Ahmed Tahsin SHAMS (Bangladesh)

Ahmed Tahsin SHAMS

Lecturer, Department of English, Notre Dame University Bangladesh
Director, Avant-garde Productions
Media Consultant, Films4Peace Foundation
Managing Editor, Women in Leadership (WIL)

AHMED TAHSIN SHAMS is a Bangladeshi academic, poet, and film-maker. At present, Shams is working as Lecturer of the Department of English at Notre Dame University Bangladesh (NDUB) since 2016, and Managing Editor at Women in Leadership (WIL), a concern of Bangladesh Brand Forum, Media Consultant at Films4Peace Foundation, Head of Public Relations and Media at Notre Dame University Bangladesh. He is also English Translation Consultant, International Film Desk, Channel-i. Besides, he contributes film-criticism at national and international journals and dailies.

Earlier, Shams used to be work as Editorial Assistant as well as Literary Editor at The Daily Observer from 2014 to 2017 and Assistant Editor at the Bangladesh Post from 2017 to 2018. In addition, Shams is the author of academic books at Bangladesh Open University.

Shams has contributed in national and international publications. For instance, his debut poetry book Theo 101 was published in 2015, by Antivirus Publication (Liverpool, England). His first prose-book Traffic of Truth was published in 2015 by Utso Prokashan (Bangladesh). Moreover, creative writings and critical reviews of Shams have also been published in national and international literary journals like Creative Parallels (Lulu Press, Inc, USA), Rock Pebbles (India), The Nilgiri Wagon (India), and Ashvamegh (India).

Shams’ on-going ventures include: Poesy Tales, a trans-creation project of poetry by Sajjad Arefin (Director, Bangla Academy), The Myriad of Meaning in Lit-Culture Studies: An Indo-Bangla Critical Literary Canvas, a theoretical prose anthology, to be published by Tafakkur Qanoti (Uzbekistan) in English and Uzbek languages.

On 26 August 2018, Shams lectured on ‘Diaspora Literature and Death of Languages’ at Kolkata Press Club organized by Ankur Art and Cultural Institute of India and participated in a panel discussion on four seminal books of Avik Gangopadhyay. On 2 June 2019, Shams presented a talk on the book launching ceremony of Avik Gangopadhyay at Oxford Gallery, Oxford Book Store, in Kolkata, India.

On Jan 31-Feb 2, 2019, Shams presented his paper entitled “The ‘new original’ through cultural translation: Kaafiron Ki Naamaz, the journey of pastiche from postmodern stage to Indian cinema screen” at BITS Pilani, Goa Campus, India.

Moreover, Shams presented scholarly research at International Conference on Teaching and Learning of Centre for Pedagogy, Independent University, Bangladesh on “Musical Translation Approach as Magic Wand in the Pedagogy of Literature Translation in Bangladesh” on 28 June 2018.

Shams also took training on Academic Research, Publication & Teaching Skills, organized by the Department of English and Modern Languages (DEML), North South University on 27-28 May 2018, conducted by Dr. Shyam Sharma & Dr. Eugene Hammond from Stony Brook University, New York, USA.

Shams attended as a guest at poetry-talk and performance sessions with international literary scholars at various literary summits, for instance: 1) ‘Poetry for Peace’ at Bishwo Shahitto Kendro on 30 August 2019 with two internationally renowned poets from Mexico, Dr Yuri Zambrano and Dr Mayra Chavez and 35 Bangladeshi poets, 2) ‘No War – Hug Peace’ at EMK Center with poet and translator Aminur Rahman, Continental Director of World Festival of Poetry and President of Kathak, a poetry initiative of Bangladesh along with 24 Bangladeshi poets on 22 June 2019, 3) Celebrating Poetry (1 February 2018, NDUB), 4) Ode to Neruda (23 September 2017, NDUB), 5) Dhaka International Poets Summit 2017 (31 January 2017, Gallery Chitrak), 6) Launching of Kabikantha Literary Journal (February 2, 2017, Bishwo Shahitto Kendro), 7) ‘Abar Banglar Bujhi Porey Jay Mone: Syed Shamsul Haque, Jago Bahey, Konthey Shobai’ (7 October 2016, NDUB), 8) ‘Modernism Postmodernism: Film & Drama’ (13 January 2017, DUCSU), 9) ‘Modernism Postmodernism: Poetry’ (20 January 2017), etc.

