My journey continues on Twitter

Posted in Life on March 10, 2013 by Saquib

I apologize for the break I’m taking from writing. The MBA journey has been exceptionally profound and time consuming. I do occasionally keep the world in sync via Twitter (@saquibhussain), and recommend my readers to follow me.

I will be back.

MBA Building

Decipher what life is really meant to be

Posted in Life on June 16, 2012 by Saquib

The eccentric nature of life, as I’ve come to witness it, has often surprised me. Is it life, which is, essentially, this hard to predict? Or is it how we’ve come to discover for all the noise that distract us?

I’m anxious, disconcerted, shaken. What is this generation we live in and where’s people’s determination to discover something more than those sadistic ornamental externalities? In last ten years, there has been a huge drop of ingenuity, depth, and intellectual courage among the people of Bengal. It is not where I knew I grew up, but it’s everywhere around me. Too many questions and concerns frighten me – the generation we live in, has more or less, lost its way.

There is a lot of pseudo intellectualism — largely vacant personalities that have infected the social system. People’s desire to understand life, the reason for all of us to be here, has faded. So I ask you – if you had to leave the world tomorrow, what would you tell yourself? What have you given back? Would you be remembered for reasons greater than yourself? Would you know, why you were part of this world?

I always think there’s answer to most of our lives’ questions in Sufi Poems. Here’s one I would want to quote from Fariduddin Attar:

Strive to discover the mystery before life is taken from you.
If while living you fail to find yourself, to know yourself,
How will you be able to understand?
The secret of your existence when you die?

We may think Internet, books, and media give us such a vibrant picture of life. We will be wrong, utterly. In fact, such sources along with the pollution of social networks have distracted us from understanding the value of discovering life and believing in a reason greater than ourselves, to make that difference.

Most of us are living ignorant, no matter whatever perspectives we have. I’d urge people to travel, anywhere, and take something back from it. Live the lives you love reading about. Question everything and find answers beyond the usual. Be independent, take risks, work hard, and establish something that will connect to you even when you’re not around, connect to your people, connect to your roots. Forget evaluating your life from others’ perspectives. Question the reasons for your existence and how you can change something here. The magnitude of what you do is less important than the effort you make to do it. It’s clichéd, but it has, certainly, ceased to exist.

Media that mattered in 2011

Posted in Media on February 24, 2012 by Saquib

I’ll start with my mentions of Bangladeshi music. 2011 – I’ve heard quite a lot of music coming out in Dhaka. This year’s been about many musicians old and new. But I guess I’d give away the best album for a band who brought their second album to Dhaka after six years. Yes, Nemesis topped my list of best Bangladeshi Album / Artist for 2011 for many reasons. I guess they sort of grew up in the years that passed, transforming themselves into a very powerful band – the kind of musicians we (the rock lovers) want to see more here.

I loved everything about Nemesis’s new album Tritio Jatra. I made 4 of my friends even buy it. It’s real the strength they posses in their songs that touches you. Their first album didn’t have the proper recording, I had a tough time listening to it; this, however, has changed a lot of it. Sounds are clearer and you will love what you hear. The first thing I noticed was the use of words, where Nemesis truly shines. These are some of the best songs I’ve heard in a decade, and I mean it! My favorite tracks are of course  Kobe, Egiye Nao, and O-Boshobash. For an entire CD you get for 60 Taka (or less than 1 Dollar here), you can’t ignore the exceptional quality musicians give you in Bangladesh (even when they make so much lesser compared to artists elsewhere). But money you pay is just one way of measuring the album. The songs of this album really outshine every other rock album at Dhaka. Songs in Tritio Jatra are about memories, rage, fear, hatred, broken promises, taking a stand for what’s right, and breaking free of the evil that surround us. That’s probably the right ingredient for rock music, but the way you say it is just as much important here as what you talk about.  Interestingly, the album gets better the more you listen to it. At first play you may find my comments to be overrated, but that’s because you need to spend more time with their songs to fall in love with what they are about. Nemesis might have taken six years (and a bit of laziness) to produce this album, but the final work allows us to forgive them for making us wait.

The second notable mention must be Black’s new album released in 2011. This again is a sign of ‘quality’ that has started to emerge to a new level in Bangladeshi music. Their songs have grown beautiful and inspiring. The album has a good combination of varieties in music that surely gets noticed. It’s classy, catchy, and most importantly, fun. Right when you play the first track you’d put up a smile on your face listening to the kind of stuff you here – damn that’s some good music there! The thing Black had in common with Nemesis this year was their ability to invent new things while keeping the best of what they have originally. I guess in simple terms, you’d refer to it as ‘balance’.  While Nemesis has more depth to connect, Black has the ability to give you more instant fun. Certainly, this album will be listend by more girls than that of Nemesis.

