Twilight Karma

Because truth is stranger than fiction

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An Exclusive New Novel from An Emerging Bengali Novelist

An Exclusive New Novel from An Emerging Bengali Novelist

Friends, it is with great pride that I present my debut novel, “Framed Butterflies,” which was published earlier in August on a whim on

It’s surprisingly doing very well, despite the fact that I did not even hear back from Amazon about it going live at the beginning.

Most shocking was when I found it in the top 50 list in the Historical Asian fiction section earlier today!

Amazon screen shot


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Filed under accomplishments Bangladesh Bard College College fiction framed butterflies India inspiration novel Original Art Raad Rahman

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The Girl Whose Passion for Sewing Saved Her Life

The Girl Sewing More than Just a Hobby: Portraits of Khulna

“After the hurricane hit our village and our house went under, my family and I moved to Banderban for two years.”

“Did you like being away from Khulna?”

“No, I miss it and all my friends. We didn’t have a school anymore because it had been washed away by the floods, and my parents thought that Banderban would be better. It’s also hillier, and we all agreed that we were better off there.”

“So why…

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Filed under Adolecents Bangladesh Dacope entrepreneurial thinking Human Rights inspiration Interviews Khulna Photography Sewing Shafiqul Alam Sunderbans Travel

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The Bangladeshi Teen Who Opened a Cosmetics Story to Boycott Child Marriage

The Bangladeshi Teen Who Opened a Cosmetics Story to Boycott Child Marriage

“I think the cyclone of 2009 was a blessing in disguise.”

“Why is that?”

“Well, if the cyclone hadn’t come, then our house wouldn’t be blown away, and I would have been forced to marry the neighbor’s son the following year, when I would have been only 10 years old.

“How did the hurricane save you?”

“Well, we didn’t really have very much to begin with, but because our house blew away, people from…

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Filed under Adolescents Aila Bangladeshi youth beautification Child Protection cosmetics Cosmetics stores Cyclones field research Human Rights Hurricanes inspiration Perseverence Sidr Style

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Discovering Theater as a Means of Combatting Physical Handicaps in Dacope

Discovering Theater as a Means of Combatting Physical Handicaps in Dacope


“When I was a child, my parents found out that one of the times I got sick with fever, it wasn’t just a normal fever. Before long, I couldn’t walk and my knees protruded out.”

“How did this affect you when you found out?”

“I realized that even though I would never be able to play cricket with the other children, at least there was nothing wrong with my reasoning or my voice.”

“So what did you…

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Filed under Bangladesh Child Protection children&039;s rights field research Human Rights interviews Inspiration Khulna Theater

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Swimming Lessons that Save Lives

Swimming Lessons that Save Lives

0077-Khulna-30 July-2013

Children learning about how to save a drowning friend in Bangladesh, where floods take up to 18,000 lives on a yearly basis during monsoon months.

“Did you know that over 18,000 children die in Bangladesh every year due to drowning? I have a theory that it’s because not many people know how to swim here.”

“How long have you been teaching children how to swim?”

“I started three years ago. I always…

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Filed under Bangladesh children&039;s rights Drowning Human Rights Interviews Khulna Rupsha Sunderbans Swimming SwimSafe UNICEF

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A Lesson on the Karmic Nature of Theft

A Lesson on the Karmic Nature of Theft


Khulna Railway Station Pigeon Diversion

“I was arrested and taken to the police station because I stole four pigeons. Some men came from the community and they counseled me about why I stole the pigeons. But they felt sorry for me and they let me go.”

“Why did you steal the pigeons?”

“I already had 12 birds. I love pigeons. One day I saw that some of the other boys also had four pigeons and I couldn’t resist. I stole them. But I…

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Filed under arrest of children Bangladesh childhood children&039;s rights community based counseling Diversion Education Human Rights Interviews Khulna Mental health Pigeons Prisons Stealing Theft Vet School

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A Plant Show of a Different Kind

A Plant Show of a Different Kind

Every ten years, there is a horticultural expo that comes to Venlo, in the Netherlands. In the summer of 2012, whilst I was staying with a friend and her family, her stepmother and stepsister surprised us with tickets to the show. 

The show provided a rare glimpse at the world of technology in producing green foods, as well as a great variety of flora and fauna assembled in an appealing and…

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Filed under Dutch happy faces Holland horticultural show Netherlands photographs. Shoes Venlo Walkability Walking

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The Bangladeshi Woman Who Has Stopped 23 Child Marriages Alone

The Bangladeshi Woman Who Has Stopped 23 Child Marriages Alone

“My husband helps me with my work.”

“What do you do?”

“I have been counseling young girls to say no to child marriage for years.”

“How many have you stopped?”

“23 so far.”

“And how has your husband helped?”

“He cuts up the vegetables and looks after our only grandchild while I make my rounds counseling pregnant ladies in the community about good nutritional standards, or during the hours that my…

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Pregnant at 14 in Bangladesh

Pregnant at 14 in Bangladesh

“How many months pregnant are you?”

“Five months along.”

“And how old are you?”

“I’m 18.” She glances at me nervously, wondering if I am one of the good guys or the bad. She hesitates, but then continues, “Actually, I’m about 14.”

“You don’t know your real age then?”

“Well, on paper it says I’m 18, because you have to be 18 to get married.”

“Are you excited about giving birth?”

“To be honest, I’m…

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Filed under Bangladesh Birth Registration Child Marriage children&039;s rights ethnnography field research Human Rights Interviews Khulna personal interviews Shatkhira UNICEF

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Red Nail Polish in the Sunderbans

Red Nail Polish in the Sunderbans

“What are those marks on her face?”

“I was putting on nail polish on my hands, and she seemed to like it, but she wouldn’t keep still so I put some on her face.

“What did your parents say when they saw it?”

“She wasn’t too happy about the fact that I finished her bottle of nail polish, but our sister Anika still seems to like it.”

Photo copyright UNICEF/Shafiqul Alam Kiron 2013

Photo copyright UNICEF/Shafiqul Alam Kiron 2013

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Filed under Bangladesh Child Marriage childhood children&039;s rights Human Rights Photography Portraits of Bangladesh Sunderbans UNICEF

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FICTION: Amina the Beautician

FICTION: Amina the Beautician

I am the place in which something has occurred. –Claude Levi-Strauss

On the morning of the eighth day after the nightmares started, Amina woke up sweating. By this point, she had spent a total of only twenty hours sleeping the previous seven nights.

As she rushed to wear her clothes, she left her bed unmade, an aquamarine and white mess. This was not usual for Amina, because she was a meticulous…

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Filed under Amina the Beautician Bangladesh Chittagong fiction Original Art Short Story writing

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76 Experiences You Can Only Have in Chittagong

Every once in a while, we are move to remember the city of our youth, and in that regard, my reverence for Chittagong, although put on trial by the inhumane urban planning mechanisms currently at play in the city, has remained constant. 

Many of you may have come across my 20 Ways to Survive Living in Dhaka While Loving Bangladesh, which has been reprinted by a variety of blogs and newspapers in…

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Filed under Bangladesh Chittagong expatriate life Food healthy living Tips Tourism Travel