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Ramna Tennis Complex A place for both fresh air and sports

With only one side open to the road and two sides open to Ramna Park, Tennis Complex is a place where you can take a breath of fresh air in Dhaka city. Dhaka

Club is on the remaining side so it is also spared from any overlooking tall building. If you don't know where it is, next time you pass between Dhaka Club and

Shishu Park look beside the Dhaka Club entrance and you will find another gate laden with plants and flowers. It has a huge parking lot in the front, which provides for some gap between the main road and the courts. There are eight tennis courts and one practice wall for beginners. There is also a gym, both for men and women. But since no women has been enrolled for a long time the women's gym has been closed for many years. The men's gym is also following the same path. It truly is sad to see such a good establishment going to waste. Nowadays in Dhaka city people can rarely find a decent place for playing and here such a huge complex is lying empty. A word to mention here, during the Grand Slam tournaments a sudden surge is seen in the number of players but which soon vanishes after these tournaments are over. Well, while the prospect of wanting to play as good as Andre Agassi is very tempting I think you have to give more than just a month to reach that kind of level.

Tennis is a popular game in the western world but most of the good players are originally from Asian countries, specifically the former Soviet Union countries. But still we don't have any interest, partly because it requires a lot of commitment with time and also since it is comparatively an expensive sport. A decent beginners racket costs Tk.3000 to Tk.5000. Professional racket price ranges from Tk.7000 to Tk.40, 000 apiece. And on top of that new balls of can costs around Tk.120 to Tk.400, strings around Tk.150-600 and grips Tk.80-160. Still if you are just starting the game a racket is all you need. For coaching balls are provided by the complex and a racket can last for as long as you want it to last! (i.e. you are not very hot tempered and smash your racket for losing a point).

Coaching sessions are during the evening and in the morning you can play for your own practice. Early morning, around 5 in the morning, men who have offices or work come to play. I went with my father once (first time I woke so early in almost seven or eight years, I had to wake at 4:30am to get ready) and I must say it is a nice time to play. Firstly you can easily get there since the roads are empty. Secondly the air is absolutely fresh and while you play you can hear many different birds chirping away morning songs in the adjacent Ramna Park. The sun is not up yet so you don't feel too hot and at the same time there is enough light to play. The breeze is cool which feels great when you are playing and sweating. But for people like me it is sad that such a climate is not available in the middle of a day when most people are awake! Anyway if you can then I think it is a great way to start the day. At least after you come home, take a bath and then go to work your mind is more active.

The head coach is P.K. Ghosh who undertakes the coaching sessions during the evening. He has been teaching tennis for a long time, even I learned to play under him. And there are other ball boys who will be willing to play with you for some money. The coaching takes place for about two hours and also consists of exercise and running laps apart from playing. Usually the students stand in a line and the coach throws a ball and they hit one ball in turns until it is time to collect all the balls and put them in the bucket. This way you learn to hit the basic shots and improve your accuracy by trying to hit the cones placed on the other side of the court. The coach is of course there to correct your mistakes and help you. And every now and then some company sponsors a tournament where you can enter and evaluate your progress. So far Bangladeshis have gone to play the Davis Cup and the best record is being runners-up. Every year ITF (International Tennis Federation) hold a tournament here and players come from USA, England, France, China, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and many other countries. Though a qualifying tournament is held before the start of this tournament and only a selected few can play, I think if you have the determination you can participate too. Even I played the tournament in 2001 but only due to discontinuation for studies could not play in any of the years after.

The sad part is in our country tennis is losing its appeal day by day. When I started to learn every single court was filled with players during coaching sessions. And now only few are filled. Students studying abroad come to play when they come to their home country during summer semester breaks, mainly since it is such a famous sport in colleges and universities there. But since they start too late they cannot improve much. So it is better to start early as tennis is a sport that takes a long time just to get to the amateur level. And once you get there it is completely up to you on how far you can go.

There is also a canteen where you can buy cold drinks, snacks and other tennis goods like strings and grips. Rackets are also available here. There is a huge gallery on one side and a VIP gallery on the first floor of the administration building. Lights are available in three of the courts for nighttime playing. The best part I think is all the huge trees that loom on the sides from Park. Especially it is even more beautiful when the leaves change colors and you can hear the sounds of all kinds of birds. Parents taking their children to play can sit and take in this beauty or walk and exercise themselves, as there is a lot of empty space around. The paths leading to the courts are lined on one side with shrubs and three small gardens are placed in different positions, where flowers of different variety bloom year around. All in all it is one place you will never feel bored.

The entrance fee for adults above 18 years is Tk.925 (including the first three month's fee in advance) and monthly fees are Tk.200. For people below the age of 18 the entrance fee is Tk.525 (including the first three month's fees) and the monthly fees are Tk.100. The above rules apply for both boys and girls. You will need a stamp size photograph for your ID card. So instead of lying in front of the TV watching Hindi songs or playing computer games all day long, get up and get enrolled. Who knows, maybe you might even win a Grand Slam tournament and bring a huge honor for your country!

By Zafeer A. Khan

Cinemas at cinema hall

From several weeks we guys had an intention to watch a Bengali cinema (movie) at the cinema hall. No, we don't watch Bengali movies regularly. But now-a-days
there are so many "shustho dharar cholo-citro" are running successfully, so we felt it is our moral duty to encourage this kind of film.

So whenever this dhara's films get released, we go to the cinema hall to enjoy it. As we are very busy people, we were not getting time to watch any. But finally, last Monday, we were free. So we decided to go to the cinema hall. But the problem was which film would we see? There are two films running- one is "MONER MAJHE TUMI" at Modhumita and the other is "CHONDRO KOTHA" at Bolaka.

