Special Announcement: Another TV appearance

For those of you who have followed this blog for many years you have enjoyed/suffered/ignored both my writings and my photos well beyond the call of duty. Recently you’ve also endured seeing me on camera too. What you haven’t seen though is much of the woman who is lovingly referred to in these pages as ‘Wifey’.

Last year I gave my hugely successful TEDx talk on “The Importance of the Global Village”:

Then recently I appeared on NTV, interviewed by Abul Hasnath. The 45-minute show was split into three sections as below:

At the time I remember thinking “I spent more time talking about my wife than I did about me!” Well, at long last, for those of you who might have wondered what kind of woman has put up with me all this time and what is she like to talk to, Wifey is finally making her TV debut!

We are being interviewed by IQRA Bangla TV’s Ishaque Uddin this coming Thursday at 6 – 7:30pm GMT. The show will be live which is pretty scary for both of us but, all being well, you’ll get to hear from the horse’s mouth just what my other half did out in Bangladesh for five years and what drives and motivates her.

You can set your sky boxes to record Sky channel 825 for 6pm or watch live at the time and enjoy seeing us squirm! If you live outside of the UK or don’t have Sky you can watch live on IQRA’s website – www.iqra.tv/iqra-bangla/ – or wait until the programme uploads to Youtube (I’ll share the links eventually!)

Writer and journalist D K Powell is the author of the bestselling collection of literary short stories “The Old Man on the Beach“. His first book, ‘Sonali’ is a photo-memoir journal of life in Bangladesh and has been highly praised by the Bangladeshi diaspora worldwide. Students learning the Bengali language have also valued the English/Bengali translations on every page.

Both ‘The Old Man on the Beach’ and ‘Sonali’ are available on Amazon for kindle and paperback. Published by Shopno Sriti Media.

D K Powell is available to speak at events (see his TEDx talk here) and can be contacted at dkpowell.contact@gmail.com

Posted in Bangladesh, community, LAMB, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Confession: I am a man-whore

The title says it all: I am a man-whore.

Should I be ashamed of this? It is, I confess, a dirty secret. I can’t help myself. It’s like a fixation in me. And I’m getting ever more desperate because I’m not getting the hits that I crave.

It’s always been there – since I was a teenager at least – the need to satiate my lust. It hasn’t gone away. What’s more, I’ll do it with men and women, I’m not choosy; the young and even if they come old and crinkly. Whatever ethical creed or religion, I’ll take them and fill my need.

But no, I’m not ashamed. In fact, I wish there were more like me out there. You see what I pimp myself out for unashamedly I’m actually quite proud of. Put simply:

I am a conversation whore

Like I say, I can’t help it. Like Dexter from the hit TV series I go prowling for my next hit, my ‘dark passenger’ always with me. I go looking for a good conversation. I scour Facebook, Twitter, the Blog-o-sphere, real life (of course) – everywhere; all the time looking for intelligent, meaningful, deep, entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation.

But like all good tarts, I’m choosy about company. I am, I like to think, a high-class hooker. I’m not interested in inane chatter, sending (and definitely not receiving) dick pics, childish humour, what you watched on TV tonight or who did what or said that. No, I go looking for something which grabs me at much deeper level. Something to make me feel I scored a hit like a drug user shooting the best on the market into their veins.

I had a hit the other night. It was a real-life one. Out for a meal with a couple of old mates. Did nothing but tell each other they were wrong about whatever political conviction we had. With Teresa May having just called a snap general election in the UK a few days ago, the whole world seems to be abuzz with it all. We debated all night and did so with wit and humour and good-natured camaraderie thrown in. It was awesome. We probably emptied the restaurant with our “you’re so wrong, HOW could you believe that?” comments thrown across the table – but we loved it.

I enjoy many wonderful conversations with friends across the world every day. The joy of enjoying a certain degree of ‘being known’ as an author is that you get to meet a lot more people. From the very deepest of secrets, to the most public of joys, I get to enjoy conversations of every kind of topic from intelligent, capable, interesting people who also abound in care, loyalty and empathy. The fact that more people want to see me, interview me, have me speak at events and so on is immaterial to me – they are opportunities to meet people and make new friends. I don’t care who supplies me with my drug.

