11 co-working spaces in Dhaka

Co-working spaces are now an option considered by many entrepreneurs and businesses. For many, it is a great way to cut costs and avoid the hassle of renting a full office. Buying furniture, decorating, hiring support staff can become expensive for a startup. Many startups just need a desk and some wifi for their operations; small teams need affordable spaces with a meeting room.

Some freelancers, designers or members of remote teams want to leave the isolation of home offices, but avoid the distraction of cafes. Shared offices also give the opportunity for many to network, to share resources and contacts. 

How to decide on a space?

Location: Take into account the reality of Dhaka traffic, and consider the location when picking a co-working space. Proximity to home can save you many productive hours wasted on the road. 

Cost: Cost is a huge factor, compare different packages before deciding. Packages include space for daily, weekly, hourly, monthly use. Most co-working spaces in Dhaka offer Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, emergency backup power, an in-house multimedia system, office equipment, and kitchen facilities. The spaces significantly vary in price which affects the quality of each of these facilities.  

Does your business need a place to meet for weekly meetings? Will a desk in an open office be sufficient, or do you need to make a lot of phone calls, so a more private room is a priority? 

Decide which features are important to you and are essential for your work–do you need a projector, a studio or a training area? Make sure you choose spaces accordingly. When you decide on a package that is best suited for you, make sure you understand what exactly is included in it.  

Work Environment: Another essential part of work-life is the environment. In your first visit, check for the behaviour of the staff and of others who will share the space. You want to decide on a place where you can work comfortably and effectively. If your budget allows, look for places that are spacious, clean and well lit for maximum ease and therefore, maximum productivity.

Co+Lab Dhaka, Baridhara

Moar, Banani 11 & Dhanmondi 27

  • Address 1: Ventura Iconia, Level 3, H. 37, Road 11, Block H Banani, Dhaka, Bangladesh, +880 1733 711 297,
  • Address 2: Moar Dhanmondi 27, MIDAS Center, Level 3 Holding 05, Road 16 (New, Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh)
  • Phone: +880 1714-116110
  • e-Mail: [email protected]
  • Website: http://www.moarbd.com

Bonik coworking, Badda

  • Address: Arma Majeda Malik Tower, House No# 215 (3rd floor), Merul Badda Bir Uttam Rafiqul Islam Ave, Dhaka -1212.
  • Phone: 01811480832
  • Email: [email protected]

Shuru Campus, Badda

Regus, Crystal Palace Gulshan and UTC Centre, Panthapath

  • Address 1: Crystal Palace, Gulshan 2, Dhaka
  • Address 2: UTC Centre, Panthapath, Dhaka
  • Phone: 09611886795
  • regus.com.bd

The Business Center, Gulshan 1

Locus BD, Banani 11

  • Address: Tower 52, Level 6, Road 11, Banani, Block C (8,672.10 mi) Dhaka, Bangladesh 1213
  • Phone: +880 1701-005480
  • Website: www.locusbd.com

Hubdhaka, Mirpur 11

  • Address: Building #7, Road #3, Section #7, Mirpur 11, Dhaka 1216 close to the Dhaka Zoo.
  • Website: http://www.hubdhaka.com/

Open Co-working, Bashundhara

  • Address: Advance Glory, 2nd Floor (South Side), Plot-15, Block-A, Bashundhara Main Road, Bashundhara R/Dhaka, Bangladesh 1229
  • +880 1716-873660
  • www.workatopen.com

JMC Shared Office, Banani 11

Toru Chayya, Banani 11

13 Co-Working Spaces in Dhaka 6

Toru Institute of Innovation has opened up their space for co-working.
Location: House-2 Road-4 Block-F, Banani 11 Dhaka, 1213
Contact [email protected] for more details!

Why does ragging exist in our universities? Answers and confessions

Cover art: Nasif Chowdhury

Over the years, ragging has become a tradition in Bangladeshi universities. Behind the facade of welcoming the new students, ragging is a notorious practice where the seniors get an excuse to harass their junior counterparts and often target them to satiate their own sadistic pleasures. For decades, ragging has been discussed and debated, but while we all have been looking for solutions, there is little effort to figure out why it is even being practised in universities to this day.