Shams, in addition, conducts various intensive workshops for youth skill development, for instance: ‘Creative Writing and Storytelling’ at NDUB on 21 July 2018, ‘Storytelling for Promoting Inclusive Governance through Films’, of Youth Peace Film 2018, an initiative by USAID, on 11 October in Cox’s Bazar, 5 series of episodes of ‘Developing Youth Academic Skills’ at various college in Dhaka, ‘Youth Peace Film’ workshop by Films4Peace Foundation (F4PF) with the support of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) from January to July 2019.

Shams also worked as Contributing Editor with several organizations, for instance: ‘Good Governance in the Financial Sector of Bangladesh’ by Chandrabati Academy (July 2018), ‘Blue Sky’ by US Bangla Airlines (2016), and many more special magazines and tabloids.

Shams is also Founder and Director of Avant-garde Productions (Dhaka, Bangladesh) that produces visual narratives: of fictions, of poems. Shams is Associate Member of Bangladesh Film Directors Guild Association and President of Art Hut.

Shams’ debut tri-episode visual fiction entitled Shunner Abritti (Sound of Silence) was aired on Channel- i (March 12-14, 2013). Written and directed by Shams, a full length feature film A Tale of Night-Flowers (Deho Station) is expected to be released by the end of 2019. His written and directed poetic visual narratives are: Bloody Deaf (2017), No More Tales (2016), and Pigland (2016). The short film Freedom of Silence (2017), written and directed by Shams, received awards in multiple categories in numerous film festivals of Bangladesh. Also, he has supervised and produced many other visual fictions.

Shams’ scriptwriting career of visual fiction includes: 6-day episode visual fiction entitled Rhythm of Life aired on Maasranga Television in Eid-Ul-Fitr in 2016, Cheyechho Jokhon aired on Ekushey Television in Eid-Ul-Fitr in 2016, Bodhon aired on Bangladesh Television on the 9th of November, 2015, Andore Alo aired on SATV on the 6th day of Eid-ul-Fitr in 2014.

Shams did his schooling from Saint Joseph Higher Secondary School, Notre Dame College, and University of Dhaka (BA in English, MA in English Literature). Shams detail work profile is available at www.agproductionsbd.com and he can be reached at shams@ndub.edu.bd.

 

CHEF OF VERSE

“I am two Fools I know
For loving you and saying so.”
That’s the curse, being a verse-maker,
believed he, not being fond of Donne.

Once upon a time
there was a Chef of Verse
who used to offer profound platters
of poetry, pathos, and pun.
to his secret beloved known by none.

“I am two Fools I know
For loving you and saying so.”

In despair-Spring,
when fails the Song Offerings,
his verses used to blend those beads
and mash with imageries—
auditory is sugary crunchy
tactile is salty spicy
olfactory is lemon-grassy
visual is sizzling, mouth-watering…
Kinesthetic in its garnished flame
A dish to die for—
like the Apple worth for Paradise Lost!.

“I am two Fools I know
For loving you and saying so.”

Pathos that Oedipus-text might not arouse
his verses in piping hotpot
drain the greasy hamartia
cut in the dry catharsis
and prepare a bowl of poetry
that while sipped and noodled
runs in the veins as sperm does
boils inside as Che’s blood
feeds the soul as silence does
heals the mind as Rumi’s dance.

“I am two Fools I know
For loving you and saying so.”

