Kobe Bryant and Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho were working together on a children's book, but the author of "The Alchemist" said he deleted the draft after Bryant's death in a helicopter crash.
The 72-year-old novelist told The Associated Press on Monday that the two men started discussing the project in 2016, when Bryant retired after a 20-year NBA career. They began writing a few months ago.
Within hours of hearing of Bryant's death Sunday, Coelho announced that he would delete the draft, rather than finish the book without the 41-year-old five-time NBA champion.
"I deleted the draft because it didn't make any sense to publish without him," Coelho said by phone on Monday from his home in Geneva. "It wouldn't add anything relevant to him or his family.
"That doesn't stop me from writing someday about things I learned from Kobe and how much of a larger-than-life person he was," Coelho said. "But the children's book did not make sense anymore."
Coelho's decision disappointed many of Bryant's fans, who flooded the writer's social media channels asking for the draft not to be erased.
Bryant was a fan of Coelho's and called "The Alchemist" his favorite book. He recommended it to everyone from former teammate Kyrie Irving to Rob Pelinka, his former agent who now runs the Lakers' basketball operations.
Pelinka read a passage from the book before a news conference in July 2018 shortly after the Lakers signed LeBron James, who was photographed reading "The Alchemist" before a shootaround in the 2018 Eastern Conference finals when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Coelho, who has sold tens of millions of books, said the idea behind his collaboration with Bryant was to inspire underprivileged children to overcome adversity through sports.
"Kobe was always very concerned about making a book that was a positive example for children, especially those coming from humble beginnings," Coelho said.
Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna also died in the crash, along with seven others. Bryant has three other daughters.
The book project was very casual. After not communicating for several months, Bryant sent a message to Coelho in August, saying "Let's right that book together." He then texted the correct spelling of "write."
"It went from there. Little by little we were going ahead," Coelho said. He did not reveal how many pages had been written or whether the book already had a title.
Bryant's Granity Studios published middle grade and young adult novels. It also put out the player's autobiography, "The Mamba Mentality: How I Play," released in 2018.
"I saw him enough times to assure he had much more than sports on his mind, it wasn't all about competition," Coelho said. "His tragic death has shown already how he was important to the world, not only to the United States. We will discuss his legacy for many years, much beyond sport."
Nature purifies our soul and rejuvenates our body. If you want to enjoy spectacular views of the sun rising or setting from the hill or spend some solitary hours in the woods in front of a sparkling waterfall or want to experience the aborigine culture from up close, Khagrachhari is the place for you. From port city Chittagong, Khagrachhari, one of the three constituent districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, is about 112 km away. Khagrachhari is also known as Chengmi, or Mong Circle, or Phalang Htaung. Crisscrossed by three sinuous rivers (Chengi, Maini and Feni), the undulating landscape of this hilly region offers up some unique charms.
If you want to bathe in a natural cascade of Khagrachari, don’t miss the Richhang Waterfall. It may not be a big waterfall, but it turns into a lively spring during monsoon. On rainy days, the water pours down from the hill-top in a fierce mode generating both wonder and thrill. Located in a tropical forest, Richhang waterfall cherishes the souls of the viewers with its heavenly shower.
Richhang Waterfall in Khagrachari district: Picture Credit Wikimedia Commons
If you are heading towards Khagrachhari town by bus, get off at ‘Richhang bus stop’. This place appears on the Chittagong–Khagrachhari highway about 10 km before the Khagrachari town. Alternatively, you can arrive at Khagrachhari town and then get to Richhang bus stop by any local transport, like bus, Chander Gari or CNG. Richhang Waterfall is about 2.1 km far from this point.
Here you will find a signboard indicating the way towards Richhang Waterfall. The path from the highway to the waterfall is surrounded by green hills. You have to climb through hills to view the splendour of Richhang waterfall. However, be careful while climbing the hills as the rainwater makes the hills slippery and hard to climb.
If you fancy excavating natural caverns to discover the secrets of Mother Earth, then don’t miss Alutila Hill Cave during your Khagrachhari tour. This cave is also popular as ‘Alutila mysterious cave’. This cave is located at Matiranga sub-district (upazila) under Khagrachhari Hill District. This cave has been naturally formed under Arbari or Alutila hill (potato hill) which is about 1000 meters high. Natural tropical forest is surrounding this hilly area depicting mind-blowing lush greenery.
