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Imprisoned by rain
9 and a half ways to pass a rainy day

We at RS know that not only every one is like Adnan, who keeps jumping up and down when the rainy season comes. Of course that is because he is a poet and poets for some reasons find the rainy season very conducive to their em…talent. Lets not argue about that, shall we. Anyways, rainy days are depressing. And like all depression, you prolly need a few ways to shake it. Don't stress- your good friend reggie, is here to help. Just don't blame me, if it doesn't work on you.

1. Play Strategy Games
They may call it “strategy games”- but infact these games are designed more to use up your time than use up your head. They are mega-mega addictive and the fact that they naturally take a long time to finish due to a slower pace, means that you can spend upto hundreds of hours without even noticing. Strategy games comes in different bundles so there is something for everyone. Some of them, are actually strategic, like Sid Meir's Civilization franchise and would require you to actually plot, scheme and micromanage cleverly to win, while others (ahem..Like FF) would require you to find more magic spells and amours than you care to and the best of them all, Real Time Strategy Games, are furious fast and crazy- for all those people who care less about micro-managing and more about churning out hundreds of battle-tanks and crushing them like ants under your thick rubber boots! These games also offer pretty addictive multiplayer options. Try out the all-time classic, Red Alert and Age of Empire franchise.

2. Watch a Serial on DVD
Get one of the hosts of popular serials you find on DVD nowadays and start watching them. They are the ultimate way to waste time because of four simple reasons:
1) They hook you up real quick
2) Each episode keeps you on the edge and always interested
3) There are a lots of serials to chose from, so you will always find something you like.
4) Its great to watch with an equally lazy buddy, who has nothing else better to do.

3. Watch an entire Cricket Test Match
Watching a test match is perhaps one of the most boring things on earth. It's a game where nothing ever seems to be happening. I have no idea, why it is called 'a game' in the first place- because by definition a game is supposed to mean fun and action. If it wasn't for the faithful hardcore fans like me, test cricket would have been soon wipe out. But coming up this July and August are the Ashes Series- a test series which you don't want to miss. Watch the best of competitive cricket as England and Australia grind against each other until one of 'em drops dead. Furthermore there is the hard-hitting Kevin Peitersen to watch out for!! Up for Pietersen, the greatest player in the world!!

4. Get Wet in the Rain
Yeah, one of the greatest pleasure of the rainy season, taking a bath in the rain. Sadly this practice has kinda fizzled out with overprotective parents freaking themselves out with the fear of deadly diseases that might kill their kids. Just chill, parents dude. It's the 21 st century- even if you beloved child gets sick he is not gonna die. And besides they probably have more poison eating all those junk, than they would if they gulp down a few litres of acid rain.

5. Play a muddy game of football
Mud football is a delicacy which we uptight high-rise urbanites fail to devour. Get your football, get a couple of buddies, head towards Bushundhara and start kicking that thing about in the mud. Get wet, get dirty, get stinky, eat mud and have fun!

6. Get a Job: Teach some kids
This is perhaps a more boring and sometimes a bit annoying little activity- but the plus point is you earn money, which you can use in so many ways like buying those pointlessly expensive bag you just saw in that shop. This is perhaps an ideal job for urbanite girls, both to spend their time and get to know little kids. After all you gotta look after millions of them when you get married. (HAHA..umm sorry for the sexist joke. No offense meant. I have a deep respect for most girls….seriously, I do)

7. Just plain Adda
I am sure everyone of you, has one real rich and cool friend whose house is like an open hotel where you can hang out all day, eat everything you want, order around the servants like its you own place and do all those crazy stuff which would get the stuffing beaten out of you if you do it in your house. If you don't have a friend like that, aaah I pity thee. Anyways, one of the best ways to spend time, is to just get a few of your buddies to spend time there. Talk, Eat, Pochao or just play Cards or Pro Evo.

8. Try out Drawing
This is something I am trying out. Although slowly I am getting dis-illusioned watching those fantastic piece of artwork I am producing theses days. But its fun and you can draw crazy things and parade them around as abstract. Hey, Picasso got away with it. Try pencil sketching- its fun in a way.