My recommended tracks would be: Akjon, Haat Barao, Aajo, Attokandrik, and the remake of Amar Prithibi. You will be amazed to see how Black did their remake of Amar Prithibi song in this new album. It’s another sign of saying the balanced way to make your best songs better. In fact, I think this is one of the very few rare tracks where I’d actually consider the later version to be better than the original. Black has shown equal caliber with music throughout the tracks I mentioned. I might actually consider this to be the most memorable Black album since their very first release (honestly, I don’t even remember how many other albums they have had).

For music outside my homeland, I’d refer to Ben Harper’s album Give Till It’s Gone and Augustana’s 2011 albums as notable works you might have overlooked.

The year 2011 also had release schedule for many films. I’m sure you have read and heard of most of them. So I’ll take a moment to name a few you might not have considered important. I’ll begin with the film Another Earth. A good movie with excellent storytelling style that was probably very underrated. Other films include: Midnight in Paris, Water for Elephants, Something Borrowed, and Rango.

As far as TV shows are concerned, two shows I began watching in 2011 highly impressed me. The first is How to Make It in America. This is an incredibly creative and new taste in fine grade TV shows (thanks to HBO) – probably the best since Dexter. You must watch all the episodes in HD to get a real vibe of the show that producers threw at it. The next show I’d like to mention is Happy Endings. Another show you might not have followed but has lots of fun moments and good crew in. I don’t think any of these shows started in 2011, but they are quite new here and should be in your list of new things to watch.

Lastly, I would definitely ask you to start watching the news show The Stream on Al Jazeera. It’s the best combination of social networking, new thinking, dynamic viewpoint, and truly creative news making I’ve seen in a decade. While other news channels only fancy about creative and digital integration of news stories, Al Jazeera’s “The Stream” is the show that actually defined what this genre should be.

I guess that’s about all the notes I wanted to make on the must be exposed to media of 2011. If you’re stuck home and ran out of things to do, it’s never too late to spend time with music, films, or television shows.

Have a great weekend!

Quick Fix to Facebook Crashing on Mac OS X

Posted in Linux / Mac with tags , , , , , on February 14, 2012 by Saquib

I’ve been annoyed by my Mac’s continuous crashes with Facebook pages, ever so frequently. Try all 3 of these:

Tip#1: Chrome uses its own Flash, but somehow it was using 2 versions of Flash on my Mac OS X (SL). So the idea is to disable one of them (I kept the internal Chrome’d Flash version).

1. Go to your plugins page by entering ’chrome://plugins/’ in the URL bar.
2. Find your Flash Plugin(s). Mine was at the top of the list.
3. If it says ’Flash (2 files)’, Then you’re in luck! You just might be able to turn one off and make it work again!
4. Click the details link in the upper right corner. View the details of the flash listing.
5. Find your older / external version and click disable under the location section of the list and test out a page in flash and hit refresh. (*You may also try disabling the internal version if it doesn’t help.)

// The detailed discussion source is here. //

Tip#2: I’ve recently checked a few other things and found some additional culprits. First, check all your Safari extensions as well. Also see if Safari is constantly  using CPU/Memory to load preview images for your recently browsed and bookmarked sites. If you can’t do anything about it – uninstall Safari and check Facebook use in all other browsers. Also see if you have some third part bookmark sync working between Safari and Chrome – try removing those too! I am extremely busy at work and haven’t had the time to pinpoint you which one of these are the actual cause or why this  causes the crash – but, I’m certain now: it has something to do with Safari, bookmarks syncing, and fetching of preview images of sites.

Tip#3: This is the most accurate one. First check if you can manually disable extensions / add-ons  on your Safari and Chrome. If you can, disable all, and check one by one. I had a much worse issue. One of my Safari extensions were so bad, it made some files corrupt to the point that I would get a blank extensions tab – nothing in it! If this is the case, quit all browsers and delete the following:

  1. /Library/Application Support/SIMBL
  2. /Library/LaunchAgents/net.culater.SIMBL.Agent.plist
  3. /Library/ScriptingAdditions/SIMBL.osax
  4. ~/Library/Safari/Extensions/Extensions.plist
  5. /Library/Safari/Extensions/Extensions.plist

Then log out and log back in. You may need to reinstall plugins, such as Flash and Java again. But it removes all the junk you get from nasty extensions.