What’s special about Alutila Cave? This cave looks like a subway, where cool water flows through the surface. While passing through this 100-meter long cave, you will feel a pin drop silence in a melancholic atmosphere. You can even hear the echoes of your own footsteps.
Alotila Cave in Khagrachari district: Picture Credit Flickr (Mohammad Asif Parvez)
First arrive at Khagrachhari Town. Alutila Cave is located about 8 km distance from Khagrachhari Town. You can reach Alutila cave from Khagrachari town by local bus, private jeep, or auto rickshaw.
Exploring a holy place is certainly a heavenly experience. Located at Nunchhori under Khagrachari Hill District, this holy place stands about 500 meters or 1600 feet (approximate) high above the ground level. Tripura Tribe inherits a myth about this sacred pond. The myth says that the water of this holy pond will neither dry out nor get polluted. This is why the Nunchhori Debota Pond is called Goddess Pond or Lake of God or Matai Pukhiri.
Nunchhori Debota Pond: Picture Credit The Asian Age
First reach Khagrachhari town. The local transports (Chader Gari) travelling on Rangamati-Khagrachhari route usually go up to Maichchari Army Camp. From this place Nunchhari Tripura Village is about 4 KM away. You have to walk the rest 4 to 5 km path by foot, to reach the Nunchhori Debota Pond at the hilltop. If you go there by car, you can reach up to Nunchhari Tripura village and the rest of the way is only accessible by foot. But it is worth it.
The clean air and lush green environment of Khagrachhari make the mind spiritual. To augment this holly vibe, you can visit ‘Panichari Shantipur Aranya Kutir’. Here you can see the biggest Gautam Buddha statue in Bangladesh. This place is also famous as ‘Panichari Brihot Buddha Sculpture’. This Khagrachari tourist spot is adored by tourists of any religious belief.
Panichari Shantipur Aranya Kutir: Picture Credit rezwanul.blogspot.com
Panichari Shanti Kutir is 25 kilometers away from Khagrachari town. You can get there by bus. The fair ranges around 35 BDT. This journey will be comfortable for the elderly persons as the road is nearly flat on this path.
Trees connect us with nature. If you are a nature-lover then you will feel blessed visiting a centuries old Banyan tree at Khagrachari. Under Matiranga sub-district (Upazila), a 400 year old Banyan tree is standing as a living witness of the bygone times.
The main tree itself features an enormous size. You will also see several small trees connected with the mother tree. Actually, those small trees have generated from the root of the mother tree. According to the tree-researchers, it is one of the biggest Banyan trees of the country. This Banyan tree is locally popular as ‘Porjoton Bot Gach’ or ‘Alutila Bot Gach’. This place soothes the souls of local people as well as the tourists with fresh cool air.
Alutila Bot Gach Matiranga Khagrachhari: Picture Cretive discover-bangladesh.weebly.com
First reach Khagrachhari bus terminal. Then take a bus heading for Chittagong or Feni. Get off the bus at Matiranga Bazar. The bus fare is about 20 BDT. From this place, you can hire a motorbike for a round-trip at your destination Banyan tree and return back at Matiranga Bazar. The motorbike fare usually ranges from 80 to 100 BDT.
Your Khagrachhari trip might remain unfulfilled, if you miss enjoying the sunrise and sunset from the hill-top. Visit Sajek valley to have this unforgettable experience. If you are crazy for adventure, enjoy trailing from Ruilui village to Konglak tribal village. Reaching Konglak village you will put your footstep on the top-surface of Mount Shipu, which is the highest Peak of Mountain ranges at Sajek. You can enjoy the magnificent harmony of green hills and blue sky with the home roasted coffee or locally produced fresh Tangerine.
From the peak of Shipu you can view the surrounding mountain ranges at 360-degree panorama. The simplistic lifestyle of tribal people at Konglak village will detach you from the complexities of urban life. What is more? There are two army helipads placed on two different mountain peaks in Sajek valley. From one helipad you can enjoy rising of the sun; while the other one gives you the opportunity to enjoy the sunset.
