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Point of view

Role models and the new generation

The Rising Star spoke to four young ones on the brink of adulthood about their role models. Drawn from different schools, these future citizens were clear about their heroes and heroines. For some it was their parents, for others famous personalities. No matter what their views, their answers threw light on an interesting and timely subject.

Salman Khan, Grade 11, American International School Dhaka
I look up to my father'
My role model is my father Jafar Khan. He is a businessman and runs a family business along with his brothers. The Summit group of companies, as it is known, has interests in power plants, LPG, shipping and construction. My father works in the power plants division.

I remember in 1992 when I was about five years old, the family had just started the business. They earned respect because they had put in all their might to make a success of the company. The label of being hardworking is a very good reputation to acquire.

The other inspiring qualities about my father are his emphasis on quality and honesty. He is a great father and is funny and clever. He is very strong mentally and keeps contact with my sister who is in Australia. My parents got divorced two years ago and my father has been a single parent. It was hard at first but he coped very well. He helped me by encouraging me. In Bangladesh parents always want their children to be in business, law or medicine. However, when I told him that I wanted to be a soccer player for the national or university team after finishing school, he said to go ahead. He left the decision up to me.

Tanaz Tasfia, Class 11, Scholastica
'My role model is Mother Teresa'
I have a great admiration for the Albanian nun Mother Teresa. I look up to her because of her integrity and humility. These qualities are in danger of being lost in the present day environment. If possible, I would like to go to Kolkata where the Mother used to tend to the dispossessed, the aged and the dying.

Frankly I am a firm believer of the dictum 'Charity begins at home.' I try to make this a part of my life in several ways. I was in our school's Community Service Club and organised food fairs and cricket matches to raise money for the Society for the Welfare of the Intellectually Disabled. I also organise people to make our neighbourhood a cleaner place, give Zakath during Eid and help flood victims through fund raising.
True, not many of my friends are involved in charity work but I am confident that I will convince them to share my esteem for the late Mother.

Ameer Sobhan, Class 11, Scholastica
'I am a great fan of Joss Whedon'
I am a big supporter of Whedon. He is a writer of TV shows and films. He is also a director, producer, composer and does TV guest appearances. He is the creator of popular TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly. He is also the writer of the films Toy Story and Speed.

He also pitched in as an assistant with TV talk show hostess Roseanne on The Roseanne Show.. This talk show was one of the most successful series of the late 1980s and early 1990s. I
am a big fan of Whedon's TV shows.

Now he is writing the story for the film X-Men-3, to be released next year. Then there is Serenity, based on his TV show Firefly.

Whedon has also given me the inspiration to go into film and TV video production. In fact, when I finish school and go to university in the US, I would like to work with him.

Nader Salam, Class 10, International School of Dhaka
'Having Mohammad as my role model gave be boundaries'
Children's role models are greatly dependent on their upbringing. I would choose Prophet Mohammad as a role model. How come? My family tries to be as religious as possible. However, for me the real turning point was when my sister Lara, little brother Nadeem and I went to summer classes in Dhaka this year and the previous year. Our teacher was Aminah Sajjad from Pakistan and she would teach us about the Quran, Islamic history and comparative religion. The classes were really interesting. She captured the hearts of many teenagers--may be because she herself is in her early 20s.

True, when I was very young, I would go to the mosque and pray--mostly to get my parents off my back. Later, of my own accord, I developed an interest in the Prophet and Islam.
I do have differences with my parents sometimes. For instance, two years ago I missed the Halloween celebration at the American School. The reason? I had a Quran lesson at that time. I was very annoyed with them, but they told me that I had made a major sacrifice. I felt good about it at the end.

However, in addition to prayers, I also play basketball, other sports and enjoy computer animation and movies-in addition to prayers.

By Kavita Charanji

Dream destination: The human brain

No folks! Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you! My dream destination is indeed the greatest labyrinth of all- the human brain! If you come to think about it, the brain would be a very interesting place to explore. It would be amazing if we could somehow shrink ourselves into minute creatures so that we can go explore the brain's nooks and crannies.

Personally I would love to meet the creature called Anxiety that dwells within my brain. He may look like an innocent sort of chap at first sight, but don't be fooled by his calm demeanor. He is a devil in disguise! Whenever he gets the opportunity, he sends out pulses of fear and apprehension through my body. He makes my legs shake uncontrollably and causes my palms to sweat profusely. He seems to enjoy himself the most, right before I have a big exam or when I have to make a public speech. Anxiety isn't the only occupant in my brain. For such a small place, my brain is home to an unusually large number of creatures.

There are of course some of Anxieties close friends- Nervous, Annoyed and Angry. It is amazing how such a small organ can create so many emotions in me.

The brain is such a complex machine that trying to understand it would be the same as trying to understand why the earth is round. It is simply impossible. And that's what makes the brain my dream destination. Call me crazy if you like, but no one can deny the sense of awe and mystery that the brain arouses. Wouldn't it be fascinating to discover how the brain can work so well or how it can send out so many different signals at the same time? Perhaps we aren't supposed to know the answer to these questions. Perhaps some things are better left alone.

I probably won't ever be able to get to my dream destination, but if I ever did I would definitely call upon my old friend- Mental Block. He is the reclusive creature that hides away in a remote corner of my brain. He waits silently for an idea to develop in my brain. Then just as soon as an idea is born, he reaches for his net and with one swift action he catches my idea and gobbles it up. He gets particularly excited whenever a deadline is coming up or our editor is screaming at me to come up with some brilliant ideas!

