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A breath of air

He was sitting in his car, on his way from one coaching center to another. It was a bumpy ride. Since, to avoid an unavoidable traffic jam, his driver had taken a different route. Through an underdeveloped area, where not many vehicles normally wished to travel.

They were driving along, but all he could feel of his surroundings were the bumps once in a while. He had his Mp3 on, his eyes shut tight, and his head tilted back against the rich upholstery of his father's new car. As the buzz of rock-metal ensured he was completely unaware of his surroundings, his mind raced through what had happened that same day.

Now that it was over, he felt a little guilty at the thought of having argued with his parents. But then, they just never understood. All his friends at least drove their own cars, if not completely own them. And even in his A' level years, he had to be dropped and picked by his driver. His parents had asked him 'what about the people who cant even afford to have a single car?"..darn! All his parents ever cared about were the 'unfortunate', 'poor' blah blah. Ok, ok so, maybe they should help out the poor, but they did give a yearly charity didn't they? Then why bring up the unfortunate in everyday conversation? Why didn't his parents just understand that By God's Grace, THEY were not unfortunate. God had given them more money than a lot of people, so, why not USE it for comfort? Why always think about what other people DON'T have, instead of enjoying what they DO have. Darn poor people!

They just...
Screech!
The car came to a sudden halt, jerking so hard, that his head hit the backside of the front seat. His Mp3 slipped out from his ears and onto the seat beside him. Suddenly, the absence of the rock-metal buzz brought him back to life.

He tore open his eyes, to see what had happened. At first, it took time for him to register where he was, it was almost like a village slum, but in the city. There was a strange, disgusting smell thick in the air. As the sky grew darker, he could see that there weren't even street lights in the place. As the driver went out front to check what was wrong, he peered through the side window. In the dull, last rays of the setting sun, he could see a little boy, slumped at the corner of the street, practically skin and bone. He was staring blankly up at the sky, with pained, hungry eyes. He didn't know what to feel. Guilt? Guilt over what he had been thinking minutes before? No, guilt wasn't a word near enough to express what he felt then. As he felt like shedding a tear, he was too overcome with remorse, with shock, to even move a muscle.

A few feet away a man was cycling a garbage-cart towards the dump opposite the car. Then , he realized where the pungent smell was coming from. It was a slum in a garbage dump. As he looked back at the child, he saw the boy's eyes practically shining with glee, with hope. The tiny boy stood up, almost running towards the cart in search of food. That was probably their daily routine, they feasted on what others refused to eat. What others threw away.

Just then, his driver returned to the car, continuously apologizing for having chosen the bumpy rode. He sat there speechless, as the driver pressed the buttons by his seat to roll up both the windows. He could never forget the image of the little boy...ever. He put the Mp3 player back on. The buzz began once again. After having travelled for a few more minutes, however, it felt intolerable. He switched it off. He asked the driver to switch off the AC. He scrolled down the window, and breathed in the smelly, dusty air..... He breathed in deeply, as if his soul had breathed for the first time in years.

By Faria Ahmed


The modern girl

The young girl walked in GnC with her head high; the latest Nokia mobile in her hand, wearing high heels, which were so pointed that it looked like they might break down any second. She looked around, the restaurant, taking off her sunglasses, and sat down at the corner table, 7:30 and no sign of her man!

'Ughh! When would the boys ever learn?' she walked out of the café, and drove away.

Sam came in just five minutes later. He waited for about half a minute, and then called her.

'Hey, where are you?' he asked in an impatient voice.

'I waited till 7:35 boy! You weren't there. Nowadays it is hard to find people come in time. Listen up big man; I have no time for guys like you, I've got better things to do! You came late even last week. If this is how less you think of me, then so you are so fired as my boyfriend!' she screamed at her cell phone.

'But, …' the boy was about to say something when the girl hung up!

Lisa drove to her mom's place. She adjusted her rear view mirror, and put on a lipstick, and returned to her wheels just in time to avoid a direct hit by a car.

'Mom, can you get me a glass of water?' she shouted as she zoomed upstairs.

Mother watched her go up, so elegantly. 'My daughter has become so beautiful,' she thought. She remembered those days she used to sing lullabies to her, seemed only like yesterday, she recalled the sleepless nights when she used to sing to her whenever she used to wake up in the middle of the night! Yet, this girl had grown up to be so arrogant, so much ignorant and so much ambitious.

'Comon Mom, I gotta go attend the meeting…and it starts in 15 minutes, ' she shouted from upstairs.

