Elita Karim

Elita Karim

Glad to be alive!

Singer; Writer; Editor of Arts and Entertainment, The Daily Star; Loves books, visuals, sleep and eating bowls of apples, pears and oranges.

Tagore’s Gitabitan and the bookshelf of a Bengali household

It has been 81 years today since Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali polymath, poet, composer and the first Bengali Nobel Laureate, breathed his last. In these 81 years, much has changed in the world, including the modernisation of his compositions. Tagore’s songs—Rabindra Sangeet, as they are known—are still popular amongst Bengali music lovers.

My visit to the Grammys

When I was arriving in Phoenix, Arizona last year for my Humphrey Fellowship, I did not imagine that I would get to be a part of one of the most prestigious musical celebrations of the world – the Grammys.

Women in Translation Month: Why we need more of Selina Hossain

The women in Selina Hossain’s books are strong, because the author herself likes to be inspired by the reality around her.

Remembering the contemporary great: Humayun Ahmed

To me, he was a weaver of stories from lands and cultures, all within Bangladesh, that I would never have heard of otherwise. Growing up abroad amidst mixed cultures and languages, Humayun Ahmed kept Bangladesh within me and in thousands of others like me.

Bookstores, around the world

Needless to say, some of the best moments of my life have been spent inside bookstores.

‘Memoirs of Dacca University’: Turning the pages back to the ’40s

The first of July has always been a busy day. With remembrances, special anniversaries and the beginning of a new financial year, the day also reminds us of how fast time passes, as half of the year flies by at the blink of an eye. Yesterday, however, the day was extra significant, because Dhaka University turned a century old. The only known institution in Bangladesh turning 100 (to my knowledge), and that too an important one both academically and historically, led me to look for books and other published items from the past which would speak at length about the university.

In conversation with Kishwar Chowdhury

I applied for MasterChef Australia during lockdown last year. My son was on my back until I handed in my application, and the rest is history!

The book that I would like to read

Today I would like to talk about a book that I have been waiting to read for a very long time. After years of procrastination, luckily, I finally got hold of a copy and decided to write my thoughts about it—what I expect from it, why I would like to read it and of course, experiencing the sheer eagerness of waiting to turn the pages of a new book; a new adventure.

August 6, 2022
August 6, 2022

Tagore’s Gitabitan and the bookshelf of a Bengali household

It has been 81 years today since Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali polymath, poet, composer and the first Bengali Nobel Laureate, breathed his last. In these 81 years, much has changed in the world, including the modernisation of his compositions. Tagore’s songs—Rabindra Sangeet, as they are known—are still popular amongst Bengali music lovers.

April 9, 2022
April 9, 2022

My visit to the Grammys

When I was arriving in Phoenix, Arizona last year for my Humphrey Fellowship, I did not imagine that I would get to be a part of one of the most prestigious musical celebrations of the world – the Grammys.

August 13, 2021
August 13, 2021

Women in Translation Month: Why we need more of Selina Hossain

The women in Selina Hossain’s books are strong, because the author herself likes to be inspired by the reality around her.

July 19, 2021
July 19, 2021

Remembering the contemporary great: Humayun Ahmed

To me, he was a weaver of stories from lands and cultures, all within Bangladesh, that I would never have heard of otherwise. Growing up abroad amidst mixed cultures and languages, Humayun Ahmed kept Bangladesh within me and in thousands of others like me.

July 9, 2021
July 9, 2021

Bookstores, around the world

Needless to say, some of the best moments of my life have been spent inside bookstores.

July 2, 2021
July 2, 2021

‘Memoirs of Dacca University’: Turning the pages back to the ’40s

The first of July has always been a busy day. With remembrances, special anniversaries and the beginning of a new financial year, the day also reminds us of how fast time passes, as half of the year flies by at the blink of an eye. Yesterday, however, the day was extra significant, because Dhaka University turned a century old. The only known institution in Bangladesh turning 100 (to my knowledge), and that too an important one both academically and historically, led me to look for books and other published items from the past which would speak at length about the university.

June 26, 2021
June 26, 2021

In conversation with Kishwar Chowdhury

I applied for MasterChef Australia during lockdown last year. My son was on my back until I handed in my application, and the rest is history!

June 25, 2021
June 25, 2021

The book that I would like to read

Today I would like to talk about a book that I have been waiting to read for a very long time. After years of procrastination, luckily, I finally got hold of a copy and decided to write my thoughts about it—what I expect from it, why I would like to read it and of course, experiencing the sheer eagerness of waiting to turn the pages of a new book; a new adventure.

June 18, 2021
June 18, 2021

A tribute to my father and his bookshelf

Last week, we marked the 10th year of my father’s death, on June 15th. Every year since we lost him, I would make it a point to post little stories about him from my childhood, on social media. I call them #memorydoodles. This year, while posting pictures and posts about my father, memories of Abbu – his bookshelf and the many books strewn all over our home – rushed in and I found myself remembering all the moments we shared around books.

June 11, 2021
June 11, 2021

My learning from Anne Frank as she turns 92

Not all books fulfil the purpose of exploring metaphors or offering a thrilling ending for readers to remember for ages to come. Some books are simply there to create a bridge between generations of readers, running for even as long as 70 years and more. Some books, like Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, are written at a time when the world is in turmoil. She needed a space to express herself, to gather her thoughts and maybe, someday, pass these thoughts on to others, once the world went back to normal. Unfortunately, Anne along with her family were eventually captured and killed, except for her father Otto Frank, who ended up finding the book and publishing it. Little did she know that her Dutch expressions would be translated to English and many other languages, and touch...

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