But conversely it’s made me harsher too. I haven’t got time for time-wasters: the ones who show off to impress you, or want to find out all about you, or just want to flirt a little, but who actually aren’t that interested or aren’t that interesting after a while. The ones who choose to have entire conversations just using emoticons. The ones who initially won’t leave you alone with chat but then suddenly never get in touch with you – for weeks and months – because they can’t be bothered any longer, but when they do expect that everything will be the same. That’s not the same as those you’ve known and loved for a long time where you’ve always come and gone over time in each others’ lives and you can just pick up where you’ve left off – those people are untouchable. They never leave my heart. I’m talking about those who wade in obsessively and then suddenly couldn’t care less any longer. I ditch such people now, and I don’t let them back in once they’ve gone. That shit might feel good for a while, but in the end it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

On Facebook recently I’ve found it harder to find the conversations I crave. It feels like everyone has taken the principle of Twitter’s 140-character message to heart. People pop in, say hi, then leave again. I do it too – most of us do I’m sure. But I see that as the equivalent of meeting someone you know in the street. It’s a quick catch-up before you both carry on your way. But if that’s all you get then that person becomes little more than an acquaintance. That’s fine, but you don’t have the rich, deep conversations with acquaintances as you do with friends.

And friendship can be an instant thing. Recently I got chatting to a person living near Manchester. The connection was almost instantaneous. We’ve been good friends for quite some time now and nothing seems to be wavering with that. Now I’m old enough and experienced enough to know that friendships can go to hell in an instant over some argument, tiff, disagreement or misunderstanding but, as much as it is possible to allow for that and predict the future, I’m hopeful that in a year, two years, five years plus, we will still be friends. Who can tell? I’m hopeful nonetheless. The point is, just because we met online doesn’t mean the friendship ain’t real. Sometimes you just click with someone and it works.

So yeah…I’m a conversation whore and a junkie. I get my fix on intelligent and interesting talk. I don’t care if you hate me for it, it’s who I am. It’s an addiction I don’t want to lose.

This, for me, is very true. Ghastly though those ‘share if you believe this’ type memes are…

Writer and journalist D K Powell is the author of the bestselling collection of literary short stories “The Old Man on the Beach“. His first book, ‘Sonali’ is a photo-memoir journal of life in Bangladesh and has been highly praised by the Bangladeshi diaspora worldwide. Students learning the Bengali language have also valued the English/Bengali translations on every page.

Both ‘The Old Man on the Beach’ and ‘Sonali’ are available on Amazon for kindle and paperback. Published by Shopno Sriti Media.

D K Powell is available to speak at events (see his TEDx talk here) and can be contacted at dkpowell.contact@gmail.com

 

Posted in community, Culture, Life | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

A busy Bangla month!

My goodness the last few weeks have been crazy!

After the successful launch of my book ‘The Old Man on the Beach’, soaring to #1 on Amazon for Kindle books and to #31 for paperback books a few days later, I’ve been very busy speaking at a number of events (not all of them planned as you’ll see).

Firstly I was invited by the Bangladeshi community of Oldham to give a short speech at their ‘I Love Bangladesh’ evening event. The evening was celebrating the courage and tenacity of the first Bangladeshis who came over to the UK decades ago, at a time where their reception was frosty and often they had very little English language abilities, to do the jobs we didn’t have enough people to do. About 40 awards were given out to ‘the elder’ and a beautiful presentation of their memorabilia, photos and poems was put on display.

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With so many speeches (including from the local mayor) mine was very short but I was still able to give homage to these amazing people who grew a wonderful community out of nothing and have enriched British culture in doing so.

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Soon after, I shot down to London with some of the family in tow. Dropping them with friends in Gloucester, I went on to meet up with friends, clients and fans (including two absolute little cuties who must officially be my youngest and most favourite fans! You can see them here reading both my books!) before then heading to the NTV studios to record a show with Abul Hasnath.

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After recovering from that, I was delighted to take a trip to Rochdale yesterday for my first ever celebration of the Bangla New Year – Pohela Boishakh – in the UK. Long-term readers will recall I’ve posted many a time about the Pohela Boishakh celebrations I loved so much at LAMB, my NGO in Bangladesh. If you want to know a little more about the origins of this celebrations (or just look at the pictures!) click HERE for my last Boishakh in Bangladesh.

I had intended to simply be an observer at the event in Rochdale but it would seem that I am now a recognisable personality (at least in some parts of the north!) and before I knew it, I was cajoled into giving a short speech about my experiences of life in Bangladesh. I think really I was just there to make the mayor look good when he gave his speech after me! Yes folks, it seems I’m available to be a warm-up act for mayors!

