Rohingya Refugees Falling Prey to Sex Trafficking

The Human Lens

Recently the report by Thomson Reuters Foundation cited the many evidences of the thriving sex trade in Bangladesh that currently hosts large number of Rohingya Muslim refugees that escaped from Myanmar following the barbaric military crackdown in August 2017.

Almost eight months passed but the Rohingya conflict has escalated into more chaos, whereas Myanmar’s de facto Leader Aung San Suu Kyi continues doing virtually nothing to stop the crimes committed by the military against the Rohingya.

This report shows that in  Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar district, the biggest Rohingya camp in Bangladesh with 547,616 refugees, the clandestine sex trafficking goes unchecked. The disturbing trend of refugees falling into the sex industry is nothing new, and in staunchly conservative Muslim nation of Bangladesh, everything goes on.

Everyone knows how Rohingya women and children are used as a fodder to feed the sex industry demand but hardly anyone cares.The…

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If I were to die tomorrow…

via Daily Prompt: Glimmer

If not to shine, I wish to Glimmer
If I were to die tomorrow
That's the favour I would borrow

If not a famed legacy
Then write in destiny
to my name, a word of truth

If death is to dawn
Before I make eternal bonds
Let me erase hearts off of my misdeeds

If for me is the grave's warmth forever
And of my mother's no more
Let me be the reason behind her brightest smile

If tomorrow I were to die
Then one last time
Let me embrace all that is to know
Like I have never before
Let me prostrate to my God
Like I have never before

SnapShots: Race cars, Caffè and Cards

<a href="http://Luminescent” target=”_blank”>Daily promptvia Daily Prompt: Luminescent

June 1955, Italy

Michaelangelo Calavanti rolled his eyes at the slow-paced dusk. It seemed to him that the fervor of the race had bitten dusk and made it an eager audience as well. Just as the townspeople of Castello Calavanti. The cook, his eyes glued to the telly, garnished his pasta with spinach, not basil. A man juggled a mint lemonade, the flag of his favorite racer and two babies in his hands. Even the old women had come out with their knitting kits.

Michaelangelo sat in the regular cafe at the regular table, outside; gambling away his earnings of the day, as he does regularly, with his buoni amici. The only irregularity was the hot day and the growing crowd. Oh and the yearly open-road race seemed like a maddening irregularity too, whose track ran by the Caffè this time.

He brushed away sweat from his brow as Gus began to deal everyone a new hand. Some breeze began to pick up just as Michaelangelo looked up from his cards – an ace of heart and a six of diamond – to find young Paulo approaching. Michaelangelo wished Paulo managed to get a pack of cigarettes today.

“Zio Mi…ke!” came the small voice. Michaelangelo waved briskly at Paulo to run faster. Paulo smiled.

“Cigarettes?” said Michaelangelo to the panting Paulo, now beside him, palms on his knees. Luca dealt a queen of hearts, 8 of spades  and a jack of hearts.

“Here,” replied Paulo through his ragged breath, standing up and tapping on his breast pocket. Michaelangelo was glad but not very because Piero, Niccolo and Luca had raised bets.

“Hmm… good…what can I tell you…” thought Michaelangelo out loud while contemplating between a fold and a raise. Meanwhile, Paulo dragged a stool from the next table and sat beside Michaelangelo.

“About adventures in America like the teenage boy who traveled with 8 dollars and repaired toasters or..umm.. about the bad cook who sells Mac & Cheese in his “İtalian” restaurant in Brooklyn..or..or…the…” chirped Paulo. Niccolo and Piero shared a knowing glance.

“Alriiiiightt!” Michaelangelo sighed and called. “So, when Hitler came to town. Everyone wanted to leave or were leaving. Marco, a teenage boy with big eyes, was kindling a desire. He wanted to go someplace safe, away  from Mussolini and everything that he brought to İtaly…” Luca, Piero looked at Michaelangelo wide-eyed and called. Niccolo smiled a small smile as he too called. Luca dealt a ten of hearts.