The Chef of Verse could travel too
from Shakespeare to Andrew
but his puns are baked in one summer
that secret beloved were no more secret.
There Gibran reminds:
God meets the soul only in silence…
with this crime, Society put him in exile
where his hammering hands
were dying in solitude.
Even the winter wept
pleaded for his release.

The Chef realized Society, like beloved,
“was little more than kin, and less than kind.”

His spoonful meters, iambics, and rhymes
are sought by dews and drops of all weathers.
His verses sometimes are smelt by newbies
standing before his epitaph, a verseful tomb:
“Here, the burning smell would remind you lovers:
You can catch a falling star, but not a lover who is true.
Ask for me a bucketful tomorrow,
and you shall find me a grave man on the rocks.”

 

LETTER FROM A MOLECULE

A milky ocean of spit
you deserved to be served
as your night-long dessert
when you term this August tragedy as rumour.
Green vomited-vegetables
in a red-green bowl of soup
for you to be prepared when you
daydream ‘terror attack’ from eyes fitted on your ass
whereas hundreds are—
stripped,
beaten,
harassed—
as if Red Sea in Dhaka,
air: full of 25th March,
youth beans lying here and there,
caused by men and minds
born inside the house.
A big fart-filled-hookah
awaiting at the lounge nearby
when your tied hands clap in bliss
while fascism dances as it desires
dressed in democracy at your doorstep.
I spit on your eyes-wide-shut.
I spit on your zipped-lip-like-butt.
I spit on your magic wand of digital call.
I spit on your snaky grab on media’s tongue.
I, a molecule in size, from a molecule place,
wish to pour molecules of urine-sperm-spit whatsoever
to whosoever will forgot such Satanic Saturday night onwards.
And you expect future kids to chorus in Bengal—
“Blessed with petals and paddies…
our beloved jute, beloved greeneries”?

 

FACE TO FACE

I have seen the best faces of my generation!
Yes, I have seen the best Ginsbergs:
of many genders, and beyond gender.
I have seen them all
measured my eyes out of their ‘balls
whose speeches are only in pages.
In the name of top-notch revolution
their ink dries out before ejaculation.
I have seen the changing faces, trust me—
the Dalis and Magrites of my generation.
Yes, I have seen their melting noses and ears
I have seen how pseuds
win applause in lectures
I title them: ‘the art of pretence’.
Just a while ago, I met a few of them
one of the best minds
who only switch on the minds at home
and that’s why perhaps they are not at all lone,
rather surrounded by ’suckers.
If the world would have seen,
would vomit no more in the bins,
leaving such a delicate dew-like brain unwet.
I have seen the changing faces, believe me.
I have seen the hypos and critis.
I have seen their scream on rights.
I have seen their asses running after privileges.
I have seen their longings for freedom
being chained and shackled by their own minds.
I have seen the fallen faces, their so-called rise.
All—the best faces of my generation—
here I present a new mask—
resume embossed—because I have seen
beneath their Vendetta Attire—
the cowards laughing out loud
with their Akonic funeral-music:
“I just had…and it feels so good.”
I have seen their future—
Dying being Deaf and Dumb.

 

SAJEK-KI-SAJISH

His life — – not a Rampal project! His coal life turned cold, but sheuli, kashphul, orchids bloomed when he first met his Green at Sajek-ki-Sajish!
Sundarbans resembled her. He won’t let any Ram or Pal to corrupt that greeny-smile! Groves, at times, become rude, as goddess do. Even if it hurts, we bow. He also knows water can make one drown, but without it, one might get choked in!
“What a fragrant grove,” he whispered. The verses of the film ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’ haunts: “There was only one thing the perfume could not do. It could not turn him into a person who could love and be loved like everyone else.”
He literally prayed to his small-lettered gods: water, leaves, the sky, and the air, pleaded to allow him a walk in her green. And thus — – be entwined, in all rains and sunshines.

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