It is yet to be understood that ragging is not merely a socio-legal problem, it has a certain psychological basis too.

Just like how every crime has some sort of motive, a bully, too, has something to accomplish through the act of ragging.

Let’s take a look at some of the psychological reasons behind ragging and bullying in universities.

A sense of authority

Most bullies seem to constantly fail to establish control over their own lives. So, when they get a freshman or a junior at their command, they nurture a sense of authority that boosts their morale and put them on a high. This is more like an alternative way for them to somehow fill that huge void in their lives.

“I loved being on the campus all day because they would do anything to be on good terms with me. I’d rather stay there all day than go home, things weren’t that easy back home.”

– Anonymous

A ticket into the influential crowd

Often bullies live under the misconception that ragging is a fashion statement these days and that it can help them get into the ‘influential crowd’ in their universities.

Peer pressure

It is also true that not all the seniors involved with ragging do it because they enjoy doing it, or even do it at their own will. What they really want is to not feel left out as they see their friends and batchmates indulge in ragging their juniors. So, due to the fear of isolation, they end up joining the herd in the act.

Means of retaliation

Seniors who have a previous history of getting ragged often rag their juniors as a means of revenge for what they had to go through.

“I was not someone who liked ragging juniors. It’s just that, having gotten ragged as a junior myself. It sometimes felt like a need to give my juniors a subtle taste of what I had to go through. I regret it though”

-Anonymous

The satisfaction of sadistic pleasures

Many bullies in universities see ragging as an opportunity to satiate their sadistic pleasures. People with twisted minds who find pleasure in seeing others suffer, they exist. The reasons can include issues like bad childhood memories, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bad parenting etc.

No matter what psychology works behind this behaviour, ragging is not okay and there is nothing that can justify this awful act. However, it’s important to identify the reasons for an issue in order to fix it from the core.

Bibi Russell: The designer who put Bangladesh on the global fashion map

Bangladesh may not prominently feature in the global fashion scene. Although the scene has elevated significantly in recent years, the fashion industry is still in nascent stages. However, one of the trailblazers, name that many Bengalis associate with fashion is Bibi Russell. We know of her, but I am not sure we know the extent of her achievements.
I was so surprised when I first found out that Bibi Russell, “that Gamcha Lady” (as my mum refers to her in true Brown mom style), walked the Paris Fashion Week more than 20 years ago. She also worked with prestigious names as Vogue, Harper Baazar, Cosmopolitan, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Carl Lagarfield among many more.

Even the non fashion-conscious Bengali grew up hearing her name and fame. Be it because of her iconic love for gamcha print, or her rickshaw-painted frames, or her loud statement pieces and accessories. So, how did she turn Bibi Russell into a household name?

The little girl from Kamrunnisa High

Bibi had extensive exposure to culture during here upbringing- primarily because of the influence of her father, Mokhlessur Rahman. Mr Rahman got her a book from Chanel on French Haute Couture when she was 13-14. The book sparked her interest in high fashion. Also, she received her prospectus of the London College of Fashion- where she pursued a degree in Fashion Design later on.

Bibi oftentimes expresses how her early encounters with vendors wearing colourful gamchas and lungis invoked and engrained her love for the deshi, colourful manner of sustainable clothing. As early as 10 years of age, she was gifted with a sewing machine as she was never really satisfied with how her own clothes were made.

From her early teen years, Bibi knew she wanted to do something different despite receiving multiple awards for her arts.

So after she finished school from Kamrunnisa High and Home Economics College, she left for London, where she had to insist the authority for 6months consistently to finally get in.

Her big break

She was finishing her degree with a scholarship when for her last project she had to design 11 outfits and showcase them in a runway. At the insistence of one of her teachers, she sported the first and last one of her designs on the runway herself even though she wasn’t exactly warmed up to the idea of modelling, “my parents were already hearing a lot on how their daughter has gone off to become a tailor”.

After Bibi’s graduation show, she started to get a lot of offers from agencies and magazines. The first one she posed for was Harper Bazaar (so you probably shouldn’t procrastinate on your thesis/ projects so much). Her teachers encouraged her to take up this opportunity to learn about the fashion world as much as she can and that is precisely what she did. Her first show was with Valentino, and Vogue’s admiration for Bibi put her on the map pretty strongly “you could put two teacups on her cheekbones”, Vogue famously said.

