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     Volume 5 Issue 126 | December 29, 2006 |

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Straight Talk

Time and Time Again

I think I blinked and the next thing I knew was that the year 2006 was almost over! I do not know about the rest of you but to me this year seems to have passed me by at break neck speed. The months seem to have merged into one another and sometimes I cannot even remember whether an event took place last year or this year. Some of our younger readers may try and put this forgetfulness down to my age but I assure you that this year has managed to defy all laws of physics and gone by faster than any year I can remember.

It just felt like the other day that we were in Dhaka welcoming the New Year in and wondering what 2006 would hold in store for us. And here we are once again with the same question in our minds only this time we are a few thousand miles away sitting in London and awaiting the advent of 2007. In what feels like a very short span of time so many things have happened, some good and some bad. Be it as an individual or a nation, we have all had our fair share of ups and downs. For example, I think the highlight of the year for us as Bangladeshis was the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the totally deserving Professor Yunus. Then again to bring us back to the sad reality of the plight in which Bangladesh constantly seems to find herself was the anarchy and hooliganism that ensued after the end of the BNP-led alliance's five years in office. It is truly tragic to acknowledge that on the one hand we can hold up as an example, someone like Professor Yunus and then on the other, show the world our incapability to even function with some semblance of dignity with regards to our political situation. Rather than take things to Parliament, we take to the streets. Rather than discussing things with a view to resolving conflict, we resort to strikes and blockades. Maybe our politicians should take 2007 as an opportunity to make some New Years resolutions revisiting the concept that they are in office to put the welfare of the country and its people first and foremost. Who knows maybe next year we will amaze ourselves by having a free and fair election in January! The New Year is supposed to represent new beginnings so there is never any harm in hoping.

This year has seen some major changes in the political arena. As we already know, the mid term elections in the United States the Democratic Party took control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, which had previously been in the hands of the Republicans since 1994. This shake up of the power base in the US may provide us with some positive changes in foreign policy and acknowledging global warming as an imminent threat to the environment. On this side of the Atlantic we have our very own Mr. Blair who has finally done the right thing by announcing his decision to step down as the Leader of the Labour Party next year. 2007 may yet see the demise of the Blair/Bush alliance. A relationship that is already showing rather serious signs of disintegration.

Talking of relationships, I am sure that this year has forged its fair share of new ones and this union of two people not just signifies bringing together two individuals but families as well or the birth of a child that can symbolise hope and joy to countless number of people. As each year goes by and we grow that much older, we find that many of our near and loved ones are no longer with us. Somewhere along the way they leave us for what we hope is a better place and we are left with memories. It is inevitable that as the years go by we will become all too well acquainted with the pain of losing family or friends. But this is just part of life and each year is like a rollercoaster ride where you have no control of the events that take place. These events in turn evoke a myriad of emotions that make each day as unpredictable as the next. I suppose if we did not go through the whole gamut of experiences that we do then this Earth would be a rather boring place to be.

I cannot remember whether it was last year or the year before that I told myself I would not make any New Years resolutions as I never manage to keep them, but I have subsequently realised that it is probably better to have some goals to which we can aspire. Whether we reach those desired targets is less important than the fact that we actually bothered to try. I guess at this point I can tell myself that I am now prepared to step into 2007 ready to face the challenges it may have for me -- They say that the more you try to keep sand from slipping out of your hands, the faster it slips away. Time seems to do exactly the same thing! However, I do hope that next year will pass by a little less quickly than 2006!

I would like to wish all the readers of the Star Weekend Magazine -- Eid Mubarak and a very Happy New Year.

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