Sajek Valley Khagrachhari Bangladesh: Picture Credit busy.org
Sajek is a union under Baghaichari sub-district (upazila) under Rangamati Hill District. However, the fact is you can’t get there directly from Rangamati. To reach Sajek you have to go through Khagrachhari Hill District. Therefore, the tourists always tend to visit Sajek during their Khagrachhari tour.
After reaching Khagrachhari town you can hire a local transport called Chader Gari to arrive at Dighinala. From Dighinala you have to get another ride on Chader gari to reach your destination Sajek valley. However, you can reach Sajek directly from Khagrachhari by reserved Chader Gari or car or personal transport.
Generally, winter is the best time to visit the Khagrachari tourist spots. But during the monsoon the waterfalls are revived and the green hills get lusher. However, during the rainy season landslides occur in the hill tract zone. Such mishaps hamper the local transportation system of Khagrachhari for days. Therefore, it is advised to check the weather forecast before planning a trip in the hilly district.
A group art exhibition showcasing paintings done outdoors under the genre en plein air, also known as plein air painting, the act of painting outdoors was inaugurated Monday at the Mohakhali unit of Gallery Cosmos.
Known as one of the country’s leading institutions dedicated to art, Gallery Cosmos is organizing the 20-day special exhibition titled ‘Trinayan’ with the participation of Outdoor Community artists group.
Brazilian Ambassador to Bangladesh Joao Tabajara de Oliveira Jr. attended the inaugural ceremony as the special guest, alongside renowned art critic Moinuddin Khaled and eminent artist Shahid Kabir.
The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Tehmina Enayet, Director of Gallery Cosmos.
In his opening remarks, the ambassador said, “To me, the essence of Bangladesh is art- as the country is blessed with enriched literature, arts, culture and all of the talented artistes. In this exhibition, I got amazed through all these unique and diverse artworks on various genres by these talented artists- and I thank Tehmina Enayet and Gallery Cosmos for inviting me as well as promoting these types of stimulating arts in this country.”
Eminent art critic Moinuddin Khaled applauded and advised the participating artistes, saying “Think before you ink, because it is very much important to portray the reality that we see in front of us. If an artist wants to portray the real scenario, the artist has to experience that moment. That is exactly what these artists have done in their outdoor ventures that are shown in this exhibition and I really appreciate the effort.”
Thanking the venture of Gallery Cosmos, he said “Art galleries do not want to promote young or less-known artistes, as that can be a business risk, and that is the scenario all over the world. Here in Bangladesh, Gallery Cosmos is continuously supporting and promoting the artistes despite the business risk, which is highly appreciable.”
Artist Shahid Kabir, who is also participating in this art exhibition, said “Artists like SM Sultan, Zainul Abedin were like saints of arts who never compromised expressing their true feelings through their artworks. In order to be a successful artist, one has to avoid shortcuts and remain dedicated. I believe these promising artists will remain dedicated, as well as the Gallery Cosmos to us.”
Explaining the commitment to support the country's artists and their praiseworthy artworks, Tehmina Enayet, the Director of Gallery Cosmos, said “At Gallery Cosmos, over the course of the last decade we have dedicated ourselves to lending a platform to various mediums of art rooted in Bangladesh, as well as those influenced from far-off lands. Through initiatives such as the present exhibition (Trinayan) and many more, it is our aim to break new ground by acting as an incubator for the emergence of various art forms, including plein air painting, in Bangladesh.”
Showcasing 40 artworks in various mediums, works by some 20 artists- Shahid Kabir, Afrozaa Jamil Konka, Azmeer Hossain, Sahid Kazi, Bishwajit Goswami, Sumon Wahed, Juton Chandra Roy, Manik Bonik, Parvej Hasan Rigan, Rumana Raman, Arifa Sultana, Jannatun Nahar Ava, Abu Tamim, Adil Mahamud Hasnat, Mrinal Banik, Md. Rafiqul Islam, Auntora Mehrukh Azad, Jayanta Mondal, Sharifa Akter Liza and Helal Shah – find place in the exhibition.
