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Thought of the week:
"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning."
~ Catherine Aird ~


Ah, good, the waters are receding at last.
Of course, the roads are now full of potholes, and those potholes are breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes, meaning more dengue. As if the diarrhoea and cholera weren't bad enough. Then there's the ruined crops, the damaged homes…
the list of complaints go on. It doesn't look like life in the country is all roses, does it? Last week, I invited readers to send their stories/comments related to the flood. This week, we have a letter from Bidyut, who's writing in from abroad, and he says:
"I have been keeping tabs on the flood through every source I could get. I'm happy that the floodwaters are finally receding. I hope the government takes the right steps towards helping the poor people who lost their houses and belongings to the flood this year. Some say that the flood was apparently worse than the one in 1988, I sure hope that's not true."

Well, when people say that this year's flood was worse than the previous ones, I'll have to assume that they weren't judging it from the water level perspective. Someone I know was telling me about the 1988 flood, when launches used to ply through the roads of Shyamoli, where the water rose up to the third and fourth storeys of the buildings. In Gulshan, you could take a boat ride over the boundary wall of the Manarat school. As for the flood that occurred in 1998, well, I distinctly remember school being closed for weeks because the ground floor was flooded with knee-deep water. However, if you consider the damage caused to roads and crops this year, combined with the rising list of victims of flood-related diseases, and the amount of money that is required to fix all this, you could say that this year's deluge was a rotter. Was it worse than the previous ones? I don't know for sure. Do the readers have anything to say about it? Any stories to share?

While I wait to hear from you, I hope you all have a pleasant week, and knowing that you are far more fortunate than many, please try to help those whose lives have been turned topsy-turvy by this natural calamity. Till next week, take care.

Send your polls, opinions, and queries to thegirlnextdoor1@hotmail.com or teteatete_tgnd@yahoo.com
By The Girl Next Door


Today I am concerned about how I will get to a concert with the road in front of Aarong flooded. Yesterday I was worried about how to make it to my best friend's house with the road in front of her house under water. The day before that… Well, the day before that, I didn't care because I basically stayed home and didn't have to go outside. You see, these floods? They mean nothing to me. They are just a bunch of photographs on the newspaper. A few minutes of video clips on the TV channels.

What's the big deal about these floods anyway? Now that I'm not going to school, it makes even less of a difference. It's not like my school is going to give us extended holidays. What's the point of having these floods if there's no notice sent home saying, 'School closed until further notice'? This year's flood is so useless.

So big deal if 20 million people have been affected. It's not like I know any one of them. My broadband's working, my phone line's fine. On top of it, I'm still getting the cables_ so my life hasn't been terminated. So what if the newspaper claims 660,000 hectares of farmland have been damaged? I went to Helvetia only yesterday to have their chicken broast. I'm not the one starving here, so it's not my problem.

And the floods aren't going to stop me from buying all the things I have been planning to. With the beginning of the new month, I expect my wallet to be loaded soon enough. Hey, I work hard for that money. I deserve to spend it on myself. I will buy a new watch because I'm too lazy to go fix my old one. I will buy new walking shoes_ most probably Reebok ones. I'll get some new clothes because school will be starting in a few days. I want some new shoes because my friends have at least 50 pairs each and I have just a few. I have to get a RHCP CD, the DVD version of I, Robot and… You know, I was up early in the morning that day to watch the Democratic National Convention. Teresa Heinz Kerry, wow, that woman can speak! I really hope the Democrats win this time. Imagine another term of that intellectually challenged G. Bush. As for my country? Hey, I am not old enough to vote so I don't really care. So what if the administration allocates Taka 0.6 to each flood victim in Bogra? I didn't even know there could be a Taka 0.6! It's been a while since I last saw a 50 paisa coin, so pardon my foggy memory.

