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         Volume 10 |Issue 09| March 04, 2011 |


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Book Review

Ex-martinets pen cadet college memories

Ekram Kabir

Edited by Md. Nurul Hasan, Hafizur Rahman, Quamrul Hasan and Raihan Abeer
Cadetcollegeblog.com publication

The net has given people across the world the privilege of connecting, socialising as well as the scope to promote oneself in the outer world. It has changed several habits including people's reading habit. One of the prime reasons for it is the publication of e-books on the net.

When you think of an e-book, you envision an electronic version of a printed book available to view on a PC, cell phone, E-Reader and other platforms. While that remains true, you have a new breed of writers that are exclusively writing e-books instead of traditionally printed books. One good reason behind this is that writing an e-book costs nothing but time, and any copy of the book you sell you get a small profit while others choose to give the books away for free either for promotional or business purposes.

The publication of e-books has become quite common across the world. The e-writers are successfully selling those to e-readers on the net. Buying an e-book is quite easy. However, Bangladesh has yet to start publishing e-books on a large scale. A few 'impressively enthusiastic' writers and publishers do publish e-books, but that too on a very small scale. Yet, the trend is on the rise in Bangladesh too.

One of the publishers of e-books is Cadet College Blog (www.cadetcollegeblog.com). This blog first started its journey on the net with a few ex-cadets on December 8 2008. The objective of the pioneers was to write and discuss their memories of how they spent their childhood in cadet colleges. Surprisingly, it didn't take much time for the huge number of ex-cadets to join the blog and start writing there. Ex-cadets are now writing on subjects such as politics, games and sports, literature, movies and a lot more on their cadet college life.

The blog administrators decided to publish an e-book when the posts on the blog had crossed 2,000. Borrowing the title - Poraner Gohin Bhitor (Deep in my heart) - from a volume of poetry by Syed Shamsul Huq, the e-book contains 38 posts all on cadet college life. All the posts in the book talk about cadets' experience of happiness, sadness, loneliness, love and friendship in those six years that all cadets had to spend in their colleges. Those six years, the preface to the book says, are so precious for every student of cadet colleges that they simply frame that time in their hearts and carry it all their lives.

Readers will certainly get an insight into the daily state of affairs in cadet colleges: how a little boy/girl of class seven leans to stay away from parents, how his/her friends become the family, how their teachers tutor them new things that are vital for their future, how they break the law for fun and get away with it, and how a boy/girl comes out of the institution after being ready to face the battles of life. Take for example the second story Ektu Shunben Golpo'ta? Writer Fayezur Rahman has done a wonderful job by making every cadet the hero of his story.

Quamrul Hasan, in his Kothai Pabo Tader, talks about his teachers' contribution to his life as a cadet. Cadet college teachers, including principals, vice-principals and adjutants, have a 'nick name' conferred on them by the cadets. Teachers' nick names can continue for generations until the particular teacher is transferred to another cadet college. Sometimes, teachers carry his/her nick name to the other college as well. After all these years, Quamrul says, he misses his teachers. He also describes how they expected their first women teachers to be.

Rashedul Amin tells his story of how they used to steal jackfruits from trees that are usually scattered in every college. In fact, stealing fruits, especially coconuts and jackfruits as well as date juice, was one of the most delightful pastimes of cadets. That was how they used to fool the establishment. No matter how hard the authorities tried, they never succeed to catch any cadet stealing those fruits.

Ahmed Raihan Kabir's Kotipoy Dialogues explains the cadet college jargon. The readers will find this piece a light hearted read. Poraner Gohin Bhitor has also a few cadet jokes which would seem very interesting to the readers.

Khan Muhammad bin Asad explains why he is indebted to his institution as it has helped him to become what he is today.

Poraner Gohin Bhitor also contains the description of life in girls' cadet colleges. People do have some ideas about life in boys' colleges, but life in girls' colleges is hardly known to commoners. This e-book would give a clear picture of how the female cadets lead their lives.

If you think reading this e-book would be a waste of time you, rest assured it will not. How to get this book? Just go the Cadet College Blog mentioned above and download it. It will be a great read!

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