Bibi Russell walked the ramp alongside the likes of Naomi Campbell and modelled in prestigious campaigns of Jaguar, BMW and Toyota among many others.

Her bottomless bucket of achievements

After she put her long and glorious modelling career to rest (from 1978- 94), she completely concentrated on putting Bangladeshi rural weavers out for the world to see. Her first collection was displayed in Paris, February ’96 in collaboration with UNESCO, her second one supported by the Queen of Spain in ’98- both of which of course showcased Gamcha, Khadi, Jamdani and other native Bangladeshi fabrics which were praised worldwide for their eco-friendly nature.

Bibi was awarded as Designer of Development in 1998 and Artist for Peace in 2001 from UNESCO. She also received “Cross of Officer of the Order of Queen Isabella” from the Spanish government for her influence on the Spanish Fashion industry and these only started her journey towards a lifetime of achievements and awards- all of which she always dedicated to the people who work for her and help her shape the dreams.

There were questions raised at one point about the child labourers Bibi employed in her production house, but during the making of a documentary she cleared the air up by showing how its more of a learning process of the craft for the children than it is about work. Her more recent work with acid attack survivors and rural Rajsthani weavers has also been the topic of international discussion.

The pull towards her root

Fluent in three (Bengali, English, Italian) and moderate in three more (Spanish, French, German) languages, with an already established career in modelling, Bibi could easily continue on the international platform as she was. She didn’t really have to come back to Bangladesh and try her hardest to revive our almost dying hand-woven textile industry. But she did anyway and after her Paris show, she got almost 30000 orders for the weavers who worked for her, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Now more than 35,000 weavers, excluding the people who work on other sectors of the house, from all over the country work for Bibi Production that produces and makes dresses out of all hand-woven, deshi material. Her production house has put Bangladesh’s best foot forward by exporting the products to Europe and the USA.

With all these success and acclamation, Bibi had every chance to bury her head in the clouds and forget her root, but she seems to be more pulled towards it with time. In fact, when she first came back to Bangladesh she spent month after months travelling all throughout the remote villages, learning different dialects and cultures to get a better understanding of the trade and the people she’s going to be working with. She has always been admirably vocal about getting recognition for the people whose relentless effort makes the wonderful world of glamour more magical. In return, the people she works and stays with has always embraced her with open homes and open hearts.

To sum it up, Bibi Russell has been the epitome of that artistic yet successful cousin who our parents want us to stay away from while we dream to be them someday. If her life is any indication, we should definitely try at the very least.

Challenging the foundations of Bangladeshi parenting with Jomano Kotha

The parent-child relationship is one which is multi-faceted, one that has to be nurtured and where both parties play a pivotal role. In order to understand each other, parents and children need to communicate effectively and be able to identify when they are needed by the other. The intricacies of the various aspects of these relationships were highlighted in the event, “Jomano Kotha”.

An event called Jomano Kotha: Exploring parent-child relationships, organised by Kotha, took place at the EMK Centre on October 12th. The event brought together both demographics – parents and children – in the same space to unpack relationship dynamics in the context of Bangladesh.

A New Approach

The structure of the event was quite unique and was designed around an Interactive Theatre segment. The 2 act play followed the same scenario in which a father reacts to his young daughter returning home past curfew. The two acts depicted contrasting interactions between the two characters and helped initiate conversations regarding healthy parental communication. In the first act, the father’s concern for his daughter’s safety comes off as hostile and aggressive while in the second act, he reacts in a more composed, sensitive manner. Following each act of the skit, the audience posed questions to the actors, who stayed in character while answering them, allowing people to unpack each character’s motivations and the impact they had on the other. The skit allowed parents and children to observe interactions that they have only been directly involved in allowing more objective reflection. Analyzing the situation from both the child and the parent’s perspective helped build more empathy.

Exploring parent-child relationship in Bangladeshi society 1
Auyon (Ace) and Aahir Mrittika played the character of Baba and daughter respectively.

