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?
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
their Souls Rest in Peace
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.
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
a little change.
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.
hazards of eating fruits
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
Mahmudur Rashid (Rony)
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.
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
Soft Drink Bottles
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.
KJ Hall, Dhaka University