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.

Delving deep into ‘MaLoMa’ and its topsy turvy world

As I write this, “MaLoMa”, a musical tale of extraordinary lives led by everyday people, is trending number 1 on YouTube Bangladesh & 38 on global YouTube. This song, as a whole, is many stories woven together as one, belonging to people from all walks of life. The stories touch hearts and inspire music lovers to ponder upon life in general. As Arif Dewan and Shagor Dewan sing their hearts out about how mistaken they were about life being a bed of roses, the chaotic city around them comes to life.

6d ago

Weaving ‘Tati’ as a musical, visual treat

It has been a couple of weeks at least since the Bangla New Year celebrations, which we lovingly refer to as Noboborsho. However, Coke Studio Bangla’s “Tati” is still dominating playlists. ‘Taanti’, or in this case “Tati”, refers to the craftsperson or the creator of fabrics, who works with the material called taant – depicting motifs, colourful borders, and softness to touch. Especially in this heat, a taant saree or a fatua is always a welcome addition to an average Bangladeshi wardrobe, allowing one to breathe easy and at the same time, look trendy.

3w ago

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.

1y ago

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.

2y ago

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.

2y ago

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.

2y ago

Bookstores, around the world

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

2y ago

‘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.

2y ago
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...

June 4, 2021
June 4, 2021

Of books and nostalgia

There is something very interesting about how certain smells take you back in time, very much like a time machine would, if it ever existed.

June 4, 2021
June 4, 2021

The case for a national inventory of intangible cultural heritage

When Shadhona was granted accreditation by the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in December 2019, it was definitely a special moment for Bangladesh.

April 8, 2021
April 8, 2021

‘Anubhutir Abhidhan’: A peek into the world of Tahsan Khan

As a lover of books and music, it is no surprise that I would pick up Anubhutir Abhidhan (Addhayan Prokashoni, 2021), a book of musings, stories, and poems written by Tahsan Khan— singer, songwriter, actor, teacher, and also a mentor to many in Bangladesh.

April 2, 2021
April 2, 2021

Challenges for young journalists: Pointers by Rita Nahar

DRU is an excellent platform for young journalists, providing ample opportunities for seniors and juniors in this profession to work together to solve problems, and discuss various issues. Our special training programmes are designed to be youth-friendly. Our magazine, Reporter’s Voice, and women’s platform, Konthoshor, highlight experiences of young journalists.

November 28, 2020
November 28, 2020

In his words: The last conversation with Aly Zaker

I have written my life story from the time that I can remember till early 1971. It was published by Ittadi Prokashoni. The one I am writing is the second part where I talk about my philosophy of life; so much happened after independence—theatre, love, marriage, children.

October 13, 2020
October 13, 2020

Ananta Jalil’s dangerous tirade

One of the proverbs that I have grown to dislike, especially in the last many years is—ek haathe taali baaje na (you need two hands to clap), roughly translating to, a deed is done only if two or more people come together to do it. It is not possible for one sole person to accomplish something.

September 12, 2020
September 12, 2020

Gazi Nafis Ahmed’s take on visual arts

Gazi Nafis Ahmed is a visual artist working in Spain. His pictures portray visual stories, highlighting unseen or ignored realities.

July 23, 2020
July 23, 2020

Mangoes, lychees, and childhood memories in ‘Amar Chelebela’

For me, Amar Chelebela (1991) by Humayun Ahmed would not only be a summer read but also a comfort read, a holiday retreat, a walking tour of a Bangladesh unheard of today, and also a sneak-peak into the daily bustle of a family who redefined literature, science fiction, caricatures, humour and so much more.

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