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Reuniting with music and colour
Club Glab's reunion at Arysha

With a slogan to be together forever, the Club Glab recently organised a reunion at Arysha in Gulshan. Students from the '97 batch of Government Laboratory School, got together at the reunion, with music and old memories hovering about the whole place.

Starting off with a speech from AM Nazmul, the chief guest and an alumnus himself, the atmosphere was actually filled with the old boyish charm that the students had once upon a time.

The main co-ordinators of the reunion were students from the '97 batch of the school who happen to be busy with their own work and businesses. 'We are too occupied now to meet our old mates from school,' says Adil, Arup and Amit. 'This is our way of coming together and having fun once again.'

While speaking to other co-ordinators, Asif, Kazi, Miller and Nasim, they informed that their organisation Club Glab is an association of the ex-laboratorians of the ' 97 batch. 'It was formed in June, 2005, with an initiative to bring all the students together and also to provide support if needed, namely financial and also various kinds of counselling,' they informed further.

The reunion had old students speaking about the times when they would bunk classes and get caught by their teachers. Even though they were all laughing about it then, the punishments they had to go through back in the school days were not at all appreciable, informs one of the students.

Some of them with wives and babies, the students later on enjoyed a musical programme where several popular numbers were played by Accoustica and the famous musician of the present generation, Tony. Numbers like Krishno aylo, She je boshe ache, O mor moyna go and many more were played to the delight of the audience. A homely event, the ex-students got down on the floor and moved to the beat.

'The school does have an association called the OLSA (Old Laboratorians' Association),' says Kazi. 'Club Glab is just going to be a part of OLSA and help the organisation arrange these reunions and events.' The organisation plans to hold more of such cultural events, through which they can help poor and needy students of the school, help the unemployed to look for jobs, arrange scholarships, blood donation campaigns and also help the school infrastructure.'

Club Glab has even designed a website (www.clubglab.com) for itself, on which ex-students from Government Laboratory School can locate their friends and teachers.

By Elita Karim

Teen Central
Starting this week, the Rising Stars looks into some social, psychological, and health problems that plague many of our teens and young people today. The stories present in this section illustrate the problems, and are meant to warn you about the dangers…please don't get inspired to try this stuff at home.

On the low life

It was Valentine's Day and she was more excited than ever before in her life. This was the first time she would be sharing this day with a special someone...with her guy. But once she met up with him, things didn't really go as planned. He dumped her, and that even in front of hundreds of people- some smirking, while the others feeling bad for the poor crying girl. When she came home, there was just one thing that could have made her feel better. She took the blade and...slash.

Common story, really. I mean even though not all of are doing this, everybody at least knows somebody pathetic enough to cut themselves. Or take pills...or even attempt suicide- they're all in the same category. It's a wonder thinking just how many people will identify with the story above (different versions of it, obviously). And I'm sorry if I'm being heartless, but the last thing that comes to my mind when I think about these kinds of people is sympathy.

First and foremost...WHY? Where's the sense of it all? Somebody hurts you, and because of that you hurt yourself more? It's like saying one plus one is eleven! Back in school, I had a friend who was crazy in love with the guy she was going out with. Things weren't the same on his side. So each time she got desperate for a little bit of attention and didn't get any, there was only one solution...either a packet of pills, or her own two hands to be slashed mercilessly. When they finally did break up, she cut her hand so deep that her skin had to be stitched back together. The mark is going to be there forever. Like a little memento always there to remind her of the pathetic loser she once had made the mistake of going out with. The only way to get rid of it is cosmetic surgery.

For all those people who oh-so-dramatically prove their "love" by cutting that special someone's name on their hands, really, I can't find words (although it does remind me of this bangla film I had once seen). And the special someone who finds this romantic and takes it to be a proof of love...seriously...go and dive into that manhole outside your house, and never get out! It's pathetic! And think about it logically...you'll have a sick, discoloured tattoo for the rest of your life that reads Sokina or whatever! If you really want a tattoo that bad, get a dragon or something! People will at least find you less scary and pathetic then.

I'm not saying that people torture themselves like this only because of silly problems in their own petty lives. Frustrations in many people are created by far more real problems. Problems that I myself don't know how should be dealt with. There are teenagers from disturbed families who would do anything to stop the nonsense in their homes. There are neglected kids from big families who would do anything to get a bit of attention. Countless people suffer unbearable financial pressures. Frustration is there in every human being, for whatever reasons. And nobody can live normally with it. We all need an outlet to just let it all out. Some people find that outlet in the form of torturing themselves crazy. Just because it makes you feel a bit better for a tiny little while. Is it worth it? Everybody is frustrated one way or another. Some people fight back while the others break down. Is it really worth it? I don't know if I'm anybody to be giving advice here, but it's my own belief that God never puts us in more pain than we can take. So when you think you're too weak to handle all those things going wrong in your life, you're wrong.

Just to clear myself from being hypocritical, I admit that I myself used to butcher my hands and take crazy amounts of pills just to be able to stop thinking about all those messed up things in my life. But it was never worth it and I realize that. I can't even begin to explain what I feel when people give me that "oh what a retard" look at seeing the scars on my hands. So for all the people who still do these things...seriously, get a grip because you're bound to regret it sometime, provided you live through it all.