“…but his elder brother didn’t want to leave his house that smelled of his mom’s jasmine flowers. Marco, knew what it meant to leave but in that corner you see Paulo, beside the chicken coop, he told me…”

The cook came out and shouted that the racers are arriving and a rippling roar erupted. Piero raised and the others called. Paulo began to say something when the first driver zoomed by, and the roar before it could die, revived again. Luca dealt a king of hearts.

The rest of the drivers zoomed past the Caffé in seconds leaving behind a wild gust of wind. İt began to falter as did the excitement in crowd and everyone began to go back to cooking, knitting or juggling.

Paulo took in a breath to say something but just then a race car crashed into the chicken coop. The driver, cursing in his Italian-Brooklyn accent, came out the smashed car. Michaelangelo ruffled his pretend-nephew’s hair and both smiled and thought if the story would find an end. All of them, setting their cards carefully on the table, along with the cook went to help the driver. Only if Michaelangelo knew it was his real nephew he was going to invite later to join them for a smoke… Luigi Calavanti

Inspıred by: A short movıe by Prada – Catello Calavantı

Lınk — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b87B7zyucgI<a href="http://Luminescent” target=”_blank”>Daily<a href="http://Luminescent” target=”_blank”>Daily

Liebster Award 2018

Hello people!!

3and3quarters-net_

I am nominated for the Liebster Award!!! As much as I am happy and glad about it, the questions I wish I didn’t have to answer. I think I already talk a lot about myself here. But we have go ahead with it I guess.

Oh I almost forget! I was nominated by a writer who constantly amazes me with his effective and enchanting style, Imran Saeed. Do check out his fiction. Link — https://mylitcorner.wordpress.com

  1. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

— Writing, ofcourse, the first and foremost reason to enjoy blogging. Plus, I guess I like because it gives me a space of my own and open up certain possibilities as well. And also because I can talk to talented writers or like-minded people without having to look them in the eyes.

  1. If you had a chance to bring back one the greatest names of literature that are deceased so they could groom you, who would it be and why?

Shakespeare, H.P Lovecraft maybe. For Shakespeare could teach me deeply about creating symmetries between words, phrases, plots, characters, circumstances and point out holes in my webs.

3.Have you ever lost track of time while reading a piece of literature or book? Tell us its title if the answer is yes.

Series of Unfortunate Events

The Winner’s Curse

Hamlet

Papermoon

The Hobbit

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I could go on you know…

  1. If you had the skills of Cobb from the movie Inception and enough resources to incept everyone in the world, what ideas would you plant in their minds?

Form opinions and say them outloud only when you read history, observe the world around you, know elementary science/nature, understand morality and ethics, have kindness in your heart and are not seeking opportunities to feel superior.

  1. If you could adopt the life of any character you’ve ever read about in a book who would it be?

Klaus Boudelaire.

 

The updated 2018 rules for the Liebster Award are as follows:

  • Link to the official Liebster Award in your Liebster Award blog post. (https://theglobalaussie.com/liebster-award-2018/)
  • Answer the questions given to you.
  • Create more questions for your nominees to answer (I’m looking for unique and creative ones)
  • Comment on the official Liebster Award post with a link DIRECTLY to your Liebster award.

 

My questions are–

  1. If life is a train, what are you?
  2. If you could burn a book to soot, which one would it be and why?

  3. What do you hope to achieve as a blogger?

  4. Where do you think the Indian literary scene is headed?

  5. What are your weaknesses as a writer?

  6. What do you think of me and my writing?

And my nominees are–

  1. https://ninjasauceblog.wordpress.com
  • https://theventuresoftheveiledbaboon.wordpress.com

  • 3. https://erraticwhispers.wordpress.com

    4. https://ficklefables.wordpress.com

    5. https://booksandstuff.blog

    6. https://theguiltyangel.wordpress.com

    Book Review: The Winner’s Curse

    images

    It’s been exactly a year since my previous book review. A fine coincidence. So, I thought I would resume reviewing books with the book that prompted me to begin in the first place.

    PRELUDE:

    The Winner’s Curse is the first book of a fantasy, young-adult trilogy written by an American professor of literature Marie Rutkoski. It came out in 2014. I don’t think the trilogy is available in Indian bookstores. You would have to order online and the book would cost almost Rs. 700. I had read the free ebook initially; may be it is still available, I wish I had a link to share.