The discussion pushed boundaries but created the space for participants to be vulnerable and honest with each other. Some parents acknowledged that the violence they perpetrate against their children was learned from their own mothers and fathers. In a society like ours, the common perception is that familial relationships do not require work but is to be taken for granted. Participants discussed that it is crucial to nurture relationships between parents and children through building trust and practising healthy communication. One parent mentioned the importance of respecting children’s privacy. “Children have a right to privacy and allowing privacy and respecting their boundaries do not necessarily mean they are involved in wrongdoings.”

Creating the space -A parent’s duty

While parents pushed for children to be more open with them, children asserted that in order for them to openly share their thoughts and feelings, parents have to allow them space to open up. Sharing cannot happen out of obligation or expectations set by parents. One participant speaking from the child’s perspective pointed out that in the pursuit of ensuring a child’s physical safety parents often put their child’s mental health through various forms of intimidation. One key takeaway from the skit for parents was the need to take their children’s mental health into account during any interaction. One mother said, “The words “I’m here for you” is very important for children to hear. Growing up we never heard it. We heard it when we were much older, after marriage. We need to always tell our children, we are on their side.”

Through the discussion, it was concluded that both parents and children have to actively try to preserve their relationship.

The phrase “two-way street” came up in the discussion and it perfectly articulates the fact that both individuals have a role to play in the building of the relationship. It was noted that both parents and children need to work on letting the other party into different aspects of their lives.  

Towards a better culture

“Family is at the heart of South Asian culture. However, a large part of this culture is also unhealthy and toxic to an extent. Communication barriers with parents were one of the most common struggles that the adolescents we work with mentioned and it was also something we noticed in too many of our friends.

Kotha wanted to explore parent-child relationships in Bangladesh to see what it would be like to redefine those relationships and interactions. Our challenge for Jomano Kotha was to frame this issue as a societal and cultural issue. By bringing private, individualized conversations out into the public sphere we were able to do just that.

We did not expect such an big response from both demographics – parents and children and we noticed a real demand from people to engage in these conversations but in a healthy, constructive manner. We were so happy to host a full house and received requests to start a Jomano Kotha series. Our greatest success was to be able to create the space for such honest and genuine conversation between generations.”

Says Umama Zillur, founder of Kotha who organised the event

Kotha is a primary intervention program aiming to address the culture of violence in Bangladesh. Although they work in a few different areas, Kotha’s flagship project is Kotha at School, a school-based interactive curriculum that teaches adolescents about issues of gender, consent, relationships, bullying etc alongside traditional subjects.   

Impacting lives beyond connectivity

Channelling excess energy from edotco sites to improve the quality of life for over 3,500 people 

edotco Group Sdn Bhd (“edotco”), the region’s end-to-end integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company, is improving the lives of over 3,500 people in the rural areas of Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Malaysia through its Tower to Community (T2C) programme. 

Going beyond its core purpose of enabling connectivity, edotco channels excess electricity from its towers to power up homes and services for communities living in nearby areas. This surplus energy is derived from a combination of renewable energy sources and diesel generators equipped at each site.

“edotco believes that it has a purpose beyond being a telecommunications provider. We seek to also improve the lives of communities living close to our towers. We work hand-in-hand with a wide-range of stakeholders as partners in a number of initiatives. The considerable impact from our T2C initiatives are a testament of our commitment to deliver excellence even in areas outside our business priorities. Whether it is to power homes, medical facilities, schools or places of worship, we strive to improve the quality of lives for those living nearby our towers,”

said edotco Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Suresh Sidhu.

While access to electricity for the larger population in Bangladesh and Myanmar have been rising with electrification rates at 88% and 70% respectively in 2017, there are still pockets of communities that are not connected to the national grid. These segments struggle to meet basic needs and comfort as reliable and affordable access to electricity continues to be a challenge. 

Against this backdrop, edotco’s T2C programme was launched in 2016 as one of its key initiatives to address the unmet needs of people living nearby its towers. Today, there are a total of 32 sites across Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Malaysia that are bringing a positive impact in communities.

Since its inception, this initiative has enhanced the lives at home for school children and their families by generating electricity to power 1,020 houses in over 26 locations in Bangladesh.