As we are living in a democratic country so obviously we had to take vote. And the winner was "moner majhe tumi". At 11.00 am we started our journey towards Modhumita to catch the 12.00 to 3.00 show. We had to buy tickets from the blacker. But I couldn't find any reason why the tickets were in the blacker's hand. Anyway, we took our position. We were in a free mood and we guys even enjoyed the ads.

After the ads were over there was an announcement for the viewers to stand up and show respect to our national flag and national song. We stood up. But with a great surprise we found that some guys were still sitting on their sit and were not showing their respect to their country. I can't understand why some guys always do these kinds of unpatriotic acts. May be for lack of patriotism or may be just to get attention of others. (i.e. bhab dekhay).

I have heard another story of this kind from one of my friend that her sister went to watch film with her friends and when they saw a man didn't stand, one of them just went there and said "bhai apner family te nischoi keu rajakar chilo, tai na?" Yahoo! that was indeed a very bravery act. I really hope that guy had learnt a lesson.

Most of the viewers were students like us. I felt very happy
that our young generation still appreciates and wants to enjoy the good things. Some of them were trying to join with the movie songs. So we guys found quite a campus environment. The film was quite good as compared to other typical Bengali movies. There were no bad scenes (like unnecessary dancing in the rain) and songs. It was a pure love story. (But I found many similarities with the Hindi film "jeena shref mere liye").

We came out of the hall with some good and some bad experiences. Now-a- days we are looking forward to enjoy the other film "chondro kotha".

By Suravi

Campus News

A difference...

Drugs, one of the most contagious addiction, is now abundantly found in the streets of Dhaka city. It's cheap, as well as extremely dangerous. It is sad that some of the teens in our country are victims of this kind of narcotics.

Recently, a fire show was held in the compounds of Aga Khan School (AKS) by a group named NUAR. It was held on the 11th September and for the students from classes' seven to eight. It was organized by our charity club.

Aside from the entertainment, the aim of the show was to make the students aware of the negative sides of drugs. It was a very fruitful event. Students from both classes joined this show for being entertained and as well as to get some moral aspects of life.

Firstly it was a great show. It was totally awesome. Every one simply loved it. The people who performed were simply daring. They were crazy with the fire. They left the audience totally stunned. Everybody was on the edge of there seats. They performed spectacular stunts with the fire. There were four performers. Each had there own special tricks. Each of them performed one by one. Then they did it in pairs. At the conclusion of the show four of them did it together. It was the most amazing part of the show.

In between the show they gave some speeches about drugs. They asked the students different questions about drugs. Why do people take it? What are the main reasons? The students answered very honestly. And that's what made the show more effective.

They said the reasons were curiosity, pleasure, to become cooler, to escape boredom etc. then they were asked what do they do in there free time. There answers were books, computer games, chatting or surfing on the net etc. After that they were advised to talk to there parents about this freely about problems like drugs or about any problem they have.

At last they were told that to be cool or to do spectacular things, we do not need drugs. The show they did was a way of showing the students that drugs are not needed to do this kind of things. They said that this was their hobby and they have jobs. They do these things in their leisure.

The students really enjoyed the show. There enthusiasm really showed that they understood the message of the show. It was a great show and was a great way of giving them this message. The students enjoyed a lot and also got the message clearly. Teachers and parents will be pleased by this. Another program may be held later on for the elder students. Well they were a little jealous that they were not allowed to see the show. But the principal ensured them that another show will be held soon.

The day ended with every one smiling. And all the appreciation goes to NUAR. We are sure that it will make a difference in the minds of today's generation.

By Taseen Zaman

In memory of the two incredible poets

It was one of those occasions when we had to perform on stage with the minimum possible rehearsal, but we somehow managed to put up a nice show.

This program was entirely arranged by the students of class XI of Scholastica in memory of the death anniversary of the two prodigious poets Kazi Nazrul Islam and Rabindranath Tagore. The function was held on the
10th of September at the Senior section campus in Uttara.

During the hasty rehearsals we were quite sure that there will be some great blunders on stage-either someone will forget the dance steps or someone will tumble over in her saree. We were also very certain that adequate audience will not turn up, but thanks to all the Year heads and the principal for attending the program.

The show started at 2pm but from 11o'clock in the morning, six of us were seen running round the campus in sarees, looking for a place to get ready. At last we were found sitting on the floor of the Hall itself, wearing make up using a tiny mirror. Two of us (including myself) were very nervous as this was our first dance performance and we did not have adequate rehearsals. Aanon and Rumana, the two performers cum choreographers, consoled us with encouraging (but probably false) remarks.

Akash bhora shurjo tara,
Bishwa bhora pran....

As these famous words of the greatest Bengali poet echoed through the fully packed STM Hall, three adroit dancers, adorned with red and white sarees, enlightened the stage with their graceful dance steps. The program also incorporated songs of both the poets and ended with a group dance with the song 'Mora jhonjar moto uddam...' We want to thank our music teachers Ms. Jinnatun Johra and Mr. Abdur Rahman for their cooperation.

By Sonia Ferdous Hoque

"Fusion Fest"

Can you guess what this is? Of course you're right, a concert, read on to find the details.Bands performing are Aurthohin, Cryptic Fate, Canopy, Ajob, Sellout, Breach, Void, Silence the Sound.Where is this going to happen: ISD School, Bashundhora (Indoor Gym), at 3:00 PM (gate opens at 2:30p.m.) The ticket is priced at Tk.150 and is available at Helvetia (Banani), Coopers (Uttara, Dhanmondi, Gulshan-2) and DOORS (Uttara Rajlaxmi Complex). No tickets are available at the venue. Stamford University sponsors this concert, Jonathan organizes it and the funds go to DAWC Charity.

By RS Desk






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