Asrar Chowdhury

Asrar Chowdhury teaches economic theory and game theory in the classroom. Outside he listens to music and BBC Radio; follows Test Cricket; and plays the flute.

An intimate history of Bangladesh cricket

The information in the book was either in the public domain scattered everywhere, maturing in secret cellars or in somebody's heart never discussed in public. It needed a herculean teamwork of coordination and passion to present the game of cricket.

Bangladesh: A War Like No Other

It’s now the responsibility of the youth to dig through that history and feel proud.

Did you ever ask, why you fear maths?

Why do students fear maths? There's much more to maths than numeracy.

Autumn Festivals and Nobanno

Ancient societies were agrarian. From farmers at the bottom to zamindars and kings at the top, everybody depended on a good harvest. The word harvest derives from the Old English hærfest which means autumn. The autumn harvest was usually the largest harvest of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The weather was neither warm nor cold. Everybody prayed to the heavens for manna (sustenance) to fall. When manna did fall, there would be feast and festivity. When manna didn't fall, it could spell disaster for everybody.

Open Space: A final frontier?

I spent my formative years in Jahangirnagar and Cambridge University where I took space for granted.

Love Me Do: Sixty years ago, the Beatles began to play

Sixty years ago, John, Paul, George, and Ringo released their first single, Love Me Do, on October 5, 1962. It was a Parlophone 7-inch 45rpm with the seal 45-R 4949.

Religious Festivals and Holiday Blues

Sadly, not all religious festivals are accommodated with breathing space.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: A chance encounter, and the rest is history

The memoir provides a good primer to Nusrat's life as a musician and the legacy he left.

Checking exam scripts: One moral side of teaching

I can safely proclaim that one of the hazards of teaching is checking exam scripts.

Two Sides of Dorm Life

Arun and Barun came from two different parts of Bangladesh, and from two different social backgrounds.

‘Bulbuli’: Nazrul’s music for future listeners?

We were at the dinner table. My wife asked if I had seen Bulbuli, the Coke Studio Bangla song. Till then I hadn’t. The upload was only a few days old.

Remembering the heavenly harmonies of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Today marks the 25th death anniversary of the Qawwali legend.

Remembering the honest and natural voice of Amy Winehouse

Once you hear a voice like that, you know there’s a story behind all this.

SHOUT at 9!

SHOUT was born in 2013, with an established legacy behind it.

Ananta Jalil's "Din-The Day": A Bond movie for the family

Din-The Day goes one step ahead of James Bond. The family can enjoy the movie, too.

An ode to Paul McCartney, on his 80th birthday

Paul has written many great songs. Each one of them has a special story for each listener.

Claustrophobia, and the lack of open spaces in Dhaka

Ever since I started living in Dhaka, I feel suffocated.

Adapting students from diverse academic backgrounds

Helping first year students from diverse academic backgrounds adapt is a challenge for universities.

Have you become disenchanted with university?

Only you know what you are good at, and what you can be good at if you try.

Why do prices increase every Ramadan?

According to Macrotrends, the population of Dhaka is more than 22 million. The most common food that sells in Dhaka is eggs. Even if one in two people eats an egg every day, the daily demand for eggs is over 11 million.

The day the music died

Say what you will, Warnie was different.

How social media shaped my teaching experience

Online classes opened a window none of us knew was possible.

How I learned my mother language

It makes me feel happy I have roots embedded in Bengal.

How I kept my New Year’s resolution

It was, without a doubt, a challenging task.

Marriage, through the lens of an economist

The thought of getting married is now more complex than ever.

Another side of the story

Skill, grades and universities – which one matters the most?

One side of the story

Are skills more important, or grades?

The BBA Boom in Bangladesh

Rise of the BBA program in Bangladesh.

A Professor Writes About Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation and what you need to know about them.

Breaking the Myths of Investment

Look at this... article about investment.

Do I need to be more like them?

Childhood is fantasised in most cultures. In the West, Mum and Dad read Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Hans Christian Anderson. In Bangladesh, Mum and Dad read Dakshinaranjan Mitra’s Thakurmar Jhuli.

Nazrul, Rabindranath, and Their Admiration for Each Other

Today is the 45th death anniversary of the younger of the two icons.