To improve the living conditions of these communities, edotco has also extended its initiative by installing solar-powered water pumps to ensure over 30 families in villages located in Jadur Haat and Nilphamari have access to clean and safe drinking water. The initiative also powers up one hospital, 30 mosques and 28 schools in Bangladesh. 

Addressing a different need in Myanmar, the T2C initiative tends to the limited healthcare access in remote communities by powering up refrigeration systems to maintain the cold chain to store Hepatitis B, BCG, Measles, and Oral polio vaccination for over 2,000 families in rural hard to reach areas. Similarly, in Malaysia, the T2C project provides a reliable source of energy to power the refrigeration system and bi-monthly operation of an Orang Asli community clinic in the remote areas of Cameron Highlands. 

“We place great emphasis on making a positive impact in the communities in which we operate. At edotco, we believe that you are only as good as what you give back to society. That is why we strive to lead by example and ensure our operations are handled responsibly and sustainably,” added Suresh.

In addition to its community enrichment projects, edotco also focuses on sustainability – a core principle that guides its overall business operations by ensuring its modern-day telecommunications infrastructure solutions are increasingly environmentally friendly. 

About edotco Group

Established in 2012, edotco Group is the first regional and integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company in Asia, providing end-to-end solutions in the tower services sector from tower leasing, co-locations, build-to-suit, energy, transmission and operations and maintenance (O&M).

edotco Group operates and manages a regional portfolio of over 29,300 towers across core markets of Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Pakistan with 18,800 towers directly operated by edotco and a further 10,500 towers managed through a range of services provided. edotco strives to deliver outstanding performance in telecommunications infrastructure services and solutions. Its state-of-the-art real-time monitoring service, echo, has driven significant improvements in field operations while maximizing operational efficiencies in terms of battery, energy and fuel consumption for telecommunications infrastructure.

edotco Group was recently awarded the Frost & Sullivan 2019 Asia Pacific Telecoms Tower Company of the Year Award for its demonstrated exemplary business growth and performance in Southeast Asia.

The Oxford Student Union has a Bangladeshi president. Meet Anisha Faruk

First of all, I feel weird about this; rejoicing in the success of a person we share little more than ethnicity with. It feels like we’re claiming some credit where none is due. It’s all her, people. She did it because she’s good. Her success is hers.

Anisha Faruk aka Padma; a lady of Bangladeshi origin, has been elected the president of the student union of Oxford University. Her father is Bangladesh Army major Faruk Ahmed(retired).

Padma is completing her undergraduate program as a historian.

She previously occupied the co-chair position of the Oxford University Labour Club. And she was the editor-in-chief of The Oxford Student, the largest student journal of the University. So she’s no stranger to great responsibility and respect.

Ms Anisha beat tough competition from independent candidate Ivy Manning and Ellie Milne-Brown; who represented the reputed Aspire panel. This was a historic election with a 20.3 per cent participation rate. Ms Anisha promoted diversity as the primary strong point of her panel.

With this, the trend of the continued success of our compatriot overseas continues. We can only hope to match and exceed the success our peers are enjoying. And we hope to leave a blazing trail of achievements by Bangladeshis across the world.

Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer: The holy trinity of Development Economics

Announced by the Swedish academy on Monday three economists will share the Economics Nobel Prize for their “experimental approach to alleviating poverty”.

The three economists are Indian Bengali Abhijit Banerjee of the US, his French-American wife Esther Duflo, a former advisor to ex-US president Barack Obama and Michael Kremer, the Gates Professor of Developing Societies at Harvard University.

From field experiments to Nobel Prize

In the 1990s Kremer launched a number of field experiments in the western side of Kenya, in order to improve the educational results of the area.

Banerjee and Duflo developed similar studies relating to the same subject. According to the Nobel committee, their research now “entirely dominates” development studies. The committee further mentions how their effort not only helped more than five million children but also preventive healthcare now subsidies in a number of countries.

Michael Kremer, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo

The three laureates were among the first to attempt to measure the effects of real poverty alleviation. This includes covering a wide range of areas, access to credit, preventive healthcare, and the adoption of new technologies.

This research showed how to increase vaccination rates, educational standards in schools, creating a positive purpose throughout the globe.

