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'Music-ing' with the duo Saadi and Rafa

The names Saadi and Rafa shouldn't be unknown to local musicians and enthusiasts. Playing music, creating chaos and contributing actively to the underground scenario for around 10 years, the duo-brothers have definitely been through plenty of hard times and sweet memories. The story of Saadi, proclaimed as one of the finest guitarists among young musicians and Rafa, an ambitious, fast drummer didn't happen overnight and neither without difference in opinions. For the first time, RS gets up, close and personal with the two brothers on their musical endeavours.

RS: How did you guys fist get introduced to the music scene?

Saadi: During the initial years at medical college, a few friends and I had a hard-rock band named Blitz. It didn't work out till the end of college as we all took different directions. Around that time, I got heavily influence by metal and formed a thrash-metal band, Inferno. Rafa was pretty good with his drums and we even got into a concert at Engineering Institute. However, Rafa then suddenly faced some problems with his leg and was semi-paralyzed for a while; so we performed with a different drummer. I faced some difficulties in maintaining this band and so, left it. Later, around 2002, we decided to form Kral with Rafa on drums, our cousin Aldnane on bass and myself, on guitars.

RS: Kral has been a more-or-less stable band since then. Tell us about the difficulties you faced with Kral over the years.

Saadi: Kral was a 3-member band, so obviously, we had crisis of a decent vocalist and keyboardist. Our first shows were without any keys, while Amit was our vocalist. At the first concert at RCC, the crowd didn't favour us at all.

Rafa: During that time, I played for Psychokinesis. After a while, Imtiaz joined and we performed at some concerts. Thankfully, we received a good response and were encouraged to continue with the band. Nowfel joined as keyboardist, and finally, Kral was a complete band.

RS: Rafa has been known to play several instruments and has made his mark among as a talented young musician. How have you evolved as such?

Rafa: I learnt singing and tabla as a kid. Saadi Bhaia has tried to teach me guitar back then and I was never very easy to handle; so he gave up. Later, under the influence of the band Aqua, I finally started picking up on a guitar and Bhaia helped immensely with the chords. I remember going to a gig at Indian Cultural Centre and was impressed by the drummers. I didn't know much about drums, but challenge of playing double bass fast made me work hard to master it. I easily picked Dream Theatre numbers on drums. Later, my attention shifted to bass. I also had a small keyboard, so I worked on that as well. In short, a lot of instruments and a lot of things were happening at the same time. On joining Aurthohin, I got interested in sound engineering and have learnt it too.

Saadi: I always had faith in my brother's capabilities and I believe music is inside him. He is, however, still evolving as a musician.

RS: What are your upcoming and current projects?

Saadi: I'm a guitarist of Kral and Neverland. Kral is working on its debut full-length album.

Rafa: I'm drumming for Kral and Severe Dementia and working with Aurthohin and Dripping Gore on vocal and guitar. As part of Severe Dementia, an EP Epitaph of Plassey was recently released from an Indian record label soon. We also toured India in April. We believe the EP contains brutal drumming and extreme music, so we're very hopeful about it.

RS: Anything on the current underground scenario?

Rafa: The underground music scene is a big place now. Personally, I veto taking money from bands for letting them perform or forcing them to sell tickets. The bands have trouble doing music already. With lots of new bands coming up and a mixture of good and bad, many things are going on. Music isn't hard, so take time before you jump. You just need to work hard before you hit the shows.

RS: Apart from music, what else are you guys doing? What about the support from friends and family?

Rafa: I'm doing my A levels now. I'm very thankful to my friends for their support and to my more mature critics, for always giving me a reason to try harder.

Saadi: I'm a jobholder at Bangladesh Medical College and Hospital. I was encouraged by my family and friends, so I'm grateful to them.

By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

Bored? Come On Get A Life!

Who said that, in Dhaka city, there's nothing fun and interesting to do? Well, all I've got to say is think again people! This city provides plenty of useful stuffs that you can do to keep yourselves entertained!

Let's start with going to the movies. This might seem unimaginable a few years back but with the arrival of Star Cineplex at Bashundhara City, going to the movies has become a new trend. This multiplex cinema started screening movies that were released quite a long time back. But nevertheless it has become increasingly popular by screening Shrek, Pirates of the Carribean, Mission Impossible 3, Spiderman and some well-known Hindi movies like Dhoom and Black. Nowadays, it's showing Casino Royale the most recent sequel of James Bond and the Bengali comedy Made in Bangladesh. Rumours have it that it will screen the new Harry Potter, Spider man and Pirates of the Carribean soon after they get released. So as soon as you get some free time simply go to the movies! It costs as little as Tk.100/150 for an English movie and Bangla movie. You can even book tickets sitting at home online if you think that standing in the queue is a big hassle.

Do something creative such as learning photography, dancing, interior design, the piano etc. All these workshops are provided by the Alliance Francaise de Dacca. This place also holds various art exhibitions by local and foreign artists and French movie screenings as well as musical concerts. For details please visit www.afdacca.com.

Get a job. Start exploring your talented side. If you think you can write well, then just write away. You never know when your work might be appreciated by some newspaper and they hire you at once (trust me it works!!) You can also teach others on whatever you feel like teaching be it school studies, art, dancing, etc.

Perform some charity. There are loads of organizations out there in this very city. Examples of such are Aparajeyo Bangladesh (deals with child rights) and Project Bangladesh (reviews issues concerning orphans, acid violence and flood devastation).

Find out more at www.project-bangladesh.com and www.aparajeyo.org.
Dine out. Dhaka city is swarming with restaurants and fast food joints. Don't know where to eat? Visit www.imhungrybd.com.