UPDATE: Tip#4: I have further narrowed down this issue to corruption in system files caused by fonts. As a person involved in freelancing design projects, I have to work with a huge database of fonts. I’m suspecting some issues with the fonts library can cause this. Make sure to use a font management software on your mac, clean all font caches, and even remove any unwanted fonts to test this. I had a few issues with some complex Bengali fonts that was causing the crash. I haven’t found a real fix, but a workaround to remove those fonts.

Optional Tip: If you suspect Silverlight plugin is creating any issue – use directions in this video to remove the plugin.

Obviously, do make sure you delete all cookies / cache / data saved by websites, after each process.

Bangladesh Turns 40

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by Saquib

Remembering the millions who scarified their lives for us, for this day, and for this nation. We remain proud and grateful for the freedom you brought us — we will, despite our tough times, continue to love and fight for this country. Here’s 160 million people celebrating this day in all its glory, from every corner of the world. Let’s talk about our pride, our history, and share the joys of victory — because this was the day when we proved there’s absolutely no possibility of bringing down an entire nation united for a cause by any military or force, regardless of how powerful they seem.

Yes, 16th December has many meanings in our calendar: some remember what sacrifices can bring, while some remember the glory of our Liberation War; some talk about the unity of people that shaped the birth of a nation, while some acknowledge the debt we owe to millions of martyrs. But it’s not just history of a country, it’s identity of who we are and what we stand for. It took 3 million lives and hardships of countless others to achieve the glory that we will remain forever proud of — because on this day, the world witnessed the roar of exceptional men and women of a nation, united for sovereignty, winning against unmatched supremacy. While today we turn only 40, we remain respectful of our past, proud of how far we have come, and resolute on continuing to stand together for our nation.

An artist for the chilly weekend – Hamza Jahangir

Posted in Life, Media with tags , on December 15, 2011 by Saquib

Alright dear readers, let me introduce you to an amazing and relatively new talent in our Bangladeshi music. Now located in US, Hamza Jahangir is an emerging folk / rock musician writing and singing wonderful songs dedicated to many of the most obvious surroundings we have. His album, Kothai Jabo, is set to release in Spring 2012. This generous dude has already shared a ‘taste’ of his talent on Soundcloud that I’m linking you to. Beautifully crafted tunes, smooth vibe, clean recording, and wonderful stories behind his songs are bound to set a mood for some great times whether you are travelling or staying home this weekend.

My favorite, of course, is the song called ‘Amar Shohor’ where Hamza talks about his is memories in Dhaka city. I don’t think our experiences of Dhaka would differ much, making this song a treat for all who miss our city both in good and bad times. Why don’t you try putting the track on your portable gear and listening to it while sitting at your rooftop?

There are two more great songs in Hamza’s trial play – Kothai Jabo and Amar Haar Kala, both showing amazing potential for his talent and capability to make unique music. While Kothai Jabo is a great treat, it’s to be noted how diligently Hamza worked on remaking Bengali folk singer Abbas Uddin Ahmed‘s song in Amar Haar Kala. I particularly note how our generation continues to respect and reinvent past talent.

Can’t wait for his full album release!

One of the greatest human beings I’ve known has left us forever

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by Saquib

Whether the countless times we played together since childhood, the wonderful taste in music you shared with me for years, or the ways you told me about reveries of possibilities – I admired your vision and am blessed to mold my perception of life from you. Always looking up to you as my elder brother, I planned to spend so much more time with you. You were a great philosopher, an amazing brother, and a wonderful human being – thank you for giving us a lifetime of moments that’ll never fade away.

In loving memory of the best cousin / brother I was gifted – Ashik Bhaiya (Ashiqur Rahman). He died in a road accident on 4th December 2011, around 1am at Chittagong. He was only 32, married 1.5 years, and working hard to settle his life. He will continue to be one of the biggest inspirations of my life.


Posted in Life with tags , , , on November 19, 2011 by Saquib

Memories – scattered recollections of events, feelings, and emotions that make us sad, smile, or cry. We’re left frozen through remembering a few, or warm, picturing others. It sometimes makes us feel empty, question what went wrong, or develop strong introspection.

Memories – help embrace the past. When we close our eyes and look into the simplest of times, when we were careless, free, and innocent. When everything seemed bigger and we feel what it felt to dream big and aspire to reach unreal limits.

Memories – colorless, but not just black and white. Amazing how the ordinary shades of gray talk so much about who we became and how we came where we are today. It’s more vivid than reality, addictive to remember, and unchangeable despite having so many perspectives.