9. Study…if you are not into anything cool
Well, this is the last option for all those hapless folks who thought the last 9 things-to-do “not for them”. Yeah, you could always take out your physics books and study for whats gonna come next year in the exam. After all, advance preparation hurts nobody right? Although you may end up as a complete…umm Quiz Show participant dudes you see on ATN Bangla , you would have the good graces of your parents and would actually be spending your time in a worthwhile matter. That place in the IVY Leagues is certainly worth it, right?

Right now, I can't think of a tenth point. It could be sleeping or just plain and simple sitting around and doing nothing like a lazy sod. So I guess I would leave you at that.

By Rezwan

Frustrated young minds

Sagar wakes up late every morning and struggles to get dressed and leave for class on time. He does this because he goes to sleep very late after staying awake countless ours brooding over useless thoughts. His mind is constantly filled with the expensive things his affluent friends can buy, his tumultuous performance in class, the girl he couldn't have, etc, etc, etc.

It's almost shocking how many teenagers and young adults share his dilemmas and are burdened with these same thoughts everyday. And it all sums up to only one thing that needs to be addressed- frustration!

Another boy, Jami, an A level candidate, likes to hang out with his friends and also to study and get his school work done on time. However, he believes his performance is on a downhill slope suffocated by the pressure from his parents to study more.

“It becomes very depressing when my parents keep saying 'poro poro' all the time! I enjoy studying but it's not the only thing I ever want to do! I want to spend some of my time with my friends as well!” Children from middle and lower middle class families have to meet often unrealistic expectations of families who end up doing more harm than good, creating pressure, frustration and ultimately-break down!

Nasim, a student of a public university coming from an impoverished rural family, is the only one among fourteen siblings who is studying at a university.

Having to shoulder the responsibility of the education of his younger brothers and sisters while working on his own studies, he has to bear his educational and day-to-day expenses, which sometimes surpass his meagre income as a private tutor. In addition, he also sends money to his family in the village. “It is very hard to concentrate in studies with so many problems looming over me,” he says. He is unsure how long his good grades will remain unscathed by his troubled mind.

Lack of open-mindedness and conservative streaks in parents is another reason for the frustration building up in young people. “I want to do a part time job but my parents won't allow it,” says Lima, a sophomore in another private university.

“I face many problems which I cannot share with my parents. They try to judge me by the standard of their generation but our time and their time cannot be judged on the same standards.” says Nabila, an HSC candidate. And of course it can't.

Many parents are ultra-protective about their daughters, restricting their child's activities to studies and family activities, a situation that can only lead to disaster.

“From my days in college I've been seeing my female friends go freely to many places. I could not even retain my membership at Bishwo Shahitto Kendro because I was not allowed to go there on my own,” regrets Naz, a fourth year university student. Like her many others are left alone at home being laughed at by their friends because their parents refuse to progress beyond the 18th century! Even our neighbouring countries would never believe, that in this day and age, young girls here aren't allowed to go places using public transport like buses or CNG scooters. Somehow, cars have earned the reputation of being 'safe' while all other alternatives are not!

Many of those studying in a private university suffer when they have to mingle with richer students who can afford more accessories and gadgets and lead a more affluent life. Mp3 players, pen drives and iPods have become popular to the extent that to not have one can instantly make you an outcast in many social circles. This shows just how shallow we have let ourselves become.

Psychologist Shakowath Sharif of Monobikash Foundation says that most of his patients are young adults or university students and they mainly suffer from depression. Children want to be more independent but they cannot discuss their social priorities with elders because of the existing social system. They are increasingly being distanced from parents,” said Shakowath.

“The case where a boy is regretting because he does not have an expensive pen drive is the case of identity crisis. Those suffering from it think that the people they are seeing around them are the whole world. They cannot appreciate what they have --like good food, home etc. It is a kind of parental failure. Parents have to stimulate children's minds so that they know about the external world, the world of have-nots,” said Shakowath.

Parents are protective about their daughters because they do not feel safe to let them go on their own into the existing law and order situation. But what they don't understand is that sometimes letting them go is the best they can do for them! We have an upside down social system and it takes a lot to be a 'good' girl or boy in our standards, but to limit these youngsters to the confines of a frustrated mind is depriving the same system of its only way to salvation.
*no real names were used in this article

By Durdana Ghias


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