Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 31, Tuesday December 30, 2003







The New Year Notions

Another year gone. Did it just pass us by or did it journey with us towards the destination? Is it merely the end or the blessings of new beginning? Whatever the way one characterises this change, it certainly reminds us how unskilled we are when it comes to surfing on the time waves. An addition to the year of the years, this spin of 12 months sketched more stories, painted more colours and composed new melodies in our book. The little magic of emotions, the funny twists of fate between the days and nights, the kinship of days and weeks and hence the gentle but prompt knock of the 31st December to our door.

Living underneath the shadows of time, once again billion souls have travelled the chosen path and dwelled the debris of feelings that composed the memories of happiness and sorrows. The time has once again coloured each canvas and illustrated some story to remember moments to regret and emotions to bear, like rock star Rod Stewart once said, "every picture tells a story". Leaving the distinct pieces of selves, how did this year picture our globe this time?
This year was sure the year of defeat of humanity and justice. Once again the evil force has ripped off the roots of peace of the world as it continually ransacked the grounds where we once sowed the seeds of love. The howl of beasts once again silenced the joyousness of life that once echoed from this side to the another. The year has silently witnessed as the world awakened to a nightmare that promises nothing but the infinite darkness. Hearts have been bruised, hopes have been crushed, injustice and crimes against humanity have been occurred and helplessly the history puts down another year to its book that will always be referred as a dark one.

How was the story for our beloved Bangladesh this year? The mass responds "same old same" or rather, as it should be the "shame old shame". Years go by one after another and yet there seems to be no escape for the countrymen from the cycle of hope and despair that deliberately halts the country from being "the remarkable one". This year was no exception as it adds itself to the big list of frustrating years since the independence.
When do we see the end of all this? Year in and year out, the cry for peace is getting louder as it echoes back in every decent heart. Our souls want nothing but to decipher the lyric of life and to have a better glimpse into ourselves through the life's rear-view mirror. Every new day is a blessing and in embracing this blessing one must move on and enlighten the spirits that usher in brighter days. Once again we are at the doorstep of a New Year, another new beginning. A new dawn that could get us through these dark times. A billion balloons of resolutions and celebrations would fill the sky but thoughts must be given to those who are constantly being deprived from their true belongings as well. As history begins another chapter, it is a matter of great significance that this chapter is the chapter of peace and justice that uniformly powers the future of mankind. This moment requires nothing but our tireless efforts to crown humanity once and for all and establish justice that devotedly serves the mankind.

By Obaidur Rahman

Reader's Chit

Winsome winter

A dew-laden rose is the gem-encrusted work of art courtesy of nature. The amber light of dawn creeps through the hazy web of early morning fog. Fields of yellow mustard take similar place of prominence along with the carrot, cauliflower and tomato plantations.

The partly dried river is still shown in all its glory with the aid of the reflecting sun. Countless birds of countless origin take a dip into the river waters.

Nearby trees become home to migratory birds. They dip into the river to stock up on their fish supplies. It is as if the winter season brings out a festive mood.

Winter not only brings about a festive change in nature but also in the lives of people. Bengalis traditionally have a host of functions planned for the dry weather season. Bringing in the new harvest is followed by a festival of making sweets and cakes from rice and milk. It is something that continues to take place in the villages districts in the homes of the rich and poor alike. One of the oldest and most traditional items is the rice cake. It is often sent off to the relatives living in the cities helping to rekindle old relationships. City folk travel all the way to the villages to take a taste of the rural delicacies.

An eye catching rural scene during this season is that found where there are rows of date trees. Clay pots are seen hung near where the dates are growing. The juice is collected alongside the streets starting from the cold misty mornings.

It is not just a season to delight the senses of taste but also to provide visual delights. Winter requires people to dress up in varied vibrant colors of red, yellow and orange. This is nicely offset by somber colors like blue and black. There is a lot more variety to the styles, designs and types of clothing.

Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.
Will the winter never go?
What do beggar children do
With no fire to cuddle to,
P'raps with nowhere warm to go to?
Winter is not all about festivities, great food and striking clothes. The flip side of the coin paints a dreary picture of pain and misery. The poor people have no end to their suffering. Never mind tasting different delicacies when they have a difficult time getting food twice a day. Those living on the streets have to make do with scavenging for warmth. Scrap paper, leaves and twigs serve to offer them marginal heat. They huddle together in the feeble warmth praying for the cold to cease. Both the very young and the very old suffer from ailments. Many pass away not being able to withstand the biting cold.

Despite all this, winter is considered the best season of Bangladesh. It is the season of victory because we have achieved victory on this month. It is not what holds us back but something that provides strength and inspiration.

By Sultana Yasmin
Translated by Ehsanur Raza Ronny


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