"According to an English newspaper Bangladesh has the happiest people in the world. They say we have no big ambition, we do our work and go back to our family and do not need to change that rhythm. I have ambition but that doesn't make me unhappy".
Sreeman Mishu Barua; 28; and born in the year that Bangladesh gained its independence, is a student on one of the HSIJ International Masters Programmes. His ambition is to become a researcher and a poet and three examples of his poetry recently been published in the previous two editions of the university Newspaper. In this edition you have another chance to read some of his work, with the publication of a fourth poem, in which you can catch a glimpse of the writer himself.
In Hinduism there are men, we call them 'gonoc', that tell us about our future. Though we are Buddhists, my mother went to one of them when I was young with my date of birth and came back with my future on a 7 meter long roll of paper. Although the 'gonoc' said that I would become an inventor I don't believe this was the reason that I have such a strong feeling that I want to become a researcher in science. My mother is my real inspiration. Instead of most of the other family's she just wanted two children, to be able to give them a better future. She always bought good books and checked if I went to school. After High school, I did my B.Sc. in Botany, than my M.Sc. in Nutrition. After my study I could get a job but I wanted to be a researcher and because of the lack of funding and instruments that was not possible in Bangladesh. I want to do research that will help human population. I don't want to be forgotten, you see.
Mishu does not believe in a God, believing instead that people should get their strength from within their own heart, and from nowhere else. Perhaps this is a reason that he wants to carry out research in genetics, and more specifically the field of longevity and eternal life.
I think that in the future artificial more intelligent life will rule the earth and will be the only kind of intelligent life that exists.
As well as his wish to research the theories of longevity, Mishu tries to express himself through poetry.
I started writing poem when I was 14. I always wrote in 'Bangla' but since I am here I do it in English. When you understand the rhythm of a poem you can write them in other languages too. The rhythm makes the language follow. That is why I do not always use 'common English', but try to be more creative. My first poem, I made it when I was 14, was there before I knew it. My mother was in government services. Most of the days she was not there, five days gone, two days at home. I missed her so much that I wrote five lines on a piece of paper. At that moment I found out that poetry was for me a good way to show my feelings and thoughts. When I went to college when I was 16, I suddenly stopped writing. I started again in the university. I was very much in love at that time. But because my mother has taught me not to follow sudden feelings, I had to find another way to express myself.
It is the same thing with politics and religion. I want to show people in this way that a lot of things in politics in Bangladesh are wrong and also show people in common that there is no God and that it is possible to find your confidence in yourself. All those thoughts and feelings together I wanted to publish. Since January this year the first 500 copies of my first poetry-book Amake Ridoye Tule Dhoro or Take my in Your Heart are sold. Why I wanted that? I think I don't want to be forgotten.
-------The Interview was taken and compiled by Mr. Eddie Verdriet on 20th November, 1999.