Archive for September, 2008
Yes, the much-awaited newsletter is finally here. We’ve put a lot of efforts behind it, and we hope you like it.
Special thanks to Emil, Waqas and Ronny for their time, effort, humour, tokais and adroit!
Feel free to distribute. In fact, the more you do, the merrier we are.
The 1° Initiative website is also on its way.
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I am one of those arrogant,
The ones who don’t like sharing individuality,
Who enjoy criticism only from the finest
In her eyes, and in her perspective.
I am one of those egotists,
Who are protective of who they are,
And despise being defined
As anything short of flawless.
I am a pen who scratches thoughts,
Thoughts that only belong to me,
In my own darkness,
Or the glittering light beneath it.
Sadly, the pen is not alone,
There are minds who want to play with it,
Thoughts that want to be scratched
Forcefully, note carefully –
Not because I want it, but because they do.
They don’t harbour my singularity,
They don’t belong to my mentation,
They are plurals of a myriad body,
A continuous disillusionment,
An unanimous majority.
The pen will scratch,
Blot ink on a papered imagination,
For it lives, basks and breathes on it;
Yet, it will not submit to their demands,
For it is unique, in its own belief.
The writer grows wings on her own,
Feathers of fantasy, strings of reality,
Her reality, not theirs;
For she is the sole proprietor,
Of her phanstasms, and many things.
They urge it to transform,
Change its course according to their needs,
For they are failures in her view,
Afraid of confrontation, subconscious eschew;
The pen knows to scratch for her only.
This is probably one of the most trite takes on a female portraiture than an amateur can have. Yet, I have fallen helplessly in love with this shot. This may seem a bit biased for the ‘maker’ is praising the ‘make’, but I cannot resist it. Her eyes, that stealthy smile, the curves of her lips, the way she looks – they’re all so insatiably attractive that I could stare at it for long hours and yet feel unsatisfied. My POV on this may sound slightly ‘disturbing’, but it’s only a harmless, young heart with curious eyes who’s imprisoned by the beauty of simple things.
Yes, it’s got blown-out contrasts at points.
Yes, she’s got pimples on her face.
Yes, the shot could’ve been sharper.
Yes, the lights aren’t exactly perfect.
Yet, I am captivated. I feel too obstinate about this to change anything.
So, yesterday was one of those when I plugged in my new memory card into the Sony H5 (still belonging to my sister, but I get to use it occasionally) and decided to go on a photo hunting trip. I have certain “dream location” for photo stories, but the melting rain obstacled this bacchas’s grand plans. Nonetheless, the inquisitive, energetic child is difficult to stop, so on my way to Daily Star, I made a quick stop at Karwan Bazar. Being drawn towards portraits, I clearly took more shots of that kind; but a couple of pre-Iftar shots came along the way. I confess – Zabir did influence the whimsical me. And thankfully, he was right behind me with his camera, shooting away happily as drops of rain tried to restrain our euphoric mission. In a span of 30 minutes and an overdose of mud-and-water, this is what I captured.
Note: I never want to have Iftar at Karwan Bazar. If you’re viewing while you’re fasting, I don’t think you’d feel very comfortable when you sit with food the next time. You would, ofcourse, if the food is actually extremely mouth-watering. Under those conditions, thank God because you’re having the better meal.
Sabhanaz Rashid Diya
September 18, 2008
Karwan Bazar, Dhaka
Under the blinking lights of a monstrous city, they came to me. She looked 14, pushing a worn-down wheelchair carrying her brother, aged around 10. Tatterdemalion in a yellow frock, she stopped on the driveway and looked imploringly at me. The brother raised his eyes and mumbled, “Apa, duita taka bhikka den!” (translate: “Please give me two taka!”)
I make it a rule to discourage begging, especially when it comes to children. Almost reflexively, I asked him whether he goes to school. His expression dropped and he took a better look at my exterior. This was common reaction – street children don’t expect genuine questions from the more privileged social class. His sister, whose attention has now grown intense nodded her head. I could not conceal my joy! It’s been quite a while I met a tokai who attend regular school. I queried about their whereabouts. Suddenly, the brother stopped me midway and asked,
“What is your name?”
I felt electrocuted. His question was in English and my face broke into a joyful smile. Above me, the sunken Kozmo lights and glitters of shopping malls seemed sullen. The twinkle gleaming in his eyes shone like a million heaven-sent stars.
In a moment of truth as the one described in the aforementioned incident, you cannot help but feel optimistic. You’re suddenly swept off your feet under the epiphany of social progress, however minute it may seem to the superficial visionary. Over the past two years, I have come across uncountable children with humongous potential, and it’s difficult for me to believe with such great talents, Bangladesh is in void. Their dreams, aspirations and spirits are applaudable, and I have been remarkably fortunate to meet them. They have opened a third eye in me and they have made me believe the skies aren’t too far away. All one needs to do is dream big enough to touch the high blues.
‘Finding Tomorrow’ is a celebration of youth empowerment and young heroes. 1° Initiative (1di) proudly presents to its enthusiasts a publication that salutes those innumerable children who’ve shown us how to smile through the toughest battles of life. It doesn’t take a sweeping revolution to change society; it can start very small and virtually anywhere with a speck of laughter. It can begin at a dilapidated, tin-shed school at the corner of a reeking slum and end up a national award ceremony honouring young achievers.
A dream is all it takes to change the world.
Sabhanaz Rashid Diya
September 2008, Dhaka