    I can’t understand the steep pricing but when I bought the trilogy 2 years ago, the price was close to Rs. 1000. When I had read the books, I was disappointed that not many people knew about it and people have to read this gem of book. IT’S GORGEOUS, do read. Please. From all the young-adult novels I have ever read, this is my absolute favourite…nothing has topped it so far.

    CONTENT & CHARACTERS:

    The premise is a Medieval world of lamps, carriages, cannons, slaves, ballrooms and empires. Valoria, an ambitious, warring, uncultured state had conquered, in a bloody war, its peace-loving, unprepared neighbours, Herran, and claimed the culture, commodities, art, science and fruits of the territory, 10 years ago. However, a quiet resignation has been shaping into a war cry and the Valorians are just as unprepared as the Herrani were.

    Kestrel, the daughter of General Trajan, is not the kind of warrior she is made out to be. She is not the Valorian conqueror she is expected to be. She plays the frowned upon Herrani music. She loves her Herrani nurse. She can barely stand the imperial ways thrust upon her. And she would not have staked herself at a game she began unwittingly, if only she knew that Arin is not the kind of Herrani slave he is supposed to be.

    Winner’s Curse is about two enemies in love who will never have a clear win. However, both need to win. Both can see the cards in the other’s hand. The only way to win is if the other one lets them win. They let each other win, they protect each other, strengthen each other while they plot against each other; their ultimate choice being their at-war empires.

    The plot unfolds and the narrative progresses from Kestrel’s and Arin’s perspective. Kestrel and Arin are very strong characters. Have them unfolded in the book the way they do, is one of book’s greatest merits… so I am not going to reveal much of them here. Their chemistry is explosive, and how and what it tempts them to do often, is also the part of the novel I don’t want to corrupt for you.

    WRITING:

    Marie Rutkoski has blown me away by her figurative language. It’s soo beautiful that I have to at times set the book aside and let those images, the lyrical emotions behind them sink in and linger in my thoughts a little longer. I am not going to give an instance, I really want you to read the book.

    Even after 5 years the imagery, the dialogues, the beautifully weaved phrases have not left me. Everything written can be so subtle, sensuous and sooooooo true to life. It makes it unforgettable.

    It doesn’t have much of info-dumping as in the usual fantasy novel (infact, many of its features are very unlike Fantasy) may be because the premise is very familiar and devoid of anything magical or mystical, and regardless of that the writer creates very interesting societies, circumstances and consequences. The romance is not redundant or dragged, its exciting, manipulative, stategizing and basically so different… so new.

    Marie Rutkoski’s style is that of a blooming flower – steady, serene and seductive. I love that initially it doesn’t rush into things. It takes time to build up and dvelves so deeply in characters, the way they form relationships, the way they operate and the way the world operates around them. Plot and characters would have seemed frivolous if not infused with subtlety and bold intelligence.  And everything becomes bigger later as promised in the initial chapter.

    The other thing I like about the novel are the military strategies when a full blown conflict errupts.

    CONCLUSION: 

    I love everything about this trilogy. May be because of my preferences but you gotta be blind to not see its merits. If I gave out any spoilers, sorry but I know you’ll get over it. Please read now… I don’t what the hell you’re still doing here. But remember, I banged my head on walls  for a long time after finishing the book; the loose ends, the cliffhanger or just the craving for the author’s writing style could be madenning and the tipping point was the author took time to publish the following books. So buy all the books together.

    Also, I HATE….ABSOLUTELY HATE the way this book has been marketed. The covers are bad, blurbs not good enough and they are misleading with an ill-suited genre. This is hardly a fantasy.

