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What is paradise?

Is it embracing a newborn,
Or an end to a mother’s sacrifice?

Is it rejoicing the fall of tyranny,
Or is it an end to the millions agony?

Is it revelling in glorious war victories,
Or is it bidding farewell to the countless bullet stricken bodies?

Is it the laughter at sunrise,
Or is it an end to the silent tears as the sun sinks in the night skies.

For every joyous moment, every gain
Comes after a struggle, hardship and pain
And face every battle with belief in your eyes
And you will find the place called paradise.

Omer Chowdhury


Lost in your thoughts,  your mesmerising eyes

Lost in your laughter, your dreamy smile

Lost in the feel of our entwined fingers

Lost in your beauty, your scent still lingers


Lost was the promise, of an eternal bond

Lost was the fire, the burning desire

Lost are the cherished memories, they went with you

Lost is the love, you stole that too



Lost is what we could have been

Lost…waiting, waiting to be found.


Omer Chowdhury


31st August 1997: Although a mere child of 7, I vividly remember being dumb-struck as my mother broke the news to me; Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales had passed away. The sole memory I have of the Princess, is an image of her on BBC News, in a helmet and flak jacket visiting the minefield in Angola. I have never had the honour of meeting Her Royal Highness, but the news of her death seemed to chip off a part of my heart. I had come across death before. But at the tender age of 7, I was under the impression that life was a cycle – you age and turn wrinkly and old, and die. I could not comprehend how someone so young and graceful is no longer with us. I realised although life was a cycle, the Almighty sometimes takes away a handful of shining stars from the Earth to keep him company in Heaven. As I listened to the magical voice of Elton John sing ’Candle in the Wind’, a single drop of tear trickled down. Death seemed cruel.

9th October 2006: Almost a decade on, death no longer filled my heart with sorrow. With age, I had mastered the art of ’letting go’. Or so I thought.

Snooker has always been a sport that I admire, and in Paul Hunter, I had found myself a snooker god. A multiple Master champion, Paul was gifted with magnificent skills, stunning looks and a charming personality. If ever snooker needed an ambassador, you need not look beyond Paul Hunter. His Masters win against Ronnie O Sullivan, despite trailing almost all throughout the match, was simply scintillating. Paul had the ability to generate an aura, and was adored by everyone in the world of snooker. On the 6th of April 2005, Paul Hunter announced that he was suffering from  a rare form of cancer, and was undergoing chemotherapy. After battling for a year with his condition, he bravely returned to the snooker circuit. It seemed that all was well. But on the 9th of October 2006, Paul Hunter, the ’Man with the Golden Cue’ lost the battle. And a decade on, the hollow feeling of loss felt like dejavu.
I have no doubts that Paul Hunter would have gone onto be a world champion at some stage of his career. But aged just 27, death had yet again robbed the world of a true champion.
23rd July 2011: I was never a huge fan of Amy Winehouse. I admired her song writing talent and loved her powerful vocals. If Death had to wrestle to seize the souls of Lady Diana and Paul Hunter, Amy Winehouse had invited Death for a ‘cuppa‘. However, it has  made me realise that no matter how talented you are and how large your fan base may be, your life is not certain. And from time to time death will prevent stars from turning into legends, just as if to remind us that ‘you are not in control of your destiny‘.
 Since the day of my birth, Death began its walk. He is walking towards me, without hurrying” – Jean Cocteau
Omer Chowdhury


I still remember the day I picked up ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. My elder (and wiser) sister had been nagging me for weeks to read it and I had been adamant that the world of witchcraft and wizardry will not be of great interest to me. As I read the line ’The boy who lived’, little did I know that the magical world of J.K Rowling will take me on such a wonderful and scintillating journey.

I remember reading about Platform Nine and Three Quarters and being mesmerised at the thought of the existence of another world within us. I recall discussing with my friends that Professor Snape had to be the evil dude and being awed when Quirrel revealed himself. I remember embarking on a thrilling yet dark ride with Harry, Ron and Hermione in the Chamber of Secrets and developing hatred and then love for Sirius Black in the Prisoner of Azkaban. How can anyone forget the wondrous events of the Quidditich World Cup and the fascinating Triwizard Tournament in the Goblet of Fire. I remember reading the line “Harry, take my body back will you? Take my body back to my father” over and over again just praying I’ve misread the last page, praying that Cedric Diggory was still alive. As the books got darker, more death followed; the death of Sirius Black, the rebel godfather every child dreams of was a shock that took me forever to recover from. But the Order of Phoenix made me believe…believe that evil and cruelty will crushed…It gave me hope.

I recall accompanying Dumbledore and Harry on a sinister journey to destroy a Horcux and feeling the excruciating pain of Albus as he drunk the poisonous liquid and the sheer hatred for Severus Snape as our beloved Professor Dumbledore fell. And finally, after over a decade, the world embarked one last journey. The tears were impossible to hold back as little Dobby, Fred and Lupin all perished. The unconditional hatred for Snape instantly transformed into one of affection and respect. And the jubilation as the monstrous Voldemort crumbled under his own spell.

And so as the magical world of Harry Potter comes to an end, I cherish the fond memories it will leave behind. It has indeed been an emotional roller coaster ride.

Like millions of others, I have grown up alongside Harry, Ron and Hermione, and although the curtains are finally drawn the legend of Harry Potter will always leave an imprint on my childhood.