By Fahmina Rahman

Step Up
Resonate with DIMS

If music inspires you enough to make you want to perform, you better learn it first. And for that, Dhaka International Music School could be the place to be in. It is located in Senpara Parbata, near the roundabout in Mirpur 10, and takes just about 20 to 25 minutes from Gulshan or Dhamondi.

The DIMS was founded in 1989 by the Korean Development association in Bangladesh, and is amongst the oldest music schools in Dhaka. Its faculty members are all talented and experienced musicians, who instil their knowledge into its mostly teenaged students. The school has all the adequate facilities, completed with a rich collection of musical instruments. Therefore it is possible to start learning an instrument, without having to buy it immediately. However, it is always better to get one for yourself once you have made up your mind.

The school currently offers courses in Western songs, Eastern songs, Guitar, Violin, Piano, Tabla and Mandolin. In addition, musicians from abroad come once or twice every year to teach other instruments such as Clarinet, Saxophone, Drums and Xylophone. The students have a choice between the western and eastern notations, whichever they prefer to follow. Classes are usually held weekly, but the school remains open six days a week for students who want to come in and practice. Students need to arrange their own timing with the respective teachers as classes are mostly held in an individual basis. Other than their usual classes all students are encouraged to attend a special 'Music and Lifestyle' class. It primarily focuses on the history of music, lives of great musicians, and the bond between music and culture and our lifestyles. DIMS also arranges recital programs twice a year where students get a chance to perform on stage in front of an audience comprising of parents, friends and a lot of strangers. Trust me it's a great feeling to show off and is immensely helpful if you have a problem with 'stage fright'.

When it comes to fees, enrolling at DIMS is certainly going to save you a lot. It is funded entirely by the KDAB and hence the tuition fees are quite low compared to other musical institutions. Each student will need to pay an initial admission fee of 200 Tk, (300/- for only piano students). For violin students, the tuition fee per month is 200 tk and although the average course duration is 1 year, it largely depends on the individual's skill and effort. Taking guitar lessons will cost you 300 per month, and Eastern and Western songs 100 and 300 per month respectively. The piano course is divided into two levels, each of which typically takes 6 months to complete. The tuition fee is 500 p/m but you will need another 1000 tk for buying books for the entire course. In addition to the subsidised fees, the chairman of KDAB has pledged to provide scholarships to students with exceptional musical talents, who would like to pursue higher studies in music abroad.

DIMS has a proud tradition of creating talented musicians, some of whom have stayed back as faculty members. Its alumni comprises of professionals teaching in places like Omni music, Alliance Franchaise and the German cultural centre. The school in immensely underrated, owing to the fact that it is a non-profit organisation and doesn't go for mass publicity. The contribution of DIMS in nurturing music talents in Bangladesh has been immense, ironically in a very silent way.

By Tawsif Salim

The Yo generation

Am I the only one who thinks that the new cell phone ad campaign is absurd? The DJuice "Benglish" gimmick, for one is the pioneer of a new kind of sales pitch to get to the people. So we have a "kothin pochano" and "jotil prem" and a whole lot of other contemporary slang, which I might add I have never heard anyone use. Last week's issue already had an interesting piece on that, but what bothered me more was Citycell's jab at it with its Yo Generation.

I mean really, where did these guys do their research? Then again, in a society where a marafyied accent and a dual passport is a thing of immense pride, I guess I have some idea.

Before proceeding I must bring to attention that the following is strictly my opinion, nothing more nothing less. I was extremely annoyed by the projection of our generation on those billboards. Disregarding the "tackiness" (for a lack of better terminology) of the catch phrase itself, what on Earth is Yo Generation supposed to mean in the first place?

According to Citycell, I wear baggy sweatshirts, make random gangsta rap hand signals and have one hand reserved for holding up my ridiculously baggy jeans. Girls on the other hand, obsess with shopping and wear too much make-up (although I am not too sure of the inaccuracy of that claim).

I mean sure we're not wearing traditional panjabis all the time and I mean sure we don't speak in Calcuttan accents, like those classic black and white Bangla movies but we're not characters out of San Andreas either (that's a game based in lower middle class 90's "the hood" America).

You will see the occasional "kul dood" if you know what I mean, with the uncontrolled facial hair, the long greasy mane, the just-got-out-of-bed look clad in loose jeans (worn a few inches below shorts) and a T-shirt bearing the name of a rock/metal band. Beads, bracelets, cigarettes, guitars and "souped up" cars are usual accompaniments. Are these isolated few the ones who give an image so strong to generations other than ours that Citycell decided to use them as poster children of our new generation?

So, debatable as the topic remains, I ask you to decide what makes grown-ups think we escaped from 8 Mile or some Hollywood teen movie? Are we having too much American pie and too little deshi curry? I personally think we've had to fight the public misunderstanding/misinterpretation of us long enough without Citycell's help. So the next time I hear that oh-so-familiar line "ajkalkar chele meyera ja hoye gase……." I'll know whom to thank for it.

By Grim Reaper


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