Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dolls from Aarong

Originally uploaded by Ragib Hasan.
These are the Jamindar Ginni Dolls from Aarong. My wife Jaria likes to decorate our living room with a lot of handicrafts. So, when she came to the US about 2.5 years ago, she had a whole suitcase full of Bangladeshi handicrafts. These two dolls arrived at that time :)

The workmanship is great ... note the details in the clothing. Alas, I went looking for more of these dolls during my recent visit to Bangladesh, but wasn't able to find such good quality ones. Perhaps the next time, I'd go to the main branch of Aarong.

Note: These dolls are from Aarong, the handicrafts branch of BRAC. These are made by the village artisans, mostly women, from rural Bangladesh.

Tagore Festival 2006

Tagore Festival is an annual program held in the Tagore Center, Channing-Murray Foundation, Urbana. Actually, the nobel-laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore stayed here for quite some time in 1912 to visit his son Rathindranath, who was a student at University of Illinois.

Every year, Tagore Festival is held to commemorate the poet.

In 2006, the two main guests were the poet/novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay and the Dramatist/novelist Momtazuddin Ahmed.

Sunil was born in Faridpur, Bangladesh, but migrated to India following the 1947 partition. Ironically, Momtazuddin was born in Maldaha,West Bengal, but migrated to Bangladesh (then East Bengal) following the 1947 partition.

Jaria and I enjoyed the program a lot ... it included a cultural program with a lot of Tagore/Baul songs, and speeches by the two main guests. Momtazuddin Ahmed knew Jaria and her family since she was a baby, so he was quite pleased to see her again.

There was also a great Bengali-style feast after the cultural events.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Minus 12 Celcius in Urbana

Originally uploaded by Ragib Hasan.
This is how the outside looks from my window today. Can you guess the temperature? It's -12Celcius, during Daytime!!!

I'm never a big fan of winter, and this is why. Outside, its kind of sunny-but-cloudy, and it looks quite tempting. But the temperature is actually -12C, cold enough to freeze me in seconds!!

Don't get misled by the absence of snow. Actually, the temperature goes up when it snows!!

This is a far cry from the tropical winter in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I wish I'd be back there again ... :(

View of the Sky at 34000 feet

Originally uploaded by Ragib Hasan.
Ok, this isn't an awesome photo, but I liked the blueness of the sky. This was taken during my trip over the Atlantic ocean, through the window. Apparently, it was a very cloudy day, but we were going above the clould levels.