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Amra shishu, amadero achhe odhikar, lekhapora shikhbo NA ar... and… you know!

A loud scream (at 19,999 Hz, and therefore with a frequency very audible for human ear) emanates from a mouth, opened wide. The tongue, larynx, mouth, vocal cord all perform together to create a cacophony of discordant sounds. You jolt up and out of bed, take a few aimless steps, look around with bleary eyes, and wonder whether the End of the World is nigh, and if so when, if ever, would you witness Bangladesh winning a Test match. You can go back to bed as you usually do. It's just your overwrought mother misusing the God-given powers of her muscular vocal cord.

"So is Sleeping Beauty waiting for her Prince Charming to wake her up?" Pause. "Huh?" The corners of her mouth twist into a disdainful smirk. Pause again, as the furniture await with abated breath to hear her next sentence. But before the bomb drops, her eyes stray away from your pseudo-slumbering prostrate figure and alight on your table. Candidly speaking, it isn't really immaculate. But before she can enlighten you with her astute observations, her roving eyes catch sight of the chaotic mess that is your closet. Now a prophecy is inevitable, and so it comes. "Koidin pore tomake manush hishabe ar gonno kora jabe na, you are turning into more of a pig day by day. Worse still, you are turning my meticulously decorated room into a pigsty."

Objection, Your Honour! This is My room! But then, you know better than to open your mouth and actually say that, lest it heralds the inescapable words - Ajkalkar chhele-meyera j ki, mukher upor uttor dey... No, what you do is, you let the barrage of words continue, while you shut off their entrance to your ear.

... ... But the final bone-chilling ultimatum slithers through in spite of all your resistance: "One hour. Or. Else."

This is how our inalienable rights are being violated. Everyday. By the very people who brought us to this world, taught us the difference between right and wrong, and instilled in us the faith to stand up for what we believe is right. And yet, when they are faced with the Theory of Teenage Closets, which states that the opening of a closet door will inevitably result in the outflow of certain pieces of crumpled garments, they are unnecessarily incensed. According to the Theory of Parents Are Right No-Matter-What, those clothes should be properly pressed, folded and carefully placed in orderly rows. Ok, so perhaps they are not far from the correct path, but so what!?

It's really an unfortunate scenario given the fact that the UN has a special department just for protecting the rights of children. For further elucidation, it should be noted that the world's population is classified into three categories. Namely, the Parents, the Children and the Parents cum Children.

It is time. The matters are begging to be in our hands. Therefore it happens to be our great privilege to introduce a Children's Charter, designed specifically to accommodate the cumulative needs of children, regardless of race, religion, cast or sex. Our intention is not to offend any parent, but to just peacefully bring to their (otherwise perfect) notice that in spite of being their off springs, children are human beings too. This is just a proposal, which we know does not have any future, but shopno dekhtey to ar poisha lage na!

•A child should have freedom of expression, including:

(a) the right to roll our eyes and make comments like, "Yeah, I believe you!" without being termed as first-rate beyadobs, when parents claim to have single-handedly managed their whole family at the tender age of ten or below.

(b) the right to use the words 'joss' and 'jhakkas' - they should not be regarded as slangs used by raasta'r polapan, but as words of the new millennium designed to enrich the already comprehensive language known as Metamorphosized Bangla.

(c) the right to say gesilam, khaisilam etc., instead of the properly pronunciated and enunciated giyechhilam and kheyechhilam.

(d) the right to let expressions like maldar bekti, shala, holy $h!t, what the bloody hell... etc slip out of our mouths occasionally (read: frequently) without inducing a heart attack.

(e) the freedom to make complaints about teachers, parents and life in general without fear of reprisal.

•A child's personal appearance is his/her own concern. We reserve the right to:

(a) colour our hair, in shades of fluorescent pink, green and orange, or a ghastly mixture of all three.

(b) pierce our ears, i.e., nil in one ear, and five in the other, or none in both.

(c) wear glasses with frames, no frames or too much frames.

(d) wear ultra-loose pants, which not only do the work of pants, socks and shoes, but also that of a broom (as in, these pants sweep the ground we walk on). Parents should realise that such pants are in high fashion, and so are acceptable. We request parents to cast their minds back to the time they wore chipa jeans that required the activetanatani of another person to pull up.

Note: It's not like we are ACTUALLY going to colour our hair or anything as ridiculous as that, we are merely asserting that we should RESERVE the right to do these!

•The fact that we wake up at twelve noon has got nothing to do with the fact that we stayed up until two in the morning to watch a match between Real Madrid and Manchester United. What we do not understand is why parents cannot start the day at twelve noon and end it at twelve midnight instead of harping on about 'Early to bed, early to rise...'

•Children abhor being compared to anybody, be it man or mouse. There are really two categories of comparison:

(a) Comparison with famous people: when parents assert that Kazi Nazrul Islam led a very hard childhood, perhaps it would be wise to take into account that Rabindranath regularly bunked his classes.

(b) Comparison with other people's children: when parents compare us to the allegedly 'bhodro and shobbho' children of assorted friends and colleagues, they should stop to consider how they would have felt had we done the same by comparing them with the parents of our friends. When parents prohibit us from comparing our Pentium II with the Pentium IVs of those bhodro and shobbho children (with the irrefutable logic, "Ota oder bepar!"), could they please remember to apply the same logic when comparing our report cards with theirs?

