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     Volume 5 Issue 112 | September 15, 2006 |

   Cover Story
   View from the    Bottom
   Straight Talk
   Special Feature
   Photo Feature
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
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On “Chasing Death”
In the past two or three years, drug use amongst the youth of our country has escalated to new heights. However, one cannot solely blame the Government for not having tougher restrictions and laws on the border. Our so-called future leaders are equally responsible for their own acts. I believe any person in our country, young or old, rich or poor, are educated enough or at least should have enough civic sense in them to know and choose what is good and what is bad in life. If one makes remarks like "there is no one to stop you from doing it" and "there is nothing better to do in this town" then it is indeed a shame that these people will actually be leading our countries in the future.
Tayef Quader
Dhaka University

Creating Awareness Through Cover Stories
My mother has been abroad since the early 1980s so her understanding of Bangladesh is quite dated. Of course, she notices the physical changes however, despite our frequent visits, she fails to register the cultural changes. Perhaps, to her it seems unnecessary to learn about the country where she grew up but, for me, it's the very opposite.
When she rambles on of her pre-1982 Bangladesh, I tell her that her views desperately need an upgrade. Ironically, I become the teacher, educating her on current-Bangladesh. But, she's a stubborn student, adhering to her age-old notions. A few months back, I was talking about drug-related problems and how almost everyone knows someone who needs rehab. My mother thought that I was fabricating everything and discarded the discussion! It seemed impossible to her that 'bhalo ghorer chele-meye' can have such addictions. Finally, when I showed her last week's SWM cover story, something stirred within her. Although I was sad that her illusion of Bangladesh had been shattered, I was happy that finally, she was AWARE! I really hope that others like my mother take the time to re-familiarise themselves with Bangladesh. I, myself have assigned her Friday homework of reading the SWM's cover stories.
Toronto, Canada

Suicide -- Not an answer
Suicide is obviously not a solution to the predicament a person may be submerged in.
There was a time when especially the Stoicists believed that suicide was an expression of human freedom. Although the question of freedom is not germane at all these days, consider the scores of factors leading oneself to the threshold of self-decimation. Instead of teasing out the knot of problems, suicide in actuality engenders a myriad of complications in the lives of people who are left behind.
Those who commit suicide consider their respective problems from both an overriding and escapist stance. Had they been able to look at life from a more humanist standpoint and fathom the fact that no one is without any problem in his/her life, may be they could have been more positive in their attitude and thinking. Kajalie Shehreen Islam deserves accolade for writing the article 'Not the Way Out (August 18, 2006) with such analytical acumen.
Mohammad Mahfuzul Islam
An anthropologist

Still on Our Hearts' Dale
It is still hard to believe that our luminary versifier Shamsur Rahman has left us forever. In fact, upon our country's soil, on our hearts' vale his words are still breathing and we can hardly forget his physical presence. The cover story 'People's Poet' deserves innumerable accolades for raising our poet's spiritual presence amid us once more. In this story, the tale of his being a poet from a common person is so well portrayed that I thought I was reading a legend. The legend has gone but left many of his invaluable literary pieces among us and we must rear those sincerely in our literature. I thank the writers from the bottom of my heart for their wonderful cover story on Shamsur Rahman.
I would also like to thank Nisma Elias for her excellent piece of fiction, 'My Grandma'. I earnestly request the SWM editor to regularly publish fiction in the magazine.
Md. Maidul Islam
Second Year, Department of English,
University of Dhaka

SUST, An Inferno
Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) is going through very difficult times. It has become a political centre for teachers as well as some reckless students. The lives of over six thousand have become jeopardised because of this. How can they claim payment at the end of the month during which they didn't take any classes? The vice-chancellor has failed to solve the crisis. I request the authorities, as well as journalists and the civil society in our country to do something about this institution which seems on the verge of collapse, burying the futures of its students within it.
Rashedul Mansur
Dept. of English

Nowadays, most people use mobile phones. There are people who need it for work, while for others, it's just a fashion accessory. A friend you call at one number one day may very well have a different number the next. This is because of exciting illusions created by mobile phone companies of which consumers are the victims. You may get an Aktel connection today, but tomorrow you'll see a new, attractive Grameen ad, and the next day an inviting Banglalink one. There are businesspeople who keep mobile phones for their need, and there are also some people who just keep it, as the latest trend. What do you do? Often, mobile phone companies will advertise free talk-time during certain hours. Enough people will buy the connection, but soon the offer is cancelled. Sometimes when these new offers are made, you can't even get through to the line you are trying to call over and over again. Illusion is necessary in advertising, but a better word for the tactic of our mobile companies would probably be “cheating”.

On “Kids or Career”
Both kids and a career are indispensable aspects for the modern working woman. It is often a great dilemma for a woman to choose one over the other. The article “Kids or Career” (August 25, 2006) was a very relevant piece which focused on this predicament and proposed some solutions. If these solutions are initiated in the public and private sectors, young mothers would compete in the job market with greater enthusiasm.
But there's one thing I would like to add to the story. The writer only concentrated on the public and private sector. I feel that the support of family members is also important. In many cases, in-laws oppose young mothers pursuing careers. They do not help out in looking after the child. Many husbands are reluctant to help out in the home. Everyone should be supportive towards working mothers. They don't ask for pity, just understanding and encouragement from those around them.
Nazmun Nahar
Dept. of Civil Engineering

Last week's cover story 'Chasing Death' inadvertently did not mention that all the people depicted in the pictures were models. The oversight is regretted.

Submission Guideline:
Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While SWM welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. SWM does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups range from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 880-2-8125155 or emailed to: <starweekendmag@gmail.com>
It is recommended that those submitting work for the first time to the SWM take a look at the sample copy beforehand. Our website is: http://www.thedailystar.net/magazine

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