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Of gossips and rumours…

When we talk about gossips or rumors, they basically mean the same thing. The true meaning of a gossip is a light informal conversation. However, the term is not often used in the true sense, rather defining it as a term where you reveal one's secrets and intimacies. Now mix it up with some lies and spread it out on a larger scale and 'presto' you have a rumor. How and when did they happen are questions to which the answers are not certain. But this writer believes that gossips or rumors commenced from the day when human beings started to socialize.

It usually starts off with a conversation concerning a particular someone and gets interesting by spicing it up with facts in order to gawk the listener. And it goes on and on usually leading up to a bad and wrong impression of the person concerned. An example of such can be put like this; a guy offers a very attractive girl a mango juice. If there is a witness, usually an uninvited person, he/she would frame the scenario as, the boy got up a mango tree, picked some mangoes, peeled them off, made some mango juice and offered to the girl. This example is an exaggeration to the true incident and had it not been for this exaggeration the incident would not seem to be interesting at all. This will definitely guarantee the witness some anxious listeners and of course he also gets to fulfill his objective in this whole matter and that is to get attention.

To attract attention can be considered as the primary reason for gossips to occur. If we observe the entertainment industry, you will see that gossips or rumors are the heart and soul of the entertainment industry. Go to any entertainment websites or read any magazines that deal with films and other related industries such as the music industry or the sports industry and you will definitely find gossips regarding all those people involved in their respective industries. I am sure all of you know the cases concerning Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Wasim Akram involved in match-fixing and so on. These gossips even deeply affected the life of the late princess Diana. The main motive of the people who spread these 'lies' is to get attention and what better way to get attention by spreading rumors concerning people who are popular and famous. It is no surprise to see that there are people who make a living spreading these gossips. However, it is not always about getting attention. Gossips or rumors do have their variations. Some people do it to get revenge or to get power.

People living in joint families, in my opinion, are the most affected by this variation of gossips. It usually involves two families expressing their disgusts and anger in the nicest way possible. This variation of gossips involves backbiting and also a little bit of 'front' biting if you know what I mean.

Motives include gaining power in the family, to humiliate someone in particular in the family, to express disgust on one's actions and the most common of them all to get a better share of the property. Surely the end result is never good and this form of gossip has been going on for generations. And to check out how they go about just turn on your TV to Star Plus and watch any one of Ekta Kapoor's serials and you will definitely know what I am talking about.

Gossips or rumors are even common in education institutes. Be it a school, college or a university gossips are the main talks of the campus. A common scenario would be a guy liking a particular girl but another guy who also happens to like the same girl goes up to her and spreads lies about the other guy so as to create a bad impression.

Another scenario is when a senior guy hangs out with a junior girl, all her class mates especially the guys' call for a red alert emergency and literally wipes out the guys character with their thoughts. But in places like these the main motive is to humiliate and create a bad impression about someone, especially if that someone happens to be a bit different with his/her approach in anything he/she does. Rumors such as she is hanging out with this guy because he is rich or the guys' main motive is to use someone to solve some other purpose are common to hear. And of course these people always have their unnamed 'sources' who give them such valuable information.

I for one am a victim of countless rumors and there was one such incident where one of the unnamed 'sources' knew more than what I knew about myself. Lecturers and professors are not spared from these gossips too. They too get become a topic of discussion especially if a teacher gets a bit friendly with a particular group of students. That is why you will find most teachers, especially at universities, having an unfriendly attitude towards students.

There are also times when certain teachers get involve with student's personal lives and take advantage of the whole matter just for the sake of enforcing their own belief. For instance, there is one such incident where a professor from a particular university does not like the idea of students hanging out during free periods. So if he spots any students hanging out during free periods, he acts in a biased manner by not cooperating with them in their studies and in the worst-case scenario he would call up the parents to complain about the student's activities.

I usually find gossips or rumors to be hilarious but sometimes it gets too personal. People who do these things should realize that you are jeopardizing the normal life of a person. Trust among friends and families are broken due to these acts of confabulating. Gossips or rumors are nothing but lies and they really affect the people concerned especially living in a society like ours. Even though it is a long shot but I would like these people to get a life and utilize their art of making facts into fantasy on things where it matters most such as writing short stories or novels. As the saying goes "Live and let live".

By Ziad Bin Hyder

Mens liberation on Women's day

Recently, we celebrated the International Women's Day with due fanfare. With all the media hype that the occasion attracted, we men couldn't help but ruefully recall some of the inequalities in our daily life that men have had to suffer through the ages.

International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for "Liberty, equality, fraternity" marched on Versailles to demand women's suffrage. This was the beginning of what went on, gradually, to be the mark of another standard factor to be considered besides men.

Now men regret the mistake of even thinking about giving their gender counterparts 'equal rights', since these counter parts turned out to be not so equal. As a noted social commentator stated not so long ago, "He who makes no mistakes learns nothing; he who learns nothing, makes no mistakes." In the modern world, where women are said to have achieved equal rights, we, the MEN of the society believe that we have given them more than they deserve.