•A child has the right to refuse to attend a party which s/he feels may not be appropriate for him - for the sole reason that it might be difficult to keep his/her eyes open (out of sheer boredom). It has nothing to do with us being 'anti-social' or 'isolated' from the rest of the world as many parents have been known to fear. "Tumi ke decide korar tumi kothae jabe?" We beg your pardon, but we were apparently under the mistaken impression that the tumi in question was one of our clan!

•It should be clearly understood that a child is not of the same generation as the parent. Harry Potter is NOT a fairy tale, and it doesn't matter how old we are, we are not too old to read it. Matrix is a film we LIKE, irrespective of the fact that it is "Ajgubi, Udbhot and totally Unbelievable". Matrix is a high thought thing, it's got science and technology and we appreciate that it is a bit hard for parents to comprehend. But that does not mean that parents will interrupt us every alternate second, while watching the movie, and exclaim, "Egulo dekhar kono mane achhe? Why not watch a Uttom-Shuchitra movie instead?" We respect that Rabindra Sangeet and Mozart are a class of their own, but we demand that parents stop saying, "Ei chitkar shune para mathae tulchho keno?" when we
listen to Metallica, Linkin' Park etc.

•A child has the right to choose his/her own victuals. This might sound lame, but we should be allowed to gorge in junk food and discard the utterly tasteless potol shiddho, without the necessity of providing any more reason than, "It sucks!" or "It tastes like poison…or worse, liquid medicine".

•A child has the right to fight with his/her sibling without unnecessary and unwanted interruptions by parents. As long as we don't actually appeal for a court martial from parents, do maintain a respectable distance. We might fight like India and Pakistan with our brat-tish brothers, but that does not lessen our non-existent love for them (just kidding, bro!). So there is hardly any need for parents to get sensitive and weep, "You call yourself brothers and sisters? Chhi chhi, bhabtei lojja hoy… In my own house resides a Bush and a Saddam?!"

•A child has the right to be twenty minutes late, without throwing his/her parents into hysterics. We know that Dhaka is a very unsafe place, but the probability of our being late due to traffic jams (which as parents must know is a second nature of Dhaka), is more than the probability of us being mugged, kidnapped, raped or murdered or a grisly mixture of all four.

•We are not stupid (though popular opinion differs) and we understand that it is the parents' concern for us that makes them repeat every two seconds, "Don't take drugs, don't smoke, don't talk to strangers, don't have relationships at this age and so on," but it does get on the nerves sometimes. And we are bringing this to their notice that in front of our kid siblings, it gets highly embarrassing.

•This world is not full of homicidal serial killers lurking behind false identities in the dark dungeons of the Internet. We are aware of the fact that there are porno sites, bad sites, worse sites, and Bush sites. But it really depends on what we type in the search engine, and wouldn't parents rather trust their own flesh and blood?

•It should be carefully noted that we already heard from reliable sources how fakibaj our own parents were at our age, an image in complete contrast with what
they would have us believe.

Is reading P G Wodehouse the night before the math exam really that big a crime in comparison to stealing a teacher's shoes and pasting them with glue on the door of the teachers' common room? Parents should at least try to put themselves in our shoes, even if the shoes do not fit them (heheh, and doesn't belong to the unfortunate teacher either!).

•Actually, frankly speaking, to tell you the truth, much as we hate it, we owe it to our conscience to make the difficult admission, that parents are right - but hey, that's completely beside the point!

NOTE. Due to the inefficiency of the English language in vividly portraying the meaning of many Bangla expressions, we have written them as they are used in our everyday lives--in Bangla.

We sincerely regret the inconvenience this may cause to some of our valued readers.

By Preetha and Nabila

Campus news

CEPHALON again !

Once again, it was an excellent week for the Cephalon
cricket team. In the last group stage match, we defeated Green Gems school comfortably. Green Gems were taken to the cleaners by our batsmen after Green Gems had elected to field. Shoaib once again shone with the bat scoring highest 70 which earned him the man-of-the-match award. The other notable run-getters were Taif(41) and Aziz(31). Chasing the total of 226 in 30 overs, Green Gems were bundled out for a paltry 71. The outcome of this game made us the group champions.
In the next match, the semi-final, we faced Spectrum school. Our captain, Mabroor Wassey, lost the toss again. We fielded first and the Spectrum wickets fell like nine pins against our strong bowling attack. They scored 79 before being all out. Shoaib got the man-of-the-match award for the 4th consecutive time, scoring 36 and guiding Cephalon to victory.

We faced Loreeto in the finals whom we defeated in the group stage matches. They defeated Mastermind in the other semifinal. Loreeto won the toss and elected to field first. Cephalon scored a competitive 155 for 9 facing a disciplined bowling attack and some awful umpiring decisions. But these things happen in cricket. Amit top scored with 48 off 40 balls.

The hard work of the Loreeto batsmen paid off as they scraped through with 3 wickets to spare. Cephalon fought till the end and we can take heart from that. Thus, Cephalon became the runners up of the well organised UIU cricket tournament and Loreeto the Champions..

The day ended with the prize giving ceremony. Shoaib, of our team got the man-of-the-tournament award for his all-round performance throughout the series.

By Mabroor Wassey





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