If you're thinking that all the aforementioned things are way beyond your capability then simply try helping at home. Do your own stuff instead of keeping it for the others. Make your bed, clean your room, and tidy your cupboard. You can even help your mom in cooking. In that way you could learn something new and useful (that too for free)!

And last but not the least READ. There are enough journals and magazines available in this place. Pick up your favourite and start reading. Looking for books? Try ETC, Words n pages, World book distribution or Nilkhet (if you want to watch your purse). After all nobody got dumber by reading!
So if next time if anyone said “I'm bored”- I'd say try thinking otherwise!

By: Faria Sanjana

Teens & virtual games: A psychological battlefield

This article is directed towards the increasingly common homes of the cloistered apartment dwelling families where the never-ending saga of war between parents and misunderstood teenagers continues. You may find what is said here beyond orthodox beliefs and may view it with skepticism, but the unavoidable fact remains that virtual games in the lives of teens let them channel their aggression into violent games and not take it out on society.

Confused? Well permit me to brief a bit more in depth. The cloistered existence of our society, arising from the urbanization does not permit the engagement of most of our teenagers in outdoor activities due to lack of space and an excess of parental concern. Normal psychological derivations show, that, a person engaged in no activity has a higher probability of becoming aggressive, not being able to direct his/her energy into any other involvement. As for the average teenager, other than studies and coaching, other forms of activity engagement has been made invalid by our societal ways, therefore aggression is bound to develop in the teenagers.

Where does all these aggressions arise from you ask? Stress builds up in teens from a combination of free thinking, hormones and living in congested concrete spaces at close quarters with other human beings who not only refuge to understand their viewpoints but also try to foist their own ideologies upon the teens. Also can be noted the significant surplus of aggression caused in few due to imbalance in one's love life, which however, can be categorized under the hormonal section. The stress generally builds up into negative anxiety which results in poor performance in academics and other extra curricular rendezvous as well as snappish and short tempered behavior.

Virtual games whether on the computer or on some other gaming console such as PS2 or X-Box etc. allows the user not only to be mentally involved in an activity but also allows a form of modern escapism. After all, a certain bit of utopianism is required to maintain a healthy human existence. This form of “utopianism” is indeed received as the gamer blasts through some irritating bunch of intoxicated monkeys dipped in Uranium imagining himself as some sort of masculine hero or what-so-ever. With less focus on the aggression and more on the “virtual heroism,” the user achieves utopianism.

Once again, build up of negative emotions in a teen are released by blasting that alien rather than talking back to parents and figures of authority and displaying other anti-social behavior such as smoking, porn-holism and in extreme cases drug induced intoxication. I will not even bring up the question of other sports with healthy kids because there is no space to even kick a ball or plant a wicket without being charged with destruction of private property; thus all the other “healthy” kids out there are also similarly suffering from chronic depression and stress.

Games allow stress relief and thus less grudge holding, disgruntled and destructive behavior and may even impose a greater positive influence on society. Real time strategy games and simulations are a great way for obtaining the lessons of responsibility and consequence in a controlled environment, giving the mind challenges on which it thrives. Of course, this effect may not be very significant, but nonetheless is applicable.

My point is: Parents, even if you allot a time slot of say an hour a day for gaming, please do our society a favor and do allow your teen(s) to play virtual games and not entirely strip them of their short span of relief. Children a decade age could have been reprimanded and caned for misbehavior, but the children of today need understanding more than scolding. That is all. Adieu.

By Adnan M. S. Fakir & Wajed Al Rahman

Campus news
Can South Asia be rid of poverty in a generation?

On Thursday last, the Development Studies Group (DSG) at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), launched a seminar series titled “Can South Asia End Poverty in a Generation?” The first seminar in the series featured a presentation by Dr. Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist of the South Asian Region (SAR), World Bank.

MC'd by Sabrina Fatma Ahmad, a student of the School of Liberal Arts and Science (SLAS), the program kicked off at 11 am with a welcome address by Tanveer Ahmed Haroon, a student of the School of Environment Science and Management (SESM). He was followed by Asif Imtiaz Ahmed, also a student of SESM, who introduced the Chief Guest.

Dr. Devarajan then took to the podium and started off his speech by trying to define poverty in general, as it is quite a relative term. Afterwards, he proceeded to display various graphs to show the varying degrees of poverty existent in South Asian countries and the reduction in poverty that has taken place in the last decade as opposed to the substantial economic growth.

As the lecture progressed Dr. Devarajan tried to address the reasons behind the South Asians falling behind on poverty reduction. He also dealt with the myth that South Asian countries lack infrastructure, even though he did acknowledge that the infra structure in this region has problems, but maintained that the sub continental countries already have enough of such assets to make do. These problems, he further addressed could be classified as government failures and caused through political instability. Confrontational politics and corruption are major obstacles holding back poverty reduction. Politicians are using government resources as a means of political propaganda to win votes. Also, old laws and extreme government intervention into the market where none is need hampers growth.

In the end, Dr. Devarajan came to the conclusion that reduction of such government failures actually helps economic growth, which in turn reduces poverty. Thus he finished off with saying that governments should function as regulators and fund providers of services rather than being the service providers.

After the presentation there was an interactive question and answer round, moderated by the MC. This was followed by speeches by the IUB Registrar Dr Tanvir Ahmed Khan, who is also the Coordinator of DSG; the Pro Vice Chancellor and Director of the Centre for Health and Population Development (CHPD), Dr Omar Rahman, and IUB's Vice Chancellor, Professor Bazlul Mobin Choudhury. Naomi Ahmed, a student of SLAS concluded the event with a vote of thanks.

By Tareq Adnan and Reggie


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