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After all this excitement, I now get to look forward to seeing the show I recorded in London aired tonight (Saturday 15th April 2017 – if you’re reading this waaaaay in my future!) on NTV – channel 838 if you’re interested and live in the UK or Europe. It’s on at midnight so I’m recording it (most Bangladeshis are still awake at this time of night so it’s a good time to air!) but I shall be watching it tomorrow morning to see if I flumped or trumped! If I don’t look a complete dork and sound worse I’ll post up the link to Youtube where I believe the recording will end up so that those of you outside the UK can watch it too should you wish. If I do sound dreadful though, I’m going to let it disappear without a murmur…

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With thanks to Mina Ahmed, Elysian Photography, Murad Photography, the team at ILB, Abul Hasnath and NTV studios for the use of their photos.

Writer and journalist D K Powell is the author of the bestselling collection of literary short stories “The Old Man on the Beach“. His first book, ‘Sonali’ is a photo-memoir journal of life in Bangladesh and has been highly praised by the Bangladeshi diaspora worldwide. Students learning the Bengali language have also valued the English/Bengali translations on every page.

Both ‘The Old Man on the Beach’ and ‘Sonali’ are available on Amazon for kindle and paperback. Published by Shopno Sriti Media.

D K Powell is available to speak at events (see his TEDx talk here) and can be contacted at dkpowell.contact@gmail.com

Posted in Bangladesh, community, Culture, Life | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Council of Dogs

The barn was crowded that evening. All the dogs bar the young and infirm had responded to the call for the council meeting. It was a momentous occasion and they all knew it. Just one thing on the agenda and it had been a long time coming.

The Chief Hound, in his role as Chairdog, lumbered up to the central barking spot and began his address:

“You all know why we are here tonight. There has been enough speculation and gossip going on through the alleyways and over kitchen howls. Now it is time to make decisions and sort out, once and for all, the growing problem of the cats.”

Instantly there was loud murmurings from the pack; yaps and barks intermingling with threatening growls. The Chief Hound continued:

“We are all aware that the number of cats in the area have rapidly increased over the last few years and so have the levels of violent incidents. We cannot tolerate this takeover as a society any longer.”

“Hear, hear, Mr Chairdog!” said one of the elder dogs, a venerable and respected former alpha male. “I have always maintained that the cats are just not the kind of creatures we want in our towns, villages and farms in this area. It is time they were removed or, if they won’t go peaceably…” he waited a second for effect, “…destroyed.”

This remark brought a cacophony of barks from all around the barn, so much so that the Chief Hound had to bring the pack to order and indicate speakers one by one. Many points were raised:

  • Cats were increasing to such an extent that dogs couldn’t even go for a walk in peace any longer without having their peaceful daily business ruined by the over-excitement of seeing a cat.
  • The number of injuries to noses had multiplied beyond all proportions as more cats were standing up to the rights of dogs to attack them and using ‘vicious and barbarian’ claws to savage snouts.
  • Cats had disgusting customs such as bringing home dead mice and birds.
  • Cats gave nothing of value to society. Dogs had a long and proud tradition of being there for their masters when they got home and making them feel loved and needed. By contrast, Cats made use of their masters and dismissed them with a snobbery and disrespect to both humans and the clear natural order of things.
  • Dogs were victims of prejudice by suffering the ignominy of having their faeces picked up by masters on walks and having to wear leads, whereas cats could come and go as they pleased and never had to clear up after themselves.
  • Worst of all, there were increasing thefts of hens, ducks and other small farm animals causing great distress to farmers and the dogs who worked under them. It was the increase of these incidents that had turned age-old murmurings of discontent into barks of outrage.

The lone voice against these complaints came from one elderly dog who, it must be said, was generally considered a wise old soul and one that many of the young canines came to for advice. For this reason alone he was given the floor to speak. This Wise Old Dog said:

“Gentle hounds and lady bitches, I can understand much of what you complain but I have been around a long time and experienced many things with my nose and ears.

Cats have been our neighbours for many centuries and have never caused us problems in the past. Yes, they may be different to us but many of us here today live with a cat or two in our own homes and have never had conflict with them. For generations we have lived in peace – why would the cats have changed so much all of a sudden? Think about it! It doesn’t make sense.

