Ladies and Gentlemen
Hamlet once said to Horatio (হোরাশিও),
“There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
By writing this, Shakespeare meant that one must believe what he or she sees. Even if they previously did not think so, the real evidence should change their mind.
So is Corona pandemic. Such is the bamboo Prof. Imtiaz Ahmed in his introduction wants to offer whosoever wished him Happy New Year 2020.
After the pandemic is on, we came to know so many predictions about it. Perhaps we would never have learnt them if there had been no pandemic.
There is a cruel irony of predictions. Whatever was anticipated by whomsoever regarding any imminent pandemic, I simply bet on that no one believed the world would come to a halt someday for a year or more. Still uncertain! We do not know as of today how it would end up or even end up at all.
Dear Guest of Honor Ms. Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator
Moderator Prof Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed Sir,
Distinguished Professors and Discussants
I really feel blessed today for inviting me to this online launching ceremony of the book titled “Covid-19: The Otherside of Living Through the Pandemic”.
I love reading books. Still, I frankly regret that I could not manage to read this book thoroughly due to some other official engagements. However, I gave a cursory glance at few articles to form of a slim insights from the contents.
I agree what Prof. Imtiaz has mentioned in the introduction: “There is no science to creativity, even pandemic can create conditions for imaginative outcomes. Or, one can stress it further and say that pandemics are fertile grounds for creativity.” Articles of this anthology is an example for such creativity. So is said by Syed Jamil Ahmed that the pandemic of earlier times, be it plague, Black Death or cholera, could not stop the creativity of the artist.
For example, despite the dismal picture outside the windows, Sreeradha kept her hope and envisioned a greener world. Niloy Ranjon Biswas has asked us to learn to live with rumour. Shahab Enam Khan has shown us a silver lining between the inbuilt natural and social resilience of the masses and the educated construction of identity. According to Shakil Ahmed, pandemics can be a cause for rethinking education with the objective of overhauling the educational system.
Last but not the least, like Dipannita I also believe what Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (গোগে ওয়া থাইয়োনো) said in his poem "Dawn of Darkness": “No night is so Dark that/ It will not end in Dawn”.
This is what I have extracted so far from some articles within my intellectual constraints. This is, no doubt, an injustice to some other articles remaining unread. Yet, the book, I believe, will continue dragging me into reading them as well.
I must claim the book is worth more careful reading. I wish this book a great success.
Thank you all for patience hearing.
জয় বাংলা! জয় বঙ্গবন্ধু!