exile and, since my return to Bangladesh, suffered imprisonment, multiple assassination attempts, and much hardship,” she said, adding, “However, it is my greatest satisfaction that today Bangladesh has won acclaim for establishing democracy and pluralism.” Following the independence, Bangabandhu laid down the foundation of the path to the socio-economic freedom of the country, she said.  “Following his footsteps and inspired by this economic and political philosophy, I am happy to share that Bangladesh has achieved remarkable progress in the last decade. The average GDP growth registered in the previous few years has been more than 7 percent while in 2019-20, just before the pandemic, our GDP growth rate was 8.2 percent,” she added.  During the last decade, Bangladesh has also made remarkable progress in socio-economic indicators, including women empowerment, maternal and child health, life expectancy, population growth rate, sanitation, drinking water, primary education, and literacy, she continued.  The Prime Minister said, “In continuation of our development journey, we have to transform Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021, meet all the SDG targets by 2031, turn into a knowledge-based developed country by 2041, and a prosperous and resilient Delta by 2100.”  The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution on graduation of Bangladesh from the LDC category on 24 November 2021, she said, adding that Bangladesh is now a US$ 411 billion economy and is ranked among the 34 largest economies of the world.   Mentioning that, development brings its own challenges, she said, “To cope with the situation that we will face after the withdrawal of the benefits we used to enjoy as an LDC, our focus will be on diversifying the economy and exploring new markets.”  "We are also striving to transform into a technology-driven society and innovation-led growth with a vision of Digital Bangladesh," she added.  Source: BSS AH
Mustafiz named in ICC ODI team of the year
Bangladesh’s cutter master Mustafizur Rahman has been named in ICC’s ODI team of the year 2018. India captain Virat Kohli has been named to lead ICC's ODI Team of the Year, which features four players each from India and England. Kohli was named captain as he led India to nine wins from the 14 games he played. Overall, India won 14 games and lost just four, while being involved in a couple of tied matches. England too enjoyed a similarly stellar record in 2018, winning 17 times out of 24 matches, winning every series barring a one-off ODI against Scotland. The Bangladesh fast bowler enjoyed good form in 2018, picking up 29 wickets at an average of 21.72. In the Asia Cup 2018, he picked up 10 wickets at 18.50 to finish as the joint highest wicket-taker with Rashid Khan and Kuldeep Yadav, who also feature in this team. His ability to swing the ball coupled with his bag of wily slower ones makes him a fine ODI bowler. Test Team of the Year (in batting order): Tom Latham (New Zealand), Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Virat Kohli (India) (capt), Henry Nicholls (New Zealand), Rishabh Pant (India) (wk), Jason Holder (Windies), Kagiso Rabada (South Africa), Nathan Lyon (Australia), Jasprit Bumrah (India), Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan) ODI team of the year (in batting order): Rohit Sharma (India), Jonny Bairstow (England), Virat Kohli (India) (capt), Joe Root (England), Ross Taylor (New Zealand), Jos Buttler (England) (wk), Ben Stokes (England), Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Kuldeep Yadav (India), Jasprit Bumrah (India) MHK
Flood water above danger mark in 10 points
Water of different rivers is remaining above the danger mark in 10 points in the country. It was above danger mark in 8 points on Thursday. But on Friday the flow of water increased in two points and at present it is remaining above the danger mark in 10 points. Executive Engineer of Flood Forecasting and Warning Center Md. Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan told Rtv online, river water of the Jamuna is going to create flood in the mid region. Flood water will enter in the adjacent areas in the next 24 to 48 hours. But the flood situation improved in Sylhet. The flood water will decrease in the next couple of days if rain does not occur. In the report of raining and river situation by the Water Development Board till 9 am on Friday it was seen that of 94 stations water level increased in 54, decreased in 39 and unchanged in 1 station. River water which is flowing above the danger mark in 10 points are- The Surma river at Kanaighat section 78 centimeters, at Sylhet section 35 centimeters, at Sunamganj 66 centimeters, the Kushiara river at Sunamganj 1 centimeter, at Amalshid 14 centimeters, at Shewla 14 centimeters, at Sherpur-Sylhet 14 centimeters. Besides the old Surma at Dirai section 63 centimeters, the Someshwari at Kalmakanda section 22 centimeters and the Dharala at Kurigram section 31 centimeters. Meanwhile, Flood Information Center of the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry said, river water of the Brahmaputra-Jamuna and the Ganges-Padma is increasing. On the other hand, river water of Southern and Eastern catchment areas is decreasing. Besides water of the Brahmaputra-Jamuna may increase in the next 72 hours, and the Ganges-Padma may increase in the next 48 hours. AH