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Forced to have good health

Edible oil prices have shot up by Tk 7 to Tk 10. If that does not get people to stat eating more healthful meals then nothing will. Of course, at the rate that all prices are increasing, soon people will be left with nothing but air to gulp.

Traders claim it is an artificial crisis created by a cartel of middlemen and oil refiners. We claim it is outrageous.

Foul fowls
Penguins feel a bit of the flu coming on and people flock to their aid. Chickens get it and they really GET IT! Flu has devastated the lives of many chickens whose life ambition involved getting on a five star menu.

Livestock officials have been slashing left and right chalking up the kills in 5 digits. Families whose income depended on chickens see their dreams going up in fluff.

Doctors wanted, skills negotiable
Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina is ailing in jail but has rejected the authorities' proposal for treatment in any hospital in the country. And you can't really blame her considering how doctors and surgeons in our country rack up dead patients as if it were a computer game.

It is sad that we have the money to waste on purchasing equipment but no one skilled to work them or even perform the basic installation. A Tk 19.68 crore radiotherapy machine at Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College in Bogra is sitting idle because the room it is installed in leaks radiation. A total of Tk 30 crore worth of machinery is lying idle.

In another case there is no cardiac surgery department but there is equipment for it. What we need to do is get our ailments diagnosed, download instructions from the net (everything is on the net) and go hook ourselves up to a machine. Fancy a dose of radiation with a cup of tea anyone?

Jaws 3.2
We have grown up watching Hollywood sharks destroy man in very interesting, bloody and sneaky ways. They have even taken down a chopper and an underwater observatory. But they have not met Bangladeshi fishermen. In fact, they probably have but never managed to live to tell the tale.

Fisherman have found that catching shark is a lucrative business despite there being a ban on this activity.

But when money is concerned, we can take down anything no matter how many teeth. In fact, the more teeth the merrier. Shark teeth and bones are used as ornaments, fins provide soup, fat is used as medicines and skin gives leather goods.

By Mood Dude and Gokhra

There was once a land known as the land of Peace Far Far Away, where peace reigned for eternitya land in its pristine beauty of its nature and its people knew no misery. Not a tear dropped from an eye. Not a single soul grew old, not a hair grayed. Flowers in gardens were in full bloom. But a land can never be perfect, right? Right.

There lived people from legends, fairy tales and all other stories one can think of. But they were one, only one step away from 'living happily ever after'.

Rapunzel, for one, always had her hair dangling from the window of her tower but Prince Charming the First could never manage to climb the tower. Every time he tried, he plummeted to the ground and broke something.

Prince Charming the Second always felt that there was something holding him back from giving Sleeping Beauty the precious kiss that would wake her up.

Lastly, Prince Charming the Third rambled around the entire land looking for the woman (a.k.a. Cinderella) who'd left behind the slipper. But he could never find her.

By now, I guess you know what this story lacksa hero. You'd expect thunder, lightning, and fair maidens swooning. But no, that didn't happen.

The hero was an ordinary person, banished from his landThe Land of Hatred. Unlike his fellow citizens, he had never learned to hate. How he found his way to the Land of Peace Far Far Away, no one knows. He set his foot on this land, one fine morning and went straight up to the king.

Almost instantly, the people were told to assemble in the Royal Gardens. There the king spoke:

“I have learnt that this land of ours is cursed! A dreadful curse had fallen upon us years ago and this is the only reason why we can never 'live happily ever after'. Indeed we are doomed”

Flowers wilted. Little girls cried. Birds fell from the sky.
The hero stepped up and bellowed:

“Indeed it is true. It was the Wicked Witch from the Far West. She would never let you people be happy. Hence the curse fell upon us. But now, here I am to lift the curse”.

The crowd waited. There was silence. The curse was lifted. People rejoiced. The hero smiled. He was still smiling when the people left. Then came the monologue.

“HAH! They don't even have the slightest idea that a curse ever so dreadful shall be cast upon them. The people of this land shall suffer forever! I will rule their lives. The people shall never be happy. Why, you wonder?

He laughed an evil laugh.
Outside someone yelled,
“The Wicked Witch of the Far West is here”.

By Nafisa Naomi

Cha er dokan
(The tea stall)

I remember countless mornings with sleepless night, when I used to walk down to a Cha er Dokan right beside the lake in Ladies Park at Gulshan 2. Dhaka always seemed to be more of in a good mood in those dull lethargic mornings with no qualms or plans; and those definitely were some of my most favorable days. I especially used to go there when it rained all night; just to sit by the lake, shaded under the trees and watch the rain drops painting on the lake. The shopkeeper's name was Malek; Malek chacha as I used to address him. His habit was to collect the golden foils from Marlboro cigarette packets, which he used to neatly keep beside his cashier machine; a round Nido tin box. He used to make the best tea ever with pure cow's milk and a pint of sugar. I lost contact with him ever since I came to the US. This poem is for him.

Drowsy days dipped in the rain
Dhaka damped, wrapped in dew quivering on leaves
Rain crawling down, lethargic, exhausted and frail
As hours pass by sipping on roadside tea
Sitting on that shabby blue water container

By the lake beside the drain.
Brazen smoke barely hissing on tinned kerosene
Wrapped by the chilled fog
Moist draping the two taka buns
Hanging from the tin shed for days.
The beating rain trickles down,

The shop keeper curls up his knees