Youngest Nobel winner, a power couple and a triumph for aspiring economists

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, two of the three winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, speaking at a news conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., October 14, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Duflo, 46, is the youngest and the second woman ever to receive the award for a prize in Economic Science. Speaking on phone moments after the awards, Duflo also mentions how the field of economics should treat women with more respect, saying

“We are at a time when we are starting to realize in the profession that the way we conduct each other privately and publicly, is not conducive all the time to a very good environment for women. Showing that it is possible for a women to succeed, and to be recognized for success, I hope will inspire many many other women to continue working, and many many other men to give them the respect they deserve, like every single human being.”

On the other hand, Abhijeet Banerjee and Esther Duflo became yet another couple to win the Nobel Prize. The committee released a “Partners in Science” list to mark and commemorate them and other couples who have previously achieved to make the same success together.

“Apart from being the power couple, let us also look at how this trio is basically a trend setter for the rest of the aspiring economists all over the world. They are great researchers, writers and economists and personally I believe its a great initiative to see someone from the developing sector to win it because, they can add more of their perspectives into work. If we notice their work we can see that it is not only about fetching data, rather it is about researching and implementing the subject with a purpose.”

Says Israr Hasan, an Economics student from Brac University.

The researches also conducted an initial study on microcredit programs or giving small loans to underdeveloped households in Hyderabad, India.

Corporiddlerz is back with exciting new challenges and business riddles

Over the years, BUP BCC’s flagship event, Corporiddlerz, has become a celebrated Inter-University business strategy competition among passionate business undergraduates.

This year, Corporiddlerz has returned with far greater challenges and rewards, with a newer face.

What is Corporiddlerz?

As the name suggests, Corporiddlerz is a series of business riddles.

What begins with an online case study later elevates to the point where participants strategize on (re)launching existing or new products and have to go for full-fledged project planning. As the rounds proceed, the riddles become more challenging and far more interesting.

The competition stands to tests the participants to the very limit of their knowledge and capacity to turn analytics into rational business decisions. And their struggle and enthusiasm will hardly go unrewarded.

This year, Corporiddlerz shall award 50K BDT for 2nd Runner-Up, 75K BDT for Runner-Up, and 100K BDT for the mighty champions!

Partners for this year

Corporiddlerz 2019 is powered by NRBC Bank with Independent Television as the media partner, Radio Foorti 88.0 FM as the radio partner, The Financial Express as the print media partner, HiFi Public as youth engagement partner, Moodron as the stationary partner, Wire as the digital media partner, and Narayanganj Dockyard as a strategic partner.

Here’s how to participate

Be a part of the biggest strategy based competition of the nation and gear up for the world of business, and register your team before October 15, 2019. Undergraduate students from the same university (can be from different disciplines) can form teams of four to participate.

Registration portal opens on October 8, 2019.

Keep a keen eye out on the event page: http://bit.ly/Corpo19

To know more about Corporiddlerz, visit: https://www.facebook.com/corporiddlerz.bupbcc

Find out more about BUP BCC at https://www.facebook.com/bupbcc

Software Engineer, Michael Peres, battled ADHD to success

A software engineer and successful entrepreneur are defying the struggles of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by doing the things he loves and earning from it.

Twenty-nine-year-old Michael Peres, also a mathematician and travel entrepreneur, is looking at ADHD as an asset rather than a liability.

Peres was able to transform his hyperactivity disorder into an energy source that fuels his mind and body to create successful businesses – the Hecto Fox and Hexa Tiger, web hosting and web development companies that are getting popular at present, now reaching over 400 clienteles in just a span of 3 years.

Michael Peres speaking in Seattle, Washington
Michael Peres speaking in Seattle, Washington

Peres was diagnosed with ADHD and other learning disorders at 9 years old. His mother was so concerned with his condition that she made sure he consistently take his prescribed medication Ritalin, an extended-release stimulant. 

ADHD can be a serious condition that when left untreated, can lead to frustrations and further psychological problems throughout a person’s life.

Although Peres’ complains about the side effects of the drug, the times when Ritalin works made him unstoppable. These are the times when his creative ideas come out, providing him with an avenue to channel the negative energies of ADHD into something worthwhile. 