The exhibition will continue till February 15, 2020, every day from 12 pm to 8 pm at the Dhaka North unit of Gallery Cosmos: House 115, Road 6, New DOHS, Mohakhali .
'Nakshatra Nivey Jai', the first poetry book by Prof Ahaduzzaman Mohammad Ali, was unveiled at Dhaka University (DU) on Monday.
National Professor Anisuzzaman presided over the book launching ceremony held at the Mozaffar Ahmed Chowdhury Auditorium of DU Social Sciences Building.
Former Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, Vice-chancellor of Rabindra University Prof Biswajit Ghosh, Prof Dr Syed Manzoorul Islam of DU English department, Bangla Academy Director General Habibullah Siraji, and Onno Prokash Director and Publisher Mazharul Islam, among others, addressed the function.
Onno Prokash published the poetry book.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Ahaduzzaman, former teacher of DU Mass Communication and Journalism department, said he never had any plan to publish a poetry book. “It’s just my hobby to read poems and write, and I’ve written those only for my self-satisfaction.”
Describing the background behind publishing the book, he said he wrote poems and posted those on his Facebook wall. “After going through the poems, my students, colleagues and friends insisted that I publish a book compiling those. Then I decided to go for it,” he said.
Referring to the tragic loss of Ahaduzzaman’s wife in an accident, National Professor Anisuzzaman said it was also reflected in his book. “These poems show he’s very careful in his choice of words and shaping the poems.”
Voicing his hope that Prof Ahaduzzaman will continue his work, Anisuzzaman wanted to know why he has taken too much time in emerging as a poet.
Prof Syed Manzoorul Islam said, “I know Prof Ahaduzzaman for a long time as my university colleague. We’ve lots of memories together. I really appreciate his work and hope it’ll get an enormous response from readers.
Valeria Luiselli's novel "Lost Children Archive" and Adam Higginbotham's nonfiction "Midnight in Chernobyl" have been awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal, a $5,000 prize presented by the American Library Association.
The awards for fiction and nonfiction were announced Sunday and honor two of last year's most acclaimed books. "Lost Children Archive," a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle prize, blends fiction and documentation as it probes the fates of refugee children. "Midnight in Chernobyl" recounts the 1986 nuclear power disaster and the Soviet Union government's desperate efforts to conceal it.
"We hope that librarians will find the two Carnegie winners to be powerful and fruitful titles to recommend and discuss," prize committee chair Donna Seaman said in a statement. The awards were announced during the library association's annual mid-winter meeting, held this year in Philadelphia.
Previous Carnegie medal winners include Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad" and Bryan Stevenson's "Just Mercy," adapted into a feature film that is now in theaters.
Both Luiselli and Higginbotham are lifelong fans of libraries. In a recent email to The Associated Press, Luiselli called herself a "radical nerd" and praised the Carnegie prize as "the ultimate radical nerd award." A native of Mexico City, she lived everywhere from Wisconsin to Costa Rica growing up and remembers attending an American elementary school in South Korea, where she would sneak into the high school library to read horror stories.
Now a resident of New York City, the 36-year-old Luiselli says she has "spent more time in libraries — between the stacks, in silent reading rooms, in the rare books & manuscript sections, and hovering behind the lenses of microfilm readers — than is probably healthy.
"But I have a good pair of reading glasses and antihistamines in my bag," she adds.
Higginbotham, 51, also knows well the interiors of the New York Public Library system. While working on "Midnight in Chernobyl: : The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster," he was a visiting scholar at the system's main branch in midtown Manhattan, blessed with "a quiet and beautiful place to work, and access to the amazing research collections of libraries in the New York City system and beyond."
Libraries helped inspire the British author's choice of careers and extend his literary knowledge into unexpected worlds. As a teenager, he found a copy of Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five" in the library of the Wells Cathedral School, "at the time perhaps the only example of modern American literature in the entire building."
"It was so astonishingly unlike any of the other works on offer that I was certain it had been placed on the shelves only as a result of some administrative error," he told the AP In a recent email. "I read it repeatedly — before someone realized their mistake and removed it — and it helped convince me to put my plans to become an astronaut on hold, and become a writer instead."
The medals are made possible, in part, by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.