Charlie Watts: To the Beat of the Rolling Stones

The quiet man of the Rolling Stones passed away August 24, 2021.

My first encounter With Cinema Paradiso

Rafael, my housemate at Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, asked me one day if I had watched Cinema Paradiso. When I said no, Rafael looked at me in silence for a moment. ‘Tomorrow’s the last day, they’re screening Cinema Paradiso at the Arts Theatre. Do watch. You’ll like it’.

Do You Know the Meaning of Friendship?

Muhammad Ali said, “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain”.

The Debut Album of Pink Floyd ft. The Beatles

How did the Beatles influence Pink Floyd's debut studio album?

50 Years of the Concert for Bangladesh: How It Came to Be

The backstory of the concert scripted in the heavens.

Re-reading ‘The Alchemist’: A book of omens

Before I knew it, I developed a personal relationship with the book. I was glued from beginning till end. I read slowly. Sometimes I read the same section twice. I could not focus on anything else till I finished. The experience was psychedelic: an expansion of the mind (imagination). In the end, the second omen worked. I was out of depression. Ricardo was right: “a good book (or film) can pull you out of depression”. 

The Dimensions of Infinity

To describe infinity, we need to redefine the way we count.

A Subtle Emptiness at Dhaka University

After my HSC, I stood at a crossroads. I reached a fork where only “two roads diverged”. And I had no option but to take one of the two roads and embrace the next phase in my life.

Bayes’ Theorem, With No Maths

As new sets of information appear, we adapt our perception.

Azam Khan: Ten Years On, Bhalobasho Manushere

Today, June 5, 2021 is his tenth death anniversary.

Echoes at 100

This is the 100th instalment of the fortnightly column on SHOUT.

Bob Dylan at 80: Forget about today until tomorrow

The legendary singer-songwriter made songs a part of literature.

The Origin of Eid-ul-Fitr Songs

How did "O Mon Romjaner Oi Rojar Sheshe" come to be?

In search of Satyajit’s roots

Maa showed little Manik, “This is where you’re from.”

An ode to cricket, taken with a pinch of salt

The Commonwealth of Cricket: A Lifelong Love Affair with the Most Subtle and Sophisticated Game Known to Humankind (HarperCollins India, 2020) is Ramachandra Guha’s latest book on cricket. It is his ode to a game his mother introduced him to at the age of four, and his father told him stories of.

The Dimensions of Fasting

Religions have provided time-tested moral codes of conduct.

April 8, 2021
April 8, 2021

Why Do We Choke Under Pressure?

The 2016 T20 World Cup Final. West Indies needed 19 runs off the last over. An unknown Carlos Brathwaite stormed his way into the history books with four consecutive sixes. West Indies won the T20 World Cup for the second time. Ben Stokes of England was bowling the last over. How could a dependable person like Stokes choke under pressure?

March 25, 2021
March 25, 2021

Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra

The legacy of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra is in its songs of freedom.

March 4, 2021
March 4, 2021

Nobody Taught Us Money Management

Yet, schools don't teach how to manage money.

February 4, 2021
February 4, 2021

The Illusion of Success

Success truly isn't what it is. Even Superman is very mortal.

January 21, 2021
January 21, 2021

An Encounter With the Alchemist

My encounter with Santiago, Fatima and the Alchemist changed my life like it did for many others.

December 31, 2020
December 31, 2020

New Year’s Celebrations

Trying to be happy is the prayer this Echoes makes for you in the coming year and beyond.

December 17, 2020
December 17, 2020

1971: A story again made fresh

The generation of 1971 instilled that pride for the generation of 2021 to lead Bangladesh forward in the 21st century.

December 3, 2020
December 3, 2020

Migration: All that glitters may not be gold

Today, young people are going abroad more than any time in our history. What's interesting is: what happens after they go abroad?

November 19, 2020
November 19, 2020

Auctions: Another Nobel Prize in Game Theory

This year Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Today we talk about auctions, but with no jargon.

November 5, 2020
November 5, 2020

Pahela Agrahayan and Nobanno

Emperor Akbar may have changed Pahela Agrahayan to Pahela Baishakh centuries ago, but people don't give up traditions easily