Both species do things differently. Cats prowl at night; dogs sleep. Cats roam but keep themselves clean; dogs stay mostly on leads and always under command but get themselves dirty and need to be bathed. Cats show affection differently to us but if the humans did not find them pleasing then they would not keep them. Not every human likes an animal to cling to their heel, put muddy paws on their laps and pant drool all over their hands.

It has always been the time-honoured tradition that dogs will chase cats and cats, if they can’t skip up a tree in time, will use their claws for defence. If our own youth are simply more lazy and far too well-pampered to avoid a good swipe on the snout then more fool them! This is nothing new. Merely the new generation not knowing how easy they have it these days.

Chickens and ducks have indeed been stolen but we’re ignoring the fact that foxes have always done this and always will. Some of the increase is indeed down to cats, but not the domestic ones we’ve lived with for so long.

In fact, the real issue is that stray wild cats have moved into our area in recent years. Not only do they attack our farms but they have often wounded or even killed our own cats. They are bigger, more aggressive and do not live by the time-honoured rules of society. These are our true enemy and one that all of us – man, dog and cat together – should face in unity to drive them out. Brothers! I implore you – do not seek an easy way out to blame innocent creatures just as beloved by humans as ourselves when the true perpetrators won’t be touched at all.”

The words of the Wise Old Dog quieted the pack for a moment as they considered his words but it wasn’t long before the louder, larger and stronger dogs managed to rouse them all back into a murderous frenzy.

They argued that a cat is a cat is a cat. Wild or not, cats were all the same and they would never change. Cats may have lived peacefully enough in the past but they had no place in today’s modern society. They simply weren’t fit, as a species, to serve their masters properly. The very few who lived in homes peacefully side by side with dogs were exceptions to the rule; not the norm. It was not in the nature of a cat to be good.

They downplayed the role of foxes in the thefts of livestock and instead emphasised the gruesome nature of their deaths. When a fox stole and ate a hen it would bite its neck and kill it quickly. But a cat loves to play with its food. There was evidence of hens torn apart piece by piece before they died. This was barbaric and the acts degraded animal kind. And don’t all cats play with their food this way? Sure evidence that no cat was fit to live a moment longer and must be driven from their homes or killed swiftly and with mercy as is the right and proper canine way to do things.

And so a vote was taken and the decision made: the cats must go. War was declared and those dogs who had lived in peace with cats, even knowing some as friends, left the barn with murder in their hearts and revenge on their minds. They were doing this to restore the honour of their masters and would surely be rewarded in time. It was the right thing to do. Only the Wise Old Dog remained and sat, forlornly, by himself shaking his head. He was too old to follow the pack and had no desire to join them.

From the top of the barn watched a large wild cat. He peered from the roof through a crack in the slats and had listened to every word of the council. He grinned to himself and when the dogs left he sat there preening himself with pride and pleasure. It was all going so well. The plan was working perfectly.

 

Writer and journalist D K Powell is the author of the bestselling collection of literary short stories “The Old Man on the Beach“. His first book, ‘Sonali’ is a photo-memoir journal of life in Bangladesh and has been highly praised by the Bangladeshi diaspora worldwide. Students learning the Bengali language have also valued the English/Bengali translations on every page.

Both ‘The Old Man on the Beach’ and ‘Sonali’ are available on Amazon for kindle and paperback. Published by Shopno Sriti Media.

D K Powell is available to speak at events (see his TEDx talk here) and can be contacted at dkpowell.contact@gmail.com

Posted in Culture, Life, Philosophy, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Old Man on the Beach’ now in paperback!

I’m pleased to announce that my bestselling collection of short stories is now available as a real, physical, hold-in-your-hands paperback book.

A few days after the kindle version shot to number one in the Amazon rankings for one category and to number four in the other two, the 244-page paperback was released and began selling immediately.

If you buy a copy –  thank you! – and please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Even if you didn’t like it, your review will still help. Thanks 🙂

What they’re saying about ‘The Old Man on the Beach’

“Every story itself is a journey that ultimately takes us to look within and around us; right into the core of humanity…”

“Absolutely beautiful storytelling in a variety of genres and styles…”

“This collection of stories made me laugh, made me cry and made me think about aspects of my own past in different ways…”

“His descriptions of characters touch the heart and the nerve…”

 

Get your copy from Amazon.co.uk here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0995712123 

The book is also available at the US, French, German and other Amazon sites.

Posted in Book Review, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments