Shush…be very serene and placid and you may just be able to hear a silent weeping at a far distance of the sea. A very reticent moan of someone who somewhat deserved to live among us, who was once part of us but instead unexpectedly went in search for peace and hope…for us. He never made it back, but if you are careful then that call of pain might just reach you through all the disunity and mercenary we live in.
Listen attentively enough and you will hear a benevolent yet tyrant-like blow of the wind ordering the sea to fluctuate back and forth as if training the ocean to unite into one big force of destruction to demolish all that comes in its way. If you are not devoted enough, this will sound just like any other roaring of the sea and you will only sense its reflection on the gentle rocking of the pebbles that lay at your feet. The cryptic murmurs between the ocean and the wind will remain a mystery while you go back and forth, back and forth like the pebbles…just waiting.
Drop one drop of red paint into the mouth of the sea and seconds later it will dissolve and vanish along with the waves eventually reaching all borders of every land. Take a closer look at the water beneath you and if studied minutely you may just be able to make out another hue of red. No, it's not so similar to that of the paint but it's a colour, which looks so daring, so agonising that you will know instantly of its journey's commence thirty-three years ago. Is it the blood of the weeping man at the other side of the endless sea or is it the blood of all his other equally brave hearted soldiers? This you will never know.
Waiting and waiting, there were many families who could hear the cries of their fathers, sons, brothers and friends miles away as they trained for the war. There were many who knew that at distance a secrete plan was being discussed to demolish everything for the sake of a liberal future. They did not know weather they would survive or be eroded away like the sides of a cliff by a force of destruction but they tried to perceive the pain of what it must have felt like when a fighter met his death with no regrets. This is of course when they realised that the brave soldier was never coming back home.
These families and friends can still hear this agony and they can still see and feel the spirit of hope, which was once carried by the muktijouddhas in 1971. Only they can still relate to the unswerving loyalty that was once secured within the blood of many fearless Bengalis. So where does that leave us? How can we relate ourselves to the mighty worriers of our country?
If your answer is somewhere along the lines of celebrating 16 December by singing and taking part in various other occasions then perhaps you will be able to connect to the thirty-three year old historical event by spreading the joy across to an audience. However, if like me, you have no place to go, no way to celebrate, then just listen very carefully. Their souls still speak. Somewhere far away an inner being still strives to be with us in an Independent country, and in some part of the sea in this world, the blood of some dead soldiers may still be wandering about. There may still be a pebble somewhere that was once touched by one of these Bengali heroes which still fluctuates in this land, but somewhere in the wind some voices may still be crying in question to weather it was worth saving the rest of us who have done very little to treasure this country.
So don't complain, at least don't complain for one day for the sake of these devoted souls. Be very quiet and you may just connect to those living in the second world. Be very obedient and you may just comprehend their faithfulness and finally be very still and you may just hear their heroic voices.
Let's face it after almost an entire day of studying, school and work, when I come home and pick up a novel to read, I will not want to be dealing with a novel that I have to spend ages interpreting. What teenagers today look for in a book are absorbing novels…something that draws you in, and your mind simply refuses to let go. It's also an additional bonus if the language is also uncomplicated enough to be read in peace, without having to struggle through. One such book is 'Caroline's Sister' by Sheila O' Flanagan.
The name gives the main characters away who, incidentally, are Caroline herself and her sister Tessa. With their mother dying while they were really young, their dad brings up Caroline and Tessa alone. The novel starts off with Caroline sneaking off after 10 at night to meet her new date Damien, whom she later gets married to. We see sisterly camaraderie as Tessa constantly covers for Caroline, and is also around when Carol finally gets married. Tessa is the one who constantly feels eclipsed by Caroline. She sees that her sister has great looks, easy charm and a decent job. On the other hand she views herself as a person who never possessed any of these qualities, and would thus have to spend the rest of her life with her nose stuck in books. While Caroline and Damien dance at their wedding, shy, studious Tessa silently hopes to be as lucky one day. Everything progresses perfectly till that dreadful day when Caroline catches Damien and Tessa together, and a new chapter begins in each of their lives…
The novel is funny, romantic and emotional in turns. Anyone can relate to the events happening constantly in the novel. There's hardly a dull moment with so many interesting twists and turns. And once picked up, I doubt you can put in down…
Daring to dream: An aerial symphony
Man wasn't meant to fly. If he were, he would've been endowed with wings and along with the birds, he would have found his place in the sky. Of course, I've always been aware of that but I've also been a dreamer for as long as I remember. I share myself with this reality and the many other ones I've created and locked away somewhere in my mind.
