<%-- Page Title--%> Letters <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 137 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

January 9, 2004

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Good Cover Story

SWM's cover story of December 26 was a really great idea for the last issue of the year. Although some of your "news" seemed out of place and not as relevant as others, I thought it was a job well done and a great way to recapture the events of last year. I also liked the fact that you had summarised each event with precision, making it reader friendly and easy to skim through. Congratulations on a job well done. One problem I did have, however, was that your pictures were not only sometimes too small to see clearly, but also really blurry. I don't understand why a magazine from such a prestigious newspaper, full of talented and insightful writers, can be so poorly put together. It is a waste. Your graphics would be great if it was on better quality paper and your printing was more up to par. Come on SWM, can't you do any better? What's the point in going full colour if it doesn't make the magazine look any better?

On Bollywood

Naeem Mohaimen's article on Bollywood really sparked my interest. I understand his point, and there is no doubt that his issues are grounded, but does he have to be so condescending? Excuse the rest of us for not "growing up on a diet of Gregory Peck/Cary Grant films." Maybe you should try to keep in mind that most movies are just for entertainment value -- especially Hindi movies. Perhaps the reason you don't like Hindi movies is because originally, the target audience was rickshaw-wallahs and their likes (for whom "reality really bites"). Why would they want to pay money to see the realities that we, as privileged and educated people, are shielded from? They want the wet saris and the angry young men. Don't get me wrong, Hindi movies are definitely not realistic and we all laugh at how silly they are, but maybe you should try not to psycho-analyse them so much. When you see Bhoot showing in Times Square, it is understandable that you may have mixed feelings. On one hand it is natural to be proud that South Asia is moving in the global entertainment sphere. At the same time, you (as we all may) can feel uncomfortable when you see that these movies are not projecting the true essence of South Asian culture as a whole. A word of advice Mr. Mohaimen: remember, It's ONLY a movie.
Nazia Alam

Let their Souls Rest in Peace

I was dumbfounded by the news of the unprecedented demise of the fifteen army officers working in Sierra Leone and Liberia with the UN team. I feel the mental agonies of the bereaved family members and pray for them. Our army officers have long been serving in these countries with great honour and professionalism, which they have been awarded for on many occasions. They have made us proud with their fine performance. The premature deaths of these brave and daring officers is beyond consolation. I urge the Bangladesh government and the army officials to give them the due respect they deserve and to arrange a pecuniary package for the families of the deceased.
Sulav Barua

A good initiative

Undoubtedly SWM is my favourite English magazine and I am a die-hard reader. Recently SWM has taken a good initiative by increasing 1 page for the letter section. It has also asked the readers for their suggestions in order to better the quality of the magazine. Therefore, I would like to make a suggestion. First of all, we want to read local jokes on the Jokes page because this page is one of the most interesting pages of the magazine. Secondly, we want to see a page for sports and at least one page for children. SWM is coming out in colour these days and so we can hope now for more emphasis on the graphics and design, which will surely add more spice for the readers. Last but not least, we want to see regular write-ups of famous personalities like Aly Zaker and others. I want to thank SWM for making our every Friday morning pleasurable and I hope this praiseworthy work will continue in the years to come.
Nazmus Saquib
Mayakanan, Dhaka

Just a little change.

I think SWM has gone through little changes that are worth mentioning. I enjoy the Theology, Slice of life and International columns. the Special feature on the liberation war was really well done. It's very helpful for our new generation. The Jokes page is also an interesting topic. I am wondering why you do not have a Travel and Education page? I think these two are very necessary and interesting read. Travel can give us a wider exposure to the world. For Education, one can discuss on our education policies, campus life, the condition of our education, campus news, and other things relating to education. I hope the SWM editor will consider this request.
Sadarghat, Chittagong

The hazards of eating fruits

Nowadays eating fruits such as bananas, mangoes, papayas, jackfruits and many others has become hazardous to our health because of the unhealthy process of treating these fruits with chemicals. Certain unscrupulous fruit vendors treat their fruits with chemicals in order to ripen them earlier then usual, which in turn gives buyers the impression that they are healthy and fresh. Instead they are slowly being poisoned by these chemicals. Our youngsters, who need fruit for their nourishment, are being denied healthy food and are therefore being exposed to poison. Something should be done to ban these people from corrupting our food with their deadly chemicals.
Mahmudur Rashid (Rony)
Dhanmondi, Dhaka

Cover Story

The cover story in the December 26th issue was really thoughtful. One year has passed and we are getting ready to welcome 2004. It is important to highlight the events and incidents that affect our lives nationally, internationally and even personally. The cover story "Events of 2003" marks the memorable events of 2003. I also must compliment the layout designer for the front cover design, which was very innovative and creative. Thank you to all the SWM staff writers for such an important issue.
Rokonuzzaman Sohel

Response to Taslima-Bashing

It was very entertaining reading what some of the readers had to say about Taslima Nasrin. Suffice it to say that she is not an Idiot nor is she Stupid. She is quite smart. I am neither a fan nor an opponent. As far as her write-ups go, I am quite indifferent. But, I do respect her for her ability to generate so much controversy. Controversy translates (more often then not) into fame. The woman has to have brains to rally opponents who are adamant enough to peak the curiosity of thousands who swarm to read her books. So what if she writes about topics that are considered taboo? Many things are taboo in our culture and society. It doesn't mean they do not exist. She is not sullying our society, she is simply brining forward that does exist and what we have been blind to it. If nothing else, she should be commended for the awareness she brings forth.
Zeenat Syed
Atlanta, GA

Unhygienic Soft Drink Bottles

Despite our government's actions we still see that most soft drink bottles do not have the date of production or expiration date. Many bottles are kept in the corner of shops for years. When any customer places an order, the shopkeeper wipes the bottle with a (usually) dirty piece of cloth, puts it in the refrigerator for a few minutes and then serves it to the customer. Since it looks new, the ignorant customer does not notice. It may be harmful to our health and may also result in food poisoning. It has now become a health hazard for all of us. One way of ensuring that old bottles are not used is by putting expiry dates and dates of production on the bottles so that shopkeepers can keep track of old and new bottles and not serve old ones to customers. Meanwhile soft drink customers should be aware of these issues and observe whether they are approved by BSTI or not.

Md. Aktaruzzaman Dipu
KJ Hall, Dhaka University

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