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Nocturnal talk shows

3:00 A.M.
(The music from Linkin Park's 'Numb' screams out of my cell phone.)
Still dreaming I hit the green key on my phone.
“…Ugh… Hello?”
“I want to be your friend.”
What? Half asleep I turn the cell phone off.

4:00 A.M. The next day.
(The music from Bon Jovi's 'It's My Life' blares out of my cell phone.)
Unable to properly wake up I pick up the call.
“I called you yesterday, you didn't answer, I want to be your friend.”

(At this point the victim of the prank call lets of barrage of obscenities that would be inappropriate to type in. He's also very lucky that his parents didn't hear any of it.)

Seriously, since when has a good night's sleep turned into a good night's yakking? Everywhere I look I see sleepy eyed teenagers stupidly boasting about how they'd been up till four yapping into their cell phones. How nice, you gossiped till four…did you perhaps study for the chemistry mock? No, oh, I thought so. No I'm not going to let you copy from me. Idiot…

What possible topic could you have (excluding the lovebirds, seriously they can babble about nothing for hours) that would entitle you to have a nocturnal conversation stretching till dawn? I just don't see any reason to stay up till midnight to call someone.

Then there're the prank callers. The idiots now don't have to pay for their few minutes of annoying someone (except for the initial charge) of a good's night sleep. What kind of sadistic pleasure could someone get by calling someone at three in the morning? Is it a new kind of Psycho where the psychos try to traumatize their victims by depriving them of sleep?

Is it cool to tell your friends that you've been up for the better part of the night (and consequently failing your mock)? Is there some mystic aura surrounding people as they talk in the middle of the night that makes it worth it? When I first heard of the offer of talking through the whole night I thought that it would never catch up. I stand corrected (people are just weird).

Now people seem to judge each other by how long they've been awake and how sleepy they look (it used to be bands, if you were part of a band you were suddenly cool). I don't stay up till the middle of the night, and when my friends ask me how long I'd been awake and I answer not very long, they give me looks like I'm from Neptune or something. Of course there are some idiots who claim they discuss accounting throughout the whole night. Yeah right.

This whole thing has also boosted up the romantic scene. Now the new wooing technique is to somehow get the girl's phone number and call her after midnight (I'm not really sure if this works out much). The side effects of such nighttime shenanigans on the phone can easily be seen if one looks at the progress report. You can now hear snatches of conversation all rounding on the things people talked about in the middle of the night.

Am I only person who sees the downsides of these nocturnal talk shows? Most people only talk about how good these offers are. I don't see the good things, so am I weird? What's so cool about staring up at the ceiling at night yakking into your phone at a time when no one should be awake? And now people seem to think that each and every teenager talks through the night. I hate the looks I get every time someone asks for number and notices that it has that nighttime offer. Its like they just know that I've got sleepy eyes because of talking at 4:15 A.M. and not because of studying organic chemistry.

By Tareq

Politics and us

On the regular day, we open the newspaper only to be utterly shocked and even more disgraced than the previous day (if that is possible), there are only two sets of reactions most commonly seen.

Our parents say, 'This country is going to the dogs!', and we say, 'I can't wait to get out of here!' Don't get me wrong because at no point am I saying that every teenager of Bangladesh is desperate to leave the country. No, some of us still have traces of patriotism in us. But the sad part is that patriotism is disappearing with the speed of light!

The few of us, the teenagers that is, who regularly read the newspaper are perfectly aware of the devastatingly increasing depravity of our country, and to be perfectly honest, most of us, actually all of us have some form of idea about how to better the situation.

We read the news and say if only the government did this and that. And that's just the catch. We are the next generation, the future of this country. What happens to this country actually does depend on us. So the ideas that all of us have can in fact be put to action for the betterment of our country if only we got involved in politics. So why is it that all of my friends from school who took Government and Politics in their A Levels ran to London just after their A2 exams?

Probably because they're not crazy. I mean, come on! Look at the politics of Bangladesh! It would be utterly clichéd and boring to repeat all the perfectly true stuff about our political arena being a playground for two childish girls who're best at pulling each other's hair out. I remember acting like them when I was 7! Even I act more matured and civilized than the people who represent our country and this is the country for which so many people gave their lives.

At times I wonder why is it that our generation lacks that passion and sense of patriotism with which our forefathers had fought for freedom? Well, who can blame us? The very representatives of Bangladesh couldn't give a damn, so who can blame the ones amongst us who laugh about the fact that we have topped the corruption chart for what seems like eternity!

From my very early years, I have had an image of Bangladeshi politics as something very ugly, very dirty, and definitely something that I want to stay away from for the rest of my life. Right now, I am eighteen, and I have voting rights, and the last thing that I want to do is vote. I mean, who do I vote for?

We've learnt about opportunity cost in Economics, which in this case, doesn't exist at all! Voting for any of the existing parties can only be a social cost and nothing else! So why bother voting?

Isn't it natural then that all of the brilliant Bangladeshi brains who can actually make a difference run away, because getting involved in politics would only create painful deaths of their morals, and in time, painful deaths of themselves if the morals did by chance survive.

I know, many of you are probably thinking about all those people involved in student politics right now. Dhaka University, the center for the best of Bangladesh that have remained in Bangladesh, has produced the highest number of students who got involved in student politics. You would think that at least this generation would finally end up changing the political arena.

Instead, the only thing we see is brilliant brains wasting their time beating up fellow students, at times even killing fellow students, over, definitely nothing that requires people to die. Where are the morals, the basic morals that are taught to us as we grow up to be civilized human beings? Can there possibly be any morals present in people who can kill?

Honestly, I'm so accustomed to staying away from anything to do with politics that even writing this article is making me feel uncomfortable. Freedom of speech…yeah, funny joke!

By Fahmina Rahman


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