Take for example the following incidents and coincidences:
I was standing in a queue, which was about half a mile long. A woman of my mother's age came and cut in at the front, stating that as she is a woman, she deserves not to stand in line. What a get-out-of-the-queue qualification to have! Being a woman.

On the same day and at the same place, another woman came in and got her work done by making a request to excuse her as she had to pick her daughter up. Being a man, I was so unlucky that I had to return home without being able to do my work. Women demand equal rights as well as the 'ladies first' privileges. It's called 'double standards'.

The other day, in road 27, Dhanmondi, this lady slapped a gentleman for cutting in front of her as they both rushed down the stairs. Imagine a gentleman slapping a woman for doing the same thing. Surely he would have to go to the hospital.

Some time back, late last year, I was going to Dhanmondi by bus from Uttara. The bus was totally filled and from Uttara onwards I was hanging by the rod and eyeing the chair beside me. I was determined to grab the seat as soon as its female occupant relinquished it, come what may. To my utter delight, once the bus stopped at Mohakhali and that lady got down, I managed to sit there. My pleasure was short-lived, however, very short-lived; before I could get the feel of the seat, another Woman came in and said " Bhai, please amake boshte den ami apner boner moto!" (Please allow me to sit here, I am like your sister.) And the crowd around me asked me to sacrifice the seat, as she was a WOMAN.

On Woman's Day, we demand MEN'S LIBERATION. We want equal rights, the right to queue, the right to keep ours seat and the right to equal sympathy.

By taskin rahman

Why people give up

Well, this is a very controversial issue throughout the world. From religious point of view a suicide is the ultimate Sin which has no forgiveness. On the other hand many people support suicide. They might believe that it is a wise way of sorting out problems and arguments which are at a terrible deadlock. In this way a suicide may comfort and ease the life of others in the long run (what a sacrifice!).

Risking one's life is not such an uncommon thing. In fact even we have thought of ending our life some point. Haven't you? These are usually temporary emotions but for some these are 'too' real, they feel that there is no more reason to live any more.

A person may willingly give his/her life for many reasons. Psychiatrists are still studying the complex-psychology behind such behavior. It is often believed that people end their lives due to frustration , betrayal and by force, frustration being the main reason. Problems at office or at home can be a justified reason as well. Another very prominent reason could be the feeling of guiltiness.

At present the highest rate of suicide is at Japan and in most developing countries (obviously!)

I mentioned about another type of suicide, emotional suicide. I don't know much of it but as I know this usually refers to doing something which is strongly against your will. A very vivid example of such a crime is the marriage of a girl to a man whom she doesn't like at all. She usually does this to please her parents. In our part of the world this is a very common cult. By this one spoils their life forever.

Now from my point of view suicide is definitely not a good and a positive thing to do. I also believe that the real Sin is committed by the people who are responsible for making a person think to this extent. The worse kind of suicide is definitely the ending of one's life. Nothing could be as worse as ending ones life because it is worse than any feeling you on Earth (maybe, I haven't tried it out). If you still give it a thought than I am regrettably sorry to waste your time.

Book review

This Matter of Marriage

Who says friends cannot be lovers and vice versa? 'This Matter of Marriage', by Debbie Macomber, proves you wrong!

'If I want to get married and have a family (and I DO), it's time for a plan! Starting NOW', says Hallie McCarthy, whose biological clock is ticking away. There's no prospect of marriage, no man in sight. Hallie, an organized, goal-setting kind of person, gives herself a year to meet Mr. Knight…In Shining Armour. Her friend Donnalee recommends 'Dateline' to her (a supposedly professional dating service). Hallie finally overcomes her reluctance to actually 'spend money' to date someone, especially when she notices how successful (and happy) Donnalee seems, with the very FIRST guy Dateline arranges for her.

But all her dates are disastrous. There's the cheapskate, the clumsy accountant, the leery blind date…. well, you get the picture. It's a pity she just can't fall for her good looking (no no, lets correct that…
very, VERY hot looking neighbor, Steve Marris. And the excuse she keeps giving herself is that he's definitely NOT her type.

Anyway, Steve's busy trying to win back his ex-wife, Mary Lynn, Who's in turn busy getting married but not to Steve. Quite confusing isn't it? Life would be much simpler if he could fall for someone else. Like…
Hallie! But this can't happen, can it? They're friends, or 'Pals' as Steve prefers to think of Hallie as. She's always around when Mary Lynn shatters his life time to time, by delivering some devastating news. She's become his kids' new best pal in the neighborhood. She's around with outrageous tales to bring a smile on his face, be it day or night; and when she came over to his house to comfort him after one of Mary Lynn's shocks, she ended up blubbering like a kid herself. 'She's a pal,' he confided continually to his best friend Todd, 'A real PAL!'

They are friends. They know that. We know that. But sometimes friends become lovers. And sometimes friendship becomes MORE. Ahem, do I really need to ask urge you further to pick this up and read it for yourself?

By Jennifer Ashraf


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