|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 6, Tuesday August 3, 2004|
Dreamers and scientists: the key to tomorrow's future. Fairytales that have given countless children never ending moments of pleasure, wonder, terror and sheer delight, play almost no part in adulthood. Mankind became disenchanted with the ways of magic and turned to technology. With machinery to perform his tasks for him, Man became soft. As he lost his zeal for adventure, his heroes were forgotten and his exploits faded into distant memories. All that remained was the thrill of yet more conquests and man's undying thirst for power. After all, don't we have the invention of nuclear weapons and history of past wars to prove this? Although dreamers often coexisted peacefully in the past, alongside scientists, today they are looked at with contempt. They are perceived as disillusioned beings who simply confuse philosophy with science, and the modern world has little use for them.
When I was younger, I had read a novel called 'Children of the Dust'. It was a story of three generations, beginning with a surviving child of a nuclear war. Although it was a coursework novel, the events revealed here were so horrific that the memory makes me shudder even today. Will that be how the world ends? I was almost jolted back into reality with this grim realisation. Yet, before my eyes opened, I was struck by another thought. In my mind's eye I saw the world destroyed by nuclear weapons, a consequence of scientific inventions. Yet, there was something different here. In the distance, I could see dreamers; they were mere survivors, sowing the seeds of a New World, optimistic and ready to start from scratch all over again. Like I said before, dreamers and scientists both hold the key to the future. I wonder which will succeed…
Home Sweet Home
I was 18 years old when I left home. My home was on the third floor of a house, located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. There were three rooms. My room was in one little corner. It was pink with girly stuff all over the place. It was always very neat and organized. Life was good with its ups and downs. Then as time came I decided to travel far away for higher education. To, many miles away from home. My destination was Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.
I was ready to leave home and achieve my dream. My dream was to graduate from a college in America. I wanted to achieve something that was not common for a Bangladeshi girl of my age. Many gave their advice. Do not marry a white boy; at least marry from the subcontinent. Do not eat pork, do not, do not, and many more do nots came after that.
I was more and more scared as my departure date was getting closer and closer. Can I do it? Am I brave enough to travel so far away from home? What if I am expecting too much out of myself? What will people say if I have to come back? As all kinds of worries rushed through my head, I kept my head up high.
It was time. I said good-bye to my mom. Who knew I would never be the same person when I get on that plane? I on the other hand was naïve. I was very sure that I would come back home in 4 years with a degree. I did not shed a tear. But I did take a good look outside. Almost like taking a picture and put it safely in my head. I hugged my mom and walked quickly inside the airport. Good-byes are always easier when you do it fast, I thought.
I did not look back once. It was too late to look back. I have to move forward and that was that. I got on the plane. As we were leaving the Bangladeshi sky, my eyes got watery and my heart ached for home. I missed home.
It has been 10 years I am living in the United States. Undergraduate degree turned to Masters to a husband, a beautiful daughter and a family. I moved from Pennsylvania to Virginia. My home is now in Sterling, Virginia.
I still miss home and I will always. I miss eating "badam" in the rain with lal morich, eating green mangoes and talking with friends, getting up early in the morning on Pohela Boishak, going to my grandma's house for yummy food, laughing crying and being with my family. I miss Eid, and the festivity in the month of Ramadan. I miss the "Ajan". I miss a lot of things. What I miss is my home. Like my grandfather used to say, "home sweet home, there is nothing like home".
By Iffat Zia
Mona Lisa Smile A Bengali Society
Based on the lives of alumnae in the 1950's, the movie Mona Lisa Smile takes us through the minds of the intellects, whose success however is measured by how well they marry, making women strive for a better future.
Katherine Watson, a subversive Professor of Art History, takes upon the challenge to inspire her students to look beyond the image of marriage and family life and consider the possibilities other than "The roles we (girls) were born to fill".
The irony of this movie is that it describes the society back fifty years ago and women in the west have come very far from it, where one is now able to live both a successful married and professional life. Yet, fifty years later the majority of female population in this country are still hypnotised under the so called sacrosanct. Most women here are being educated (both in the city and the village) to find herself a suitable husband so that she may lead a safe and protected life as a housewife.
There are a few who have managed to come out of the box and this movie should be a great influence for those who have the opportunity to take the role of Katherine Watson in order to open the minds of other women to see their options in life. If this is possible then in forty to fifty years' time, all women of this country will rejoice their freedom and maybe even salute us, the girls who have thought them about choices and possibilities.
By Shayera Moula
Did you know?
For the college beauties
Lose the war paint. Unless you are a teenage corporate pop star you do not need thick make-up. Young skin needs very little make-up to look good. This is the time to wear sheer eyeshadows, a slick of Vaseline over lipliner and concealer the odd blemish. Period.
Get your girlfriends over for a make-under, toying with techniques that emphasise light application and pale natural colour. By all means camp up the lips and the eyes (only twenty-somethings look good in electric cherry red and bright-blue eyeliner) but leave the skin alone. A dust of translucent powder on a shiny nose is all a college girl needs. You are going to spend the rest of your life trying to look this fresh-faced again.
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