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The week in re(ar)view

Bangladesh falls from disgrace
It is a sad day for us that we have lost our top spot as most corrupt nation. Berlin based anti-corruption organization Transparency International (TI) has published its recent report. Our five year rule since 2001 has been broken. We are shamed as a nation that we could not uphold the glory. Just imagine all the mayhem we have been causing the last few weeks. It alone should have been enough to catapult us to a never before reached 'low'. Coincidentally, notice how the corruption numero uno position was held throughout the tenure of the BNP led government.
Currently the country ranking on top (or rather the bottom) is Haiti. Second place is tied between Guinea, Iraq and Myanmar.

Bangladesh ties in at third place along with Chad, Congo and Sudan. Of course, the fall from grace, or rather disgrace, was due more to the fact that the other countries worked very hard to be more corrupt than us. We are no less than we were before, perhaps even more so. Oh well, now that the record streak has ended it has lost all its dubious charm. Maybe we could try something different this time around.

Headbutting in BD
Zinedine Zidane is arguably the most influential footballer in the post-Maradona era. How do we know that? Well, we ripped the line right off the Nov 6 front page story. Of course, when you use you head tactically to influence others, you simply can't lose. Heck, you win even when you lose hence Zidanes status as world hero. His secret weapon? A horizontal leap into an opponent's chest. Heck, such a move can now be a national greeting while the legend tours Dhaka.

Well, he just came to Bangladesh for a three day visit to inaugurate Grameen Danone Food but that's all inconsequential at least to sports fans. The turf he walks on will never be washed again.

Silly police tactic # 231
Some guys went by former law minister Moudud Ahmeds house on 4 November shooting but ultimately missing any targets. To catch THEM, the police have started stopping all motorbikes at most major roads looking for papers and other 'stuff'. By 'stuff' we mean guns that were used for the shooting. The bike search drive still continues except we think that by now the people who did the drive-by shooting must have been able to go all the way to India, visit Agra and come back with souvenirs. We seriously doubt that they are still prowling around like lost chicken with the gun tucked into their underwear straps. Of course, we are not police so we are not that smart.

Easy doctorates
Many of us do not like to study. We wish we could just miraculously have degrees conferred upon our lazy heads. That way we would not have to worry about writing articles to pay for stuff.

Dhaka University will confer Doctor of Laws on Professor Muhammad Yunus this year. And best of all it's free of charge and free of any studying, going to classes, copying someone else's assignments etc that normal students have to do to get a degree. Just be like Prof. Yunus and win a Nobel Prize and universities will be leaping to give you honorary degrees. Or you could opt for a different route by becoming a leader of this country. Same deal applies as you will be awarded free degrees. Now if only something could be done about the hard work involved.

By Gokhra and Mood Dude


I can't exactly remember the day when I first came to this city, Dhaka as we call her: one of the most polluted, populated, and pochafied city on earth. The city of colours and chaos.

I guess it was a hot August day. I was probably wondering why we were here… why we had to move in to this city as a long journey has left lots of exhaustion in my little mind. I had many friends in Bogra. Forgetting them wasn't easy.

We lived in a house where all the residents were from the same hometown. It was like a hometown far away from 'home'. I was small and shy, didn't know if the people would be friendly enough. The new house seemed very empty to me at first.

All changed only a month later, as I made friendship with one of the girls living in the apartment. Life was really cool. I could go to her place and spend the whole day. The girl is still my friend, but I can't go to her place anytime I want, life has changed so much…

I can see me playing with the other kids in front of the apartment. It was an addiction.
I can remember the small picnics we used to have, quarrelling with the other kids, our little gang and so many sweet memories that it is hard for me to stay in the present where I'm suffocating with the wall of studies burying me from the joy, liveliness and people.

Sweet and happy memories keep crawling back to me, taking up my time when I was supposed to do all my 'real' and important work. I can't help but remember the nights when it stormed, I'd just go to my grandma's room and wrap myself around with a katha and watch the rain and lightening, knowing that would not hurt me as long I was in my safe in my home.