I once dreamt of flying. I can barely remember the ecstasy of elevation but I long to experience ecstasy once again. There is something very magical about the idea of flying if you think about it. The ability to dance with wind must be the most amazing thing in the world. I wish it were possible to soar through the thick clouds as the moisture and the wind rush past my form. Of course I know every law of Physics would forbid it, but wouldn't flying be lovely?
Ironically while I crave the feeling of elevation, I'm terrified by the idea of descent. My fear of heights had also begun with a dream.
However my fear of heights has never hampered my desire to fly. Sometimes, I dream of rushing past the clouds. I close my eyes and I can feel the moisture seeping into my clothes and lightly soaking my skin as I fall through the clouds and fly up again. I wonder what it would be like to bounce on the large tufts of cotton in the sky. Would they really be soft or would they be hollow? I'd love to bounce on those large tufts of cotton and soar through them as the sun would kindly shine down on me, quickly warming up my clothes before I get the chance to be soaked again. I imagine the sky in all its glory with its morning sun beaming down on me as I glide through small soft clouds. I'd be witnessing all of Allah's glory and I would have my heaven in the sky.
Maybe I dream too much. I sometimes get the feeling that I'm far too eccentric for anyone's taste but just dare to dream and you will find the beauty of the idea of ascent into the sky, especially if you can dance with the wind on the way up and taste pure moisture.
Of course, I have no illusions about the idea of man taking flight without any vessel carrying him. I sigh to myself softly every time I really think about this harsh truth.
For now, I can only imagine a swift intake of cold moisture in the harmonious sky above as I close my eyes and listen to Shuntaro Okino's 'Cloud Age Symphony'.
By Saqiba Aziz
This life has taken its toll on me,
I've been hurt too many times before.
True love's a lie fabricated
Just to give us comfort.
So stop your pathetic attempts
At consolation on how I survived this and that,
And your fake remedies for heartache.
This life's a grave
Full of darkness and despair -
Prince Charming will never come
And Sleeping Beauty's already dead
In the peace of her grave.
True love is a lie
That gives you false hopes
And makes you cry
Until your eyes bleed.
You tell me to open my eyes
And live...but what do I do
When I'm dying to live?
There is no way out
When you have to kill yourself to live
Before your life becomes your grave.
This existence is a tomb
Sucking the breath out of you
And the peace of the grave
Is the only way out.
True love is an illusion
That is real for blind people
And it makes room for heartbreak
But maybe the grave is better.
This pain is killing me
Like a dagger twisted in my heart.
My inner voice keeps telling me
To go to my grave.
There is nothing left to live for.
You've faded away, my last chance
And grasp at happiness.
Now you lie in the earth
And I long to join you.
I will sit on your grave...my love.
Hope is a dying spark,
True love is a lie.
Let me go to the my grave now,
Release me from this illusion
For I crave to die.
By Samira Aziz
One of the greatest celebrations of the people of Bangladesh is the Victory Day. This day is the day of pride for any Bangladeshi. Way back in 1971, it was on this day, our desperate freedom fighters achieved victory in the Liberation War, freeing the motherland from the tyrannical Pakistani forces.
Before the war, Bangladesh was known as East Pakistan. It was ruled and oppressed by the government of Pakistan, which concentrated more on West Pakistan, neglecting this portion of the nation, hampering its development. There was little investment in the local industries, and even qualified Bengali professionals were denied promotions
As this oppression increased, the people of this region began to express their dissatisfaction at the way things were being run. Small acts of agitation began to break out, spearheaded by the students of the Dhaka University. On March 26, 1971, Bangladesh declared itself independent, and went into war against Pakistan. This was followed by nine months of bloodshed and merciless killing. Finally, on December 16, we emerged from the fighting as a victorious, free new nation.
Today, we are an independent nation, but the world sees us as a developing country. If all the people are patriotic ad hard-working, this country will prosper to new heights. We hope we will soon see Bangladesh amongst the successful, developed nations in the future.
By Jebunnessa Jeba
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