Friday, February 24, 2012

The Photo of the Week

Snowfall in Scarborough, Toronto

Photo (Toronto: Feb. 11, 2012) © Jerome D'Costa

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ekushey (21st) February

Central Shaheed Minar, Dhaka

 Artwork (Toronto: Feb. 26, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa

Ekushey February

By Jerome D'Costa

Ekushey February has a meaning
Only when Bangladeshis enjoy freedom,
Freedom from hunger, freedom of the speech
Freedom of the press including the other media.

Ekushey February has a meaning
Only when there’s justice in the country,
Justice in the nation’s law and administration,
Justice in education and business, justice in employment.

Ekushey February has a meaning
Only when there’s equality everywhere,
Equality of all irrespective of race, religion, gender, education and profession
Equality that will heighten the bond of brotherhood and cooperation.

Ekushey February has a meaning
Only when Bangladesh’s mother languages get their proper places,
Mother languages of Bangla (Bengali), mother languages of 40 other ethnic groups
Mother languages that bind individual groups with a solid glue.

If Ekushey February is observed annually without freedom, 
Without justice, equality, and proper places of country’s mother tongues,
It becomes empty, it becomes fake, it becomes a lie,
It becomes a mere yearly show for the show’s sake.

Ekushey February should be a conscience, a guiding light,
Ekushey February should be a measuring rod
For whatever we do in Bangladesh.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bangladeshi Teenage Couple Observes Valentine's Day Suicidally

It was February 14, the Valentine’s Day. This is the day to celebrate the love of a couple – married or unmarried. This year, the Valentine’s Day, however, became a Double-D Day (Double-Death Day) for two Bangladeshi teenagers deeply in love.

Soud Sheikh (17) and Mitu Mollah (16) were from two neighbouring villages in Gopalganj Distirct, Bangladesh. Their love, initially secret, grew in intensity and ultimately became public. Parents of the girl, Mitu, became furious and, two months ago, took her to a town 200 kilometres (120 miles) away and forced her into marriage with a man twice her age.

Soud Sheikh was a student in Dhaka city. He returned to his village on February 13 to meet his loved one who had returned to her parents’ house for a few days. On February 14, they climbed a cell-phone tower, tied their hands with a scarf, and made a jump together. Their severely injured bodies were found at the foot of the tower and they died on the way to the local clinic.

Soud had called his brother earlier saying that he and Mitu would commit suicide on the Valentine’s Day so that they might be together in future life.

The local police suspect that these two teenagers must have used their cell-phones to decide on their suicide pact, reports AFP.

Bangladesh, in general, has a conservative attitude towards free mixing and free love between a male and a female. Usually the parents or guardians decide on the arranged marriages. Every year, a remarkable number of lovers commit suicide when their love faces hard challenge and rejection from parents or guardians.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Poem of the Month (February, 2012): Homs, O Homs!

Homs, O Homs!

By Jerome D'Costa

You’re an ancient city of Syria,
Who gave birth, breast-fed and nurtured so many
Of your varied inhabitants
For hundreds of years.

You’re now being assaulted and raped
And your children being bombarded, killed and maimed
By the killing machine of President Bashar al-Assad
Who unabashedly denies his atrocities to the world.

Why so much pain and suffering?
Because your sons and daughters are seeking freedom and equality.
They want to breathe fresh and clean air
As they felt suffocated from injustice, repression and discrimination.

Persist in your efforts, make more sacrifices,
Face death but don’t give up!
Keep to your principles,
You’ll succeed at last.

A day will come
When all sufferings will end,
And peace will prevail
When resurrection will replace death and destruction.

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