By Ayesha S. Mahmud

How we got away i'll never know

It was a Friday midnight on the 20th of December 1964. It was a full moon night. I could hear strange, spooky sounds from all around the house. Sometimes the flight of bats, or the hooting of an owl or the howling of the wind left me chilled to the marrow. 'Creepy house', I thought. This is the first and last time I would be spending, or rather wasting my holidays here. I could never figure out why my grandfather had chosen to build such an enormous, eerie house in an almost deserted and far-away village or why there had to be so many hidden rooms all over the house! I could hear Sam's snoring from the next room and I could hear Mr. Harrison's footsteps echoing throughout the hall downstairs. Didn't he ever go to sleep? This housekeeper was also a strange, rough and scary person. Every thing was weird in this house!

I had arrived last night with my friend Sam and all day long we had been roaming around the place in search of some local markets only to be disappointed. Although enriched with eye-catching natural beauty, this area was inhabited with some old-fashioned and superstitious people. Only this afternoon, I encountered a man who, upon hearing that I lived in the Parker Mansion, grew white with fear and uttered some strange message, "Go back home, and don't stay here". I thought he was crazy but Sam took it seriously and so I had to console him by saying that we would soon be leaving this place. Thinking about all these, I slowly drifted back to sleep.

Next morning, I was awakened by an ear-splitting shriek. I jumped out of bed and ran to the next room from where the sound was emerging. The door was half open and on entering, I found Sam standing and staring at some red-stained liquid spilled all over the floor. "What's up?" I questioned, surprised. "I-I-I found this bowl on the table and-and" Sam stammered pointing to shattered pieces of the bowl. "And what?" I demanded. He continued, "and I thought it was soup served by Mr. Harry but-but.... tasted it...it's blood!" My voice was caught in my lungs; I couldn't utter a single word. I looked at him then at the blood in disbelief. Before I could draw a conclusion, a raspy, croaking voice spoke from behind me, "Warned you, not to eat anything without my presence. You must leave soon, the spirits are awake!" And with this incomplete, senseless suggestion Mr. Harrison left, arousing a thousand questions in our minds.

That day we didn't go out of doors. With any form of entertainment missing, Sam and I investigated the basement of the football-pitch of a house. As we looked at different antiques, I felt the presence of a third person behind us, but every time I glanced back, there was no one there. Questions swept through my mind. Is this house haunted? Are there spirits of the dead around this place? Suddenly, the door of the small stuffy room we were in creaked shut. Strange; there was no wind to make it shut. Sam went forwards and tried to pull it open but it was jammed. He tried hard but without success. I went forward to help him but in vain.

An overwhelming sensation of panic filled me. I could hear strange noises, very faint but very near! Sam was shaking with fear and soon his knees gave away in terror. My heart froze at the sight of some very obscured and pale faces of people appearing and disappearing almost at once. I was panic-stricken. What on earth is going on here? Sam and I started shouting and screaming for help but soon our own voices seemed to be coming from a distant place. I could see shadows around us. I couldn't breath. My vision was becoming blurred.

When I came back to my senses, I found myself lying on the seat of a coach, Sam sitting upright beside me. Mr. Harrison was sitting opposite to us. We were heading for the station.

Even to this day, when I'm sitting and writing about my experience 40 years later, I'll say, how we got away I'll never know.

By Fairuz Sharif


Pouncer and pouncee

A cat and a mouse
Both lived in a house,
Without a single bug or a louse.
They both liked to chase,
Each other at a pace,
But the end the cat's face,
Mostly ran into a very large mace.
The mouse liked eating cheese,
Not vegetable like peas.
And he certainly had no fleas.
In the end, cat and mouse still ran,
The cat mostly ran into the fan,
While the mouse jumped over the frying pan.
So that was my poem of thirteen lines.
Thank you for being so kind.
I hope I did just fine.


The monster

The monsters come out at night,
And if you're walking alone, they'll give you a fright,
Because they look very scary when
Their underwear is tight.
Monsters are every creepy,
They look very freaky,
And they act very geeky.
Some monsters look like bugs,
Some monsters act like thugs,
They could also be as small as pugs.
If you say to a monster "You're cool,"
He'll start to drool,
And gobble up your school.

Poems By Adeeb Kasem

Good monster

One day the Monster was looking for something. A man asked Monster, what are you looking for?

"I am looking for my hat."

"Your hat is there, in the mud," pointed out the man.

"Oh no, my hat is dirty. How can I wash my hat?" Monster looks at the river and thought he could wash his hat in that river. Monster washes his hat and is happy that the hat is clean. Monster goes home and falls asleep but Monster couldn't sleep. Two men were being very noisy. Monster screamed at them to shut up.

"You two go home and sleep. You are disturbing me." Saying this Monster went back to sleep. At night a ghost came. Ghost woke up good monster.

"Who are you?" asked Monster. "I can't sleep and now you are here to disturb me too. You better leave me alone or else…..!"

The ghost left Monster to sleep in peace. Monster woke up and felt he had a good nights sleep.

He got up to have breakfast and saw two men stealing his biscuits. Monster growled at the two men. They got scared and ran away. This made the Monster laugh till his tummy hurt. The men asked why he scared them and Monster replied that it was fun. But he asked them to come and have some biscuits and juice with him. Monster told the men not to steal but to ask nicely.

By Medha Suchetona Saha





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