As I stumbled my way up the cobbled stones, jostling through the crush of touts and tourists, I felt awed by their hypnotic gaze. I was spellbound by this confluence of architecture, engineering and artistic triumph. Climbing up onto what was perhaps once a stone window ledge, I reached for my sketchbook. As I tried to capture this wonder in ink, the din from the crowds below melted away, the scorching midday sun was forgotten, and – once again – I was in my own little world. It was a spiritual awakening.
My trip to Japan was as much a culinary awakening as a cultural rousing. Here are some budget-friendly suggestions for eating your way around the country.
I explore a range of locally produced gastronomic delights, perfect as gifts, and bound to put Bangladesh on the foodie traveller’s map.
The Urban Study Group comprises concerned architects and local volunteers on a crusade to protect the heritage and cultural fabric of Puran Dhaka, calling to preserve over 2,500 historic buildings.
Dublar Char (Dubla’s Island) is a remote fishing island perched on the very edge of the Sunderbans, at the mouth of the Ganges delta where several mighty rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal. The island, though difficult to reach, is a renowned fishing hub and famous for hosting the annual Rash Mela (Rash Festival), attracting thousands of Hindu pilgrims to its shores.
February in Bangladesh – the month that resonates with the blood-tinged crusade for the recognition of Bengali as a state language; the month that dedicates itself to the celebration of Bengali language and literature. With the Ekushey Boi Mela (book fair) in full swing to commemorate the language movement of 1952, it is a time to reflect on the literati whose poems and prose have opened a world of wonder to generations of Bengalis, rendering many of us lifelong fans, seeking out every opportunity to learn more about the literary greats. In reading my favourite Bengali writers, I’ve come across several destinations patronised by them. Some of them may be in rather unlikely places, but they are definitely worth visiting.
Watching the ancient sport in Japan, I came to realise that size does NOT matter.
Dragons exist, and not just on Westeros. Recounting my encounter with Komodo Dragons in Indonesia.
COVER STORY: A feature on Sandhani International Eye Bank and cornea donation in Bangladesh.
Excerpts from the cover story, ICE Today, October 2005. I interview Nobel Laureate Prof. Yunus, and Bangladesh’s leading author and scientist, Prof. Zafar Iqbal.