Memories – places we visit when we are alone, broken, or wondering. Places that bend the laws of time and space, yet make more sense than what’s real. Where we see ourselves and others, where we like to walk, and where we find ourselves lost in known places. Where questions aren’t asked and answers are everywhere, where everything means what it’s supposed to mean, and where we find doors to hide ourselves from the dark realities.

Memories – limited yet timeless. Where we stay eternally, where we build what can never be broken, where  forever is possible, and spaces are not rented but earned through emotions. Where silence can speak more than words and thoughts run deeper than seas. Where the silliest of deeds have reasons to be remembered and time, despite all its claimed divinity, has no power to age us.

Udaan (The ‘Human’ Flight)

Posted in Life, Media on October 18, 2011 by Saquib

I know people find me speculative about Indian creative industry, but my lack of discussions on those content has nothing to do with my interests or impression. I’m very open towards any media and like to explore and learn without talking like a stereotype moron. So I do take the time to go over many of the wonderful music and films my neighboring country has made over the last decade and have always found uber thoughtfullness in many of those works. Needless to say, my admiration for works of A.R. Rahman and Javed Akhter is paramount. But I also check out many new works that other artists bring up.

Today I was thinking of a particular song, that might not have appealed to me as the best musical composition, but have delighted me with its sensational meaning. It’s from a very well reputed film ‘Udaan’, and this title song beautifully sums up the underlying message of the film. This message is for all of you – young or old. As a guy addicted towards finding ‘Key Take Away’ from anything he is exposed to, this movie has served a big purpose of mine. I have the meaning saved on a scratch paper and would take a peek on it anytime I’m looking forward to recharge myself or boost my confidence. This song, however, comes second compared to the overall vibe created by another track from the film, known as ‘Aazaadiyan’.

The language isn’t as easy to understand for a non-native like me, so I hope today’s post help those who wondered about the complete meaning! I guess this song gives hope to all of the young professionals and entrepreneurs struggling to make a difference. Thanks to Harshit Gupta for sharing the translation. The song is written by Amitabh Bhattacharya and the music is composed by Amit Trivedi.

Nadi mein talab hai, Kahin jo agar
Samandar kahan door hai

If a river has a wish (to flow) somewhere,
Sea is not far away

Damak ki garaz hai, sone mein agar
To jalna bhi manzoor hai

If gold has the wish to shine,
Then even getting burnt is acceptable.

Ik udaan kab talak yoon kaid rahegi
Roko na chhod do isse

Till when will a flight (of a human) be captured
Don’t stop it, let it go.

Ik udaan hi sapno ko zindagi degi
Sapno se jod do isse

A flight only will give life to dreams,
Connect it to (your) dreams..

Purani daleelon, rasmon ko sabhi, abhi se kahen alvida
Badalte dinon ke tareekon se, Seenchein hum naya gulistan

Let’s say goodbye to all old reasons and customs from now itself,
Let’s water the new garden with the styles of changing times.

An Artist for the Rainy Season

Posted in Media with tags on July 25, 2011 by Saquib

Every once in a while, I’ve come across artists who completely redefined a genere for me. 2011 will clearly be the year of Susheela Raman in that category. I had to dig up my collection to recommend this for my readers, this fabulous rainy season is just perfect for some soul searching music after all.

While it would be hard to categorize Susheela Ramans songs into any one category, if you’re into jazz, folk, or blues, expect to be intimidated by her amazingly awesome music. (Do note my use of both the words amazing and awesome to emphasize the fact.) The British-Tamil musician has a very strong capacity to blend the artistic rhythm and rhyme into the  beautifully crafted words – musical, smooth, and neat are just the few adjectives to define. I was listening to her on a quite rainy afternoon in Dhaka, struck by the truly warm musical sensation. Susheela Raman is deep, her voice melts in your ears and whispers like wine to your heart. The wonderful use of instruments and vocals leave you lost in the deep ocean of thoughts and rusty benches of memory lane. You can do little but picture the music in your head, the eccentric fusion of southern tunes and western vibe will have you discover nifty details that has been taken care of with such attention. Whether it’s a classic sang differently, a mixture of two worlds, or a remarkable musical masterpiece –  play her tracks on a rainy day and you’ll see how the sound of raindrops will gently sync with the melody of her voice.

Susheela Raman sings with unmatched strength – her words and deep voice allows you to look inside her soul, connect, imagine, and feel. If you have some good audio gear, her musical work will bring out the best out of your hi-fi system. Her voice, magical words, beautiful tunes, or unbelievable fusion – whatever maybe the source, if she is new to you, this will be the most original musical experience you can come across this year.