     

     

     

     

     

    Once Upon A Time…

    dailypost.wordpress.com/2018/02/22/assay

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    Once upon a time, in a world not so far away, under the watchful gaze of his tutor a bored little boy thought, “I wish this book had some conversations or pictures…”
    Somewhere else in the same world, a writer looked up from his writing to look at a bored little with a book in his hand and wondered, “why does the boy only stare at his story book and not smile?”
    That is probably how Children’s Fiction came to be as we know it today! From growing out of stories speckled with moral instructions to exploring themes of War, God and Love  from a child’s perspective—Children’s Fiction has come a long way. However, young adults who are growing up and exploring in terms of both their life and reading tastes might not appreciate it entirely. But let us remind ourselves of the wonderful aspects of children’s stories like happiness, hope, innocence and joy of being surprised will get one to appreciate what they have forgotten.
    Yes, young adults are foraying into all that romantic, thrilling, suspenseful and science-fictional, having left that territory of elves, scary aunts, chocolate lands and secret doors behind. Surely, Three Little Piggies probably mean hot strips of bacon now and The Famous Five ( Enid Blyton) have long been replaced by Maroon 5.
    However, if you wish you had a fairy godmother everytime you were late to submit an assignment or still hope Hogwards was real, then let’s rediscover all that wonder, shall we?
    Lemony Snicket (Series of Unfortunate Events) said, “miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them, you find more than you ever dreamed you’d see.”
    This is he kind of wisdom soaked in unbridled humour one can expect to find in Children’s Fiction. Characters like Gandalf (Lord of the Rings), Dumbledore (Harry Potter) and Charlotte (Charlotte’s Web) have prompted readers to think and have probably contributed to their sense of humour too.
    Another wonderful element of Children’s Fiction is its unseen and unheard characters, i.e., Oompa Loompas, Horton, The Grinch to name a few. They are designed to amuse and entertain children and adults alike. And come to think of it, would Khaleesi have her three dragons if it wasn’t for the unique imagination concocted for Children’s Fiction?
    It tickles the imagination with not just unthought-of creatures but also by weaving magic in all that is ordinary. Could a looking glass be a portal? (Alice in Wonderland) Can carpets fly? (Aladin) Can animals talk?
    Yes! Magic can be found within pages of children’s stories, only if one is willing to embrace it. If not the magic then one might find it easier to embrace the sheer simplicity in it.

    The story can be uncomplicated but it remains to breath a fresh perspective into our notions and ideas. For instance, when Ronald Dahl had Matilda conquer her terrible principle Trunchbull and showed us the power of intellect above all else.
    Children’s Fiction is filled with instances when someone did the right thing, when someone choose to be kind and courageous, and telling us that just like the writer who decided to look from a child’s perspective and ended up putting smiles on children’s faces, anyone too with a dash of humor, pinch of imagination and all the right kind of intentions can live their happily ever after.
    So let’s write another story, shall we?
    Once upon a time, in a mysterious land filled with weird life forms, there was a being stuck between what it knows and what it knows not, but then…

    Pic courtesy: google

    Daily post

    A Champion For Nobody

    A hundred days of glory

    A bright white stead

    None shall come to thee

    But pain and agony

     

    You will be defeated

    By those you save

    Your reward would be shame

    Your hope will be cheated

    Again

     

    Your purpose will be beaten down

    Your intentions – misunderstood

    For you, there is no brotherhood

    In misfortune you will drown

    For good

     

    They want roses but no thorns

    Stay, if you can keep them

    from your thorn’s harm

    Stay, if your crushed petals

    Make you think no scorn

     

    Get away O Champion

    Now, when you have not lost much

    Now, when you’re looking for no affection

    Later, like skin, guilt you will have worn

    Later, for even your lost dignity you might not mourn

     

    To them you’re nobody

    And that you shall always be

     

    Snapshots: A Lot, Much Less And Nothing

    via Daily Prompt: DegreeDaily Prompt: DegreeDaily Prompt: Degree

    That day I lived in degrees and it seemed in those moments to be like a pendulum: swinging from a lot, then to much less and then nothing. I was hoping I would feel the degrees all over again. But the pendulum stopped swinging as she left.

    That day,

    I meet a friend, happy but much less. Day ends. She leaves. Degree of happyness- a lot. I walk home. Nothing.

    I wanted to meet her, didn’t I?”

    Rewind.