Michael Peres speaking in Carlsbad, California
Michael Peres speaking in Carlsbad, California

As a child, Peres suffered the stigma of ADHD. He was always labelled as having learning disabilities. He needed to have a separate learning environment as secular education was difficult for his condition. Socially, he could not also relate with peers so he devised ways in order to accommodate his needs. 

Peres found his passion for computers. Because he could not connect with other peers, he would lock himself in a room, learning about technology. His knowledge about computers also helped him earn at a young age as his high school and the community where he lived would ask for him to solve their computer problems.

Peres, who hails from a Jewish community in Montreal, Quebec Canada, completed his bachelor degree in Computer Science in the same city. 

He had challenges while in college, but with a positive mindset, he engineered solutions to address the difficulty of learning in a regular class by going to the library and educating himself. He would only come to class during exams, which proved effective as he was able to complete courses related to Calculus, Linear Algebra, Physics, and Java Programming. Later, he finished a degree in Mathematics from Yeshiva University in New York City doing the same technique.

According to Peres, it is up to the person with ADHD to learn to deal with the disability and make the challenging situation into a manageable one, engineering solutions to fit one’s dreams or ambition.

Today, Peres made a vow to help other people with a similar condition as his. He created a program called Breaking 9 to 5, Breaking 9 to 5, which introduces a 10 step program designed to help entrepreneurs like him to watch over their businesses while enjoying the benefits of travelling.

Michael Peres
Michael Peres

Types of people you see during puja

It’s that time of the year again when you will have to go through your closet to find sarees and panjabis that shoutout “Amit Ray” and “Labannya” from “Shesher Kobita”. Yes! It’s time for this year’s Durga Puja and all the festivities it brings along with it. During these festivities, it is hard not to jump into the celebrations like everyone else. Any event or occasion in Bangladesh is as hectic as they come, and you will meet a wide spectrum of peoples in these five days. Somehow we all have a particular role to play. So, here are the handful of the different types of people you will probably bump into this puja. So which one of the following types will you fall under?

The ultimate mandap hoppers

Durga Puja-HiFi Public

If you live in Dhaka there are a host of options for you to choose from for your puja hopping adventures. Almost every neighbourhood has little their mandaps set up for the occasion. However, there will be some who won’t be satisfied by going to just one or two mandaps. They will not leave out a single puja mandaps in the vicinity. From Jagannath Hall to Dhakeshwari Temple to Banani to God knows where they will be there battling through Dhaka’s traffic. Where do they get the energy?

The social media fanatics

Durga Puja-HiFi Public

These are the bunch who dedicate their lives to social media. You will see them in the perfect puja attire going to fancy restaurants with the best offers for this holiday. Also, they will not leave out any of the typical puja rituals either. From dressing up like Aishwarya Ray in Devdas to ringing the puja bell to playing with siddur, you name it. They will have done it all as you can see from their Snapchat stories and Instagram feeds. And don’t forget the hashtags #shoptomi, #oshtomi, #nobomi, #doshomi, #PostPujaShenanigans.

The unfortunate hosts

In every circle, there will be one or two unfortunate beings whose homes become the ideal spot for post puja hopping hangouts. Your close one or two Hindu friends will be there as your saviour and accommodate you after a long day of hopping around. They will have to feed all the hungry ones that end up in their doorsteps while also managing to juggle their ongoing family responsibilities as well. But can you really blame us? Luchis are love, luchis are life.

The ones that are never there

Durga Puja-HiFi Public

AKA the getaway groups. These are the individual who always either makes plans or are the most hyped about it. But when it comes to actually appearing they somehow always manage to go out on quick one or two-day getaways out of town. Because no matter what you plan on puja it cannot measure up to their special getaways. Plus they somehow always have the perfect excuse that ends up saving their sorry asses. I must say these people are the smartest and are the ones winning at life.

And last but not the least, the people who never get any puja vacation

Durga Puja-HiFi Public

These are the guys who belong to the institutions (ahem ahem, private medicals students) or workplaces in which they never give any vacation during puja. They are the saddest bunch. They will have to work hard all day and after getting home will have to tolerate the social media fanatics online. If you are one of them take my advice and avoid social media for a few days.

So here’s to all the different type of people we will be meeting during this puja season and শারদীয় শুভেচ্ছা ও ভালোবাসা.