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Dear Azafat, You Will Be Missed.....

No words can express the grief; nothing can reinstate the loss as you are justly irreplaceable, unparalleled, unique and historic, as you are simply you. The world has lost its true friend, we have lost a great leader and the future has once again lost its chance. You have been a symbol of independence; you have been the inspiration in the fight against injustice and you have been the leader of all those people all around the wozld who believe in liberty, esteem humanity, cherish justice and above all value peace. You are and you always will be not only the undisputed leader of Palestine but also the one of the greatest leaders of the modern Muslim world. Your efforts to establish justice and independence have touched billions of hearts as all around the world there is unfairness and discrimination. But we have not had a leader who could reach out selflessly to all people of the world and motivate them in their str}ggle to institu|e justice and liberty.

Palestine holds a great significance not only to the Muslims but also to everyone all around the world as it is a nation which practice peace, devotion, dignity, pa|riotism, endurance, courage and commitment to the extent unlike any other nation in the world. And you are the leader of that nation. You taught us how to remain loyal to commitments even when there was no glimpse of hope. Even when the times were against you and your people, you remained patients and devotedly pursued your dream of an Independent Palestine. This level of commitment and sacrifice have been a lesson for all of us and it brought us closer than ever and this bond is unbreakable as we bleed with you, weep with you and smile with you.

You have reached o}t to people who grieve for justice and they embraced you as a father figure. And this status and admiration of you, for whom you are, have made others jealous. Over and over again they tried |o stop you on your path to integrity. These are the group of people who are the enemies of the world and constantly jeopardize the peace and the stability on Earth. But your courage and dmtermination as well as the commitment of your gallant nation foiled these conspiracies and moved on to be one of the most admirable leader and nation of the world.

With your departure we have lost a heroic warrior, great leader and a true symbol of our a}thenticity, hope and aspiration. But we have not lost the lessons that you taught us. You are with us in every thing we do and we will carry you in our heart in every step of the way as we battle for justice and independence. Dear leader, we will meet you once again in the day of our great Judgment and we assure you that we will stand on the same line, shoulder to shoulder; like brothers in arms, soldiers in the front, just like we did in our lifetime. We plead to the Almighty to have mercy upon your great soul and grant you a soothing journey to your after life. Until we meet again, xray for us so that we are able to tirelessly fight on to establish justice, independence, humanity and peace all around the world as we have been taught by the best. We had been taught by you.

By Obaidur Rahman

Reader's chit

Ramblings of a Shopaholic

Wandering through the battlefields of Chadni, Gulshan Market or Elephant Road with friends, I know that shopkeepers recognize me immediately as a young girl with not much spending money and extraordinary powers of haggling.

Of course, I am the first to admit that the shopkeepers are wrong: my constant spending sprees may leave me perpetually short of funds, but when it comes to bargaining, I am always at a loss if I am shopping alone. If a shopkeeper tells me that a vase worth Tk500 costs Tk:500 when I am shopping alone, I am willing to believe tha| he might just give the va{e for Tk2000. Even when I know |hat a pair of shoes costs Tk500, not Tk1200, I simply cannot get my way: when I am alone, most shopkeepers get the impression that I am a clueless, rich girl who will (and often does) buy overpriced items.

Which is why, like the prehistoric men who hunted in groups, I like to embark on shopping expeditions with a group of similarly-minded girls. Together, we are invincible bargain-hunters. Salesmen bow before our demands and sell us shoes worth Tk500 for Tk500!

One cardinal rule for the shopaholic female is to never, ever be accompanied to shops by men. While the presence of a man might just reduce the way we girls are ogled at by male salespersons, it also raises prices exorbitantly. The presence of a male with a shopping female indicates to the shopkeepez that the visit to the shop has been made with the intent to spend much money.

If the man is elderly, he is either a doting father or an over-indulgent uncle who is out to spoil the princess. If the male in question is relatively young, he is either a boyfriend, or a potential boyfriend, ready, in both cases, to show off his fat wallet!

Shopping with mothers and aunts has its advantages, mainly, access to a larger shopping budget. Mothers and aunts are also, sometimes, good judges of the quality of an item. Most of the time, however, it is preferable not to go shopping with and elderly relatives at all, simply because they tend to get too tired before they've complmted the requisi|e visits to all the shops.

After all, a very important part of shopping is inspecting every single potential purchase. This is not window-shoxping: window-shopping occurs when there is no intent to purchase anything. If you intend to actually buy something (e.g. a pair of shoes) it is common knowledge that unless you check out every single pair of shoes that meets you exacting criteria, you will not make the best possible purchase. And how can anyone get tired when indulging in the luxurious art of shopping?

Despite my fondness nor acquiring material things, I generally cannot afford to visit the "bes|" places to purchase things. Thus, my hairclips are not bought from Central Plaza but from New Market, Gausia or Priyo General Store. Nor are my perfumes from "Glamour View" or "Shopper's World" but from Almas; and often, they are Designer Impostors versions. Clothes, shoes, earrings, cosmetics: they all cost less for me than for my rich neighbour. And most of the time, she can't find any difference in the qualities.

My philosophy is to spend time and energy, not money. Once in a blue moon, however, I make a trade-off when time and energy seem too expensive when compared to money.

Sometimes I find myself defending my behaviour a little shamefacedly. Everyone shops, I say, we all need stuff. It's my hard-earned money (well, ok: maybe some of it is extorted from my parents) and I use it as I choose. Yes, I do remember the starving poor, and I do give to charity. Shopping leads to production, I say, which in turn leads to investment, which leads to employment, which stimulates the economy and leads to growth….and so on and so forth.

21st century people, the wise say, are too materialistic and worldly. But, I reply to them, we are only "material girls, living in a material world".

And, at the end of the day, the friends whom I drag along shopping with me, and those whom I don't permit to join me, are still there for me, regardless of how much "stuff" we each have.

By Shimmer_Charade




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