'Right dear, your dress is ready in the cup…' Lisa cut her short, 'No time to change ma, gotta go,' and off she went to her Porsche parked outside.

Later that evening, Lisa brought home her friends. 'Mom, you wouldn't mind going over to Mrs Hunters' would you? My friends are crashing in tonight.' She asked her mother. ' Oh I have packed your suitcase already.'

Mother sighed. 'Sure darling it won't be a problem. Have a good time.' She said, just as Lisa shut the front door at her face. Mother couldn't do anything about it. Lisa was the only one who earned for her family. 'Oh Henry, things would have been a lot better if only you were here,' tears trickled down her wrinkled face, 'If only you were alive, maybe Lisa wouldn't have been so arrogant. And I can't blame her either. She does do a lot; work, house, and stocks' Mother went over to Mrs. Hunter for the night.

The next day Lisa picked Mother up, 'you have to go to Aunt Macy's for a few days. I would be out for a business meeting and can't look after you.' Lisa did not bother to ask her if she wanted it.

'But… I can take care of my…'

'Hello, John,' Lisa picked up her cell phone. 'What? Darn it the stocks have gone down again have they? I told you to keep a watch on it didn't I? What 'but'? Ughh…' frustrated, Lisa hung up her cell and threw it at the backseat…

It hit the old lady's forehead. 'Ouch...'

'Now what's wrong with you?' Lisa asked impatiently without looking back.

'Nothing dear…'Mother replied as she tried hard to fight back her tears.

By Shamma M. Raghib



Distance makes the heart go yonder

Yes, I bet you're wondering where the “fonder” disappeared. Well folks this is a little variation on the generalized perception that “ Distance makes the heart grow fonder”. You really think its that easy to have your boy friend/ girlfriend living in the States or Canada or even Chittagong and keep reminding yourself of that fact.. Do you really think he or she is that faithful or even are you that faithful? Is you're so called committed relationship always on your mind especially when an exceptionally hot boy or girl passes by your side. Where is he or she when you need him the most? You're free to do as you wish and even no matter how hard you try you're heart may wander. It's very natural that you even come close to someone else while leading you're separate lives with only your love to join you. Oh come on, he's/ she's not even around to see what your doing.

Now to come back to the original quotation of distance making the heart grow fonder. Let us explain the generality of this perception. . If a person dear to you leaves your side, it is natural that you long for him. The person doesn't have to be even very close to you. A mere acquaintance that you see everyday suddenly disappears will have anyone first noticing, then wondering and then missing his/her absence. But the question is why is it so? How much truth lies behind this statement that distance makes the heart grow fonder? We can assume that you are so used to the person, seeing him/her, talking to him/her or just being together that when the persons gone, you realize his/her worth. So can this be applicable for long distance relationships. Okay now to come to the point. Your boyfriend/girlfriend lives really far away from you. You miss him, you want to spend time with him, you wish he would come back but face the fact, and he's millions or even trillions of miles away. In this sense, distance does make the heart go fonder.

However again if he was here, seeing him day in and day out may get you fed up and wearied. You might feel like there's no space in your life; everything revolves around him. So again a little distance may make you realize his worth.

But again when you are living two worlds apart, with your own separate individualistic lives, will the love be as passionate? Yes we repeat you will miss him but with that will come jealousy, misunderstanding, frustration and even missing out on a lot of fun. You will have him/her at the back of your mind. No flirting around even when the cutest girl/boy is hitting on you. Isn't it hard being faithful when he is so far away? Then there is always the fear of his two, three or hundred timing you.

There is alsorise of Internet relationships where couples get so serious even though they have never even met. Now, what would you say to that? These kinds of long distance relationship may have many repercussions. This is where hundred timing comes in. Buddy, your so-called boyfriend/girlfriend may be having hundreds of relationships and you may never find out.

Putting aside Internet relationships that is another issue altogether, long distance relationships by itself requires firmness and strength of mind, spirit and body. Strong faith and belief is required from both sides. There will be many temptations, many drawbacks and you may eventually get so used to living without him/her, he/she may not matter much to you anymore. But again love can be strong and no matter what you can make it continue. It all depends on you and even though you may give way to temptations, develop a crush on someone else or even special feelings but at the end of the day it's the distance which makes the heart go yonder and as soon as you're beloved is back with you, all will be forgiven and forgotten.

Therefore, in order to keep it going, to keep the relationship flowing, glowing and flourishing, makes sure you have contact at least everyday. Keep in track of each other's lives and in that way this long distance relationships may come out successful.

By Afrina Choudhury


 

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