    A cold, windy day. Just as I like. Book. Tea. Window. Just as I like.

    She calls. Some thing of a pleasant past, like a familiar fragrance, reaches me. It felt warm. Degree of nostalgia- a lot. But then…

    Much less. For her tone fails to veil  her rancid smug. Degree of hope- a lot. She didn’t mean to gloat. She wasn’t showing off. Was this always a competition and not friendship?

    I guess it was. Lost an illusion, if anything at all.

    Her big ring. Her new house. Degree of jealosy – much less. Her gossips and toothy laugh. Degree of irritation – a lot. Her remarks on my bad luck and stagnant life. Degree of pity for her -nothing.

    I reset my mind. Block out her voice and while she talks, I say “hmmm” and “ahh” and “yeaah” and “totally” at the right places. She orders. We eat. We promise to meet again. Degree of excitement – nothing. She pays. We leave.

    I walk home. Degree of remorse – a lot. The coldness creeps in my heart; freezes over the part where I had fondness for her. I turn around. Watch her get in her car. Degree of anything…any thing at all – nothing.

     

     

     

     

    She Used to Say…

    via Daily Prompt: Surreal

    Rumaina used to say, “A lot is invisible; that doesn’t mean they aren’t perceivable.”
    It always took Merve a while understand exactly understand her words and the intent behind them. Most often, the understanding would come to her gradually; there wasn’t any ‘eureka’ moment as such. She would see the truth of Rumaina’s words stitched in subtle colors around her- in people she lived with or in the patterns of situations/events.
    In case of this particular statement, Merve when 14 year old, had an ugly spat with her mother. She often argued with her mother about how her father’s belongings should be chucked away and why he is not going to return. This time though, Merve went further and called her mother weak.
    She pretended to be angry. But it was because of guilt and shame that with a deep frown and agitated steps Merve left home to find Rumaina, her 20 year-old neighbour, at the park where she spends her evenings babysitting kids of other neighbours who worked late.
    On spotting Rumaina under a tree talking sweetly to a kid, invigorating the morose sky, shady clouds and cold breeze with her bright smile, Merve felt calmer already. Merve narrated the incident to Rumaina, all the while hiding her tears behind long pauses and lots of blinking.
    That’s the day Rumaina said those words to Merve and that’s the day she began to notice the hope in her mother’s sad eyes, the dignity in her silence, the desperation in her anger and the strength of her broken heart.
    Rumaina also used to say that, “A woman should take of her purse”; that “Keep learning. A mind should keep churning its wheels”; that, “ Our mind, heart and soul are our true companions anyway.” She used to say all that and much more.
    Today, six years after that evening, Merve sits on the opposite sofa listening to Rumaina, for a millionth time  talk, about her obnoxious in-laws, her career that didn’t pan out, how noone listens to her and how she is right about most things. It could have been her emotionally distant husband, disappointing married life or she must have simple changed, Merve couldn’t fathom; she is too baffled to see how someone’s world could have shrunk so easily. It seems surreal.

    She mutes out the gossiping, nitpicking, complaining and thinks about all the things Rumaina used to say.

     

    Breathing Underwater

    …I am walking into the sea. Salty air. Grainy earth. Heat. I breathed it all in for one last time and let the coolness of water take me in, bit by bit. Feet. Legs. A wave of relaxation travels from my legs to my mind, making the water more inviting. Thighs. Hips. I swirl my fingers on the surface of water that now lies just below their tips. Hands. Chest. Neck and finally all of me is surrounded by it. I open my eyes and even though I know I will see only the grey Arabian Sea, I bear the stinging saltiness in hope that I may stumble upon something; a shiny stone, may be a lonely little crab, tiny fishes perhaps.

    My grip on the silky ground loosens slightly. I know I cannot go deeper anymore without the water pushing me above. I drop to my knees and firmly plant them in the ground.

    I give up the rest of my body to the to and fro of the currents. Calmness and silence grows around and in me. I let loose my final breath and watch the bubbles, small and big, rise up to the surface. I feel lighter.

    The breathlessness makes me feel livelier than the time I spent breathing. I try to stretch these few moments as long as possible…