I can recall those nice days, when I was supposed to eat the boiled eggs for breakfast, something I really disliked; I'd slip to the veranda and drop the egg. When the electricity was gone I 'd run downstairs to find that all the aunties and kids were outside, bathing in the dim moonlight and enjoying fresh air, chatting with each other; And I'd happily join the other kids and play.

There are so many memories, so awfully good that it's hard for even me to look back and think that they actually happened in my life. I don't think that I live far away from the Dhaka from my memories. Even when I'm still in the same city, it seems those memories were from a far-away land. It seems now all that happened centuries ago... or that I'm so old that all I do is reminiscing, because all these happened only 11 years ago. But in this ever changing world nothing waits, I've also changed a lot, but in the deep of my heart I want those memories back.

By Orin

RS Mailbx

Love your 'maa'
Tammnas small (belated) dedication to her 'Maa' on her birthday was really significant and beautiful piece of writing. It made me feel how we should feel towards our mother. Thank you once again.
Nayeem Ahmed

The Spitting Saga
I read Ronny's article in Rising Stars about Bangladesh's "spitting image". I have been a victim of quite a few spitting near-misses as well as a sort of direct hit. One incident took place when I had landed at Zia International Airport. It was sometime in the 21st century, I forgot when. All I recall is that there were armies deployed sometime in January. One of the army personnel patrolling the airport corridors while passengers disembarked cleared his throat in the most ghastly manner, emitting guttural sounds from the deep recesses of this mucus-clogged throat. Then to my utter horror, he expelled the contents with which he had been making such sordid music in his throat. That too right next to me! I could no longer control my anger and gave him a piece of my mind.

Alas! My stay in Bangladesh was not pleasant that time. There were repeats of the same scene, though at different places with different people involved in the primary role as "spitters", but the issue was the same: people spitting in public places. I try so hard, each time I come to Bangladesh, to force down the rising bile whenever I am exposed to such scenes.

The second was at Nilkhet. I had gone there to pounce and pillage English novels, quite rare in those days. A man from a book stall cleared his throat and spit aiming at the narrow path people used to move from stall to stall. Unfortunately my foot almost got within milimetres of the trajectory path of his projectile spittle. Having insulted him loud and clear, I went off in a huff to purchase some novels to erase the yucky scene I'd witnessed.
Sumaiyah Afrin

Sneaky RS
Thanks to RS for printing the inside news on NFS Carbon but the story in the centre last week had a few annoying glitches. A few paragraphs were repeated at the start of later paragraphs. I was wondering if it was a desperate attempt at filling up space. Possibly an overworked editor. A better option would be to place Eva Longoria in the empty space just for the heck of it.
Thanks for bringing back PC game reviews
Ahmed Shafiq

'10th planet' is larger than Pluto

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has, for the first time, sent back distinct images of the so-called "10th planet," currently nicknamed "Xena." Initial ground-based observations suggested Xena's diameter was about 30 percent greater than Pluto. The Hubble observations taken last December show Xena's diameter as 1,490 miles -- with an uncertainty of 60 miles. Pluto's diameter, as measured by Hubble, is 1,422 miles. "Hubble is the only telescope capable of getting a clean visible-light measurement of the actual diameter of Xena," said Mike Brown, planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Brown's research team discovered Xena and the team's research has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. Xena is located 10 billion miles from Earth with a diameter a little more than half the width of the United States. Astronomers say because Xena is smaller than previously thought, but comparatively bright, it must be one of the most reflective objects in the solar system. The Hubble Space Telescope is an international cooperative project between NASA and the European Space Agency.

Ace-06 is coming soon

Students of North South University are eagerly waiting for Annual Cultural Evening (ACE). This year the ACE will be 2 day long. North South University Shankskritik Sangathan(NSUSS) organized this programme every year. This year's ACE will reach in 12th year. Like the students the organisers and performers are waiting for this programme. The tentative schedule of this programme is 23-24 November 2006.The new executive committee of NSUSS already started their work. The ACE will be held on Osmani Memorial Auditorium. NSUSS organized several workshops for the organizers and performers. These include singing, recitation, publication, and drama and dance workshop. The organizers said that they are busy with their publication and preparational work. On the other hand the students are waiting for tickets of this programme. They all are expecting that this years ACE will be different and

By Mostofa Saikh Chowdhury


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2006 The Daily Star