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'O tai, bhabi, ar bolen na…'

The bhabis of today (or aunties as we should call them) just get on my nerves! Go to any other school in Dhaka, and sure enough, you'll find this peculiar species of women gossiping outside the gates. Just listen in on their conversation for a few minutes and I'm sure you'll notice some interesting facts. The main topic of discussion is always us, the youth of today. Our way of living is under constant criticism from these women. They suffer from the illusion that whatever their child is doing is wrong/not enough. We are always being compared to omuk bhabi's perfect child, making the matter even more complicated. As if life wasn't hard enough without them!

When say, five or six of these aunties get together, they can make total hell for you. I once the misfortune of being stuck with a group of such aunties in my own living room. The moment I entered, I was bombarded with comments such as 'Allah, meyeta koto shukaye geche! Amar meye jodi erokom hote parto!' The worst came when my own beloved mother joined in with 'Bhabi, ar bolen na, meye kichchu khaye na…' And so they went on, examining every detail of my eating habits and criticising it to the fullest extent. And I was forced to just sit there pathetically and do nothing. It was only out of sheer politeness that I grit my teeth and endured it. I mean, its ok to criticise. Everyone does it. But do these women always have to do it?

Its not the shortcomings of their children that these bhabis discuss, it's the shortcomings of other bhabis too. Commenting on 'Rozie Bhabi's' poor cooking skills to the others, saying how horrible the chicken biriyani was that day. The backbiting doesn't end here. Every inch of the poor bhabi concerned is critisized, starting with her aforementioned cooking skills right down to her husband's 'low' salary.

If, by by some twist of luck, the bhabis can't find a suitable victim to pounce on, then they just go back to the old monotonous dialogoues. 'Bhabi, apnar chele ebar kemon korlo? Ajkal ja pressure na…'Sounds familiar? You bet it does. You've heard it so many times that you've lost count. Yes, that's what the bhabis do when they run out of stuff to criticise. Their lines are so predictable, so stereotyped, that every time I hear them talking, I'm sure I'm having déjà vu.

The worst part is that they know what they're doing. They know they're faking it. We know they're faking it. They know that we know they're faking it. Why do they do it then? Does lack of proper female education make the women resort to such idle pastimes? Or is it simply in their natures to crtiticise everything in sight? Some women are not bhabi-ish in themselves, but are influenced into it by the pressure of other bhabis. Consequently, the poor woman finds herself morphing into another one of thoses monotonous, zombie-like bhabis. Hindi serials play a big part in this 'bhabi culture' as many gullible ladies are influenced. Of course, not all women are like that and some that I've met are extremely nice and un-bhabi-ish.

But for all the rest of you bhabis out there, JUST STOP IT AND GET A LIFE! For your sakes as well as ours. Not only are you dr5iving us crazy, you're making a bad name for women all over. So instead of trying to be a bhabi, just be yourself and have some fun. Trust me, you'll be so much happier.

By Sami


The deafening applause, the sparkling lights and the aura of glamour, altogether made up the fantasy Christine Stile had played over and over in her mind. 'Only this time it's real', thought Christine as she climbed the stairs one of Hollywood's biggest and most extravagantly adorned stage, to receive her first award, the moment she had worked for all her life.

She accepted the silver miniature statue with eyes sparkling with tears of happiness. 'I have no words to express my feeling at this moment. The exhilaration, the joy, the excitement are all beyond words or comparison. However this award is also to be shared with my……..' she mentioned all her co-stars, directors, agents and so on.

At one point she though of mentioning her family, but there was little reason why she should. She had been out of touch with them for the past seven years. She ended her speech and walked down the stage. Although a sparkling smile was still plastered on her pretty face, inside her she was disturbed and the thoughts that she usually managed to push away were all crowding her head.

Later that night when the party was over and all the guests had left, Christine stood on the balcony of her luxury suite. She recalled the journey that brought her where she was today; how she ran away from her family, her friends, to pursue her ambition to attain fame and fortune, to be a part of the world of glamour.

Christine had the brains to find for herself the opportunities and once found, her beauty and talent made the rest of the journey a smooth sail. But as she gradually got acquainted to with the world of fame she saw further than the veil of glitter and glamour into a world of hypocrisy, deceit and greed. It was a place for fake smiles, 'helping hands' that always expected something in return, a forced hug that meant nothing more than a magazine pose. She had no one who she could call a friend. The fans were entranced by the characters she played, their personalities and their mannerisms.

But how many people knew who Christina was? Christina was just another character that had been lost along with all her friends and family in her search for Fame.

Fame. It is a drug; attractive and addictive. One yearns for a taste of it and the more you taste the one yearns for it. On the outside you become a popularity icon but the inner-self with its conscience, personality and perception is gradually distorted.

By Aniqa Moinuddin


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