In fact, though the last thing I'd call myself is romantic, the monsoon has always been my favourite season. I love the rain! Having 'khichuri' with 'achar' on a cloudy afternoon. Followed by a good Nick Hornby novel in the bed and a good nap. You can see how busy my life here is. I don't really have the time to volunteer at the relief centers. I might actually miss my daily dose of 'Just Shoot Me' and God, I wouldn't want THAT to happen.

Besides, right now, I have a lot of things on my mind. Have to start preparing for my SAT. After all, like the fifty kids I know from my class, I, too want to go to a hotshot Ivy League. Do a dual major, get my bachelors degree, work for Goldman Sachs and bring long-digit checks home. Who wants to stay in this God forsaken country anyway? I'm too smart to stay in this dump. Honestly. I plan to grow up and live in a Malibu mansion with imported Italian furniture. So why should I care that the water in Lalbagh is actually neck-deep. Not knee-deep, but neck-deep! How do you walk in neck-deep water? Oh, well, I don't have to do it anytime so don't want to waste my time thinking over it…

Of course I'd consider volunteering to help the flood victims if they gave me a certificate or something. But will the flood victims I help actually give me recommendations I can send with my applications? If not, why waste my time over something that wouldn't even acknowledge my hard work?

They call me and my generation the 'future of the nation'. I laugh at the title on its face. For surely, I am way too concerned with my own future, having a hard time figuring how it's going to be_ forget about this nation, I couldn't care less about its presumably bleak future… Nope, these floods don't affect me. The agony of the millions of people don't affect me. And compared to some people out there, you can't even call me selfish.

By Maliha Bassam

Shout Out

Hey people!
Last two issues were delayed due to technical problems, but now we are back, better, if not bigger. Shout Out will henceforth give out gifts ideas to any and all readers who find themselves in a soup as to what gifts they should get for their loved (or otherwise) ones. Just mail in the occasion and we will print out a solution in our column. Hope all our readers like the change. Keep reading, and keep enjoying!

Hey Sumaiya
HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Wishing you all the best. Hope you get all your wishes from today.
From your friend, Nabila (pichi)

Hey baby!
You are now a grown up. Now it is time for a lecture as you turned 15 (just joking).
It does not matter what people think about you, thus you will be the jewel of my eye.
Happy Birthday to Wasifa.
From Samantha, Sam, fox, john & Raul.
Sumaiya Sehreen Azad Heea
Happy Birthday (1st August).
Hope your dreams come true. But not all the dreams. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Dear Rizat,
Happy birthday!!!!

Hi George,
Happy friendship day. Thanks for being such a good friend as well as aÊbest friend. I miss you very much.
Your best friend Saki.

Wish all my friends a very happy friendship day andÊmy friends of Dhaka College are requested to mail me at saki_25a@hotmail.com ...please do not mail me at my previous address.

Crucified and Slayer

Teen Scopes

After bugging you for weeks with horrific horror-scopes, we decided to bring you the real deal. So check out our Teen scopes and see what the stars have in store for you this month.

Aquarius - Expand your knowledge and sign up for courses and classes. You'll communicate easily and develop new friendships. You're ready to take action and take over. If you and your significant other aren't getting along, now's the time to try going on a break.
Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Sunday.

Pisces Turn up the charm to get your own way this month. Cultural activities will prove to be quite enlightening for everyone, so grab those tickets for that concert or that show. Take matters in hand when it comes to dealing with clients or colleagues. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Monday.

Aries Uh-oh…looks like you're in for a lot of family fights, Aries. Keep your cool, and get all your facts straight before doing anything rash. You might not have a lot of support, but if you really believe in it, go for it. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Tuesday.

Cancer - You'll stay out of trouble if you pick projects that will benefit the whole family. Co-workers may not be giving you all the pertinent information. You have to know what your boss or teacher wants if you expect to do your job correctly. Relatives may seek your advice. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.

Gemini - You are in a high cycle where travel, education, and creative endeavours are concerned. Try to ease any disappointment by making amends. Don't gossip. Realise that you don't have to do everything yourself.
Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Saturday.

Taurus - Do you really want to start something with someone you can't reason with? Your greatest gains will come through your creative ideas. Help others solve their dilemmas. Be confident in your endeavours and others will believe in your efforts.
Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Wednesday.

Leo This is the time to read the fine print rather than finalising your objectives. Strong willpower will come to your rescue. Your ability to put a deal together will surprise others. Generous as you are, dear lion, keep an eye on your spending or else your wallet will be severely dented this month.
Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.

Virgo If you've been wanting to redo your room, this is the best time to do it. Be careful of smooth-talkers, and don't trust anyone with your money this month. Make sure you've checked all the details before entering into any agreement, to avoid messy misunderstandings. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.

Libra - This is a great month to get out and enjoy an entertaining evening with friends or lovers. Minor health problems will cause setbacks if you haven't taken proper care of yourself. Set your goals and stick to your guns. Get more involved in group efforts at work or school.
Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Tuesday.

Sagittarius Go easy on the workload, buddy. Take some time off for R n' R and talk to your gf/bf about where your relationship is heading. Now's the time to be managing your responsibilities, and keeping on top of things so as not to get out of shape. At work or school, watch your back and keep your elbows out.
Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Wednesday.

Scorpio - You must try to lay your cards on the table. Talk to your beloved and tell him/her how you feel. Get busy. Social activities that involve the whole family will be enjoyable. You are best not to discuss your personal life with others.
Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Tuesday.

Capricorn - You need to do more things that you enjoy. Don't break any promises you've made. You'll be in a generous mood this month (friends, take note!) At work, be professional, and you will advance much more quickly.
Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Wednesday

By Mistress of Legends


Parking Ticket
I went to the store the other day, I was only in there for about 5 minutes and when I came out there was a damn motorcycle cop writing a parking ticket. So I went up to him and said, 'Come on buddy, how about giving a guy a break?' He ignored me and continued writing the ticket.
So I called him a pencil necked nazi. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having bald tires! So I called him a son of a mutant pig. He finished the second ticket and put it on the car with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket!! This went on for about 20 minutes, the more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote. I didn't give a damn. My car was parked around the corner...

In The Service
One Sunday morning, the minister noticed little Alex was staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. It was covered with names, and small American flags were mounted on either side of it.

The seven year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the minister walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, "Good morning, Alex."
"Good morning, Preacher," replied the young man, still focused on the plaque. "Preacher, what is this?"
"Well, son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service."
Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Little Alex's voice was barely audible, trembling with fear, when he asked, "Which service, the 8:15 or the 10:30?”

Ustad Guru Lord's Poetry Corner

My audience, I throw before you pearls, but I ask myself, am I surrounded by swine? Please, immerse yourself in the depth of my deepness.

Ode to My Wallet
Truly, thou art not worthy of my wallet.
Thus, I request thou stop breathing in my presence,
And allow me the Priveledge of better living,
While thou wallow'st in filth.
Thou deservest this, for thy dress sense
Is inexpensive. Thy possesseth not my wallet,
Nor my suaveness. Thou hath not sixty cars,
Nor two thousand servants. Thou hath no numbers
To thy name. Thus art thou unworthy.
Unclassy wench.

The Glass
Oh Glass, art thou half full
Or half empty, thou?
Perhaps, 'tis best to simply drink thee.

Hitting on Pretty Woman
Madame, what be up? I spy thy long locks from afar.
By your smile I see thou art here not simply for the sunset.
Ah, I see. Thou wills it to play hard to get. The game begins.
Thou shalt find me a seasoned competitor.
Thou playest hard-to-get most convincingly.
One would think thou wants me not.
Ah, the pepper spray and savage beating of mine body
Truly warrants thee as but a novice in the grand game of love.
I can council thee that such statements as "Go away, pervert!"
Do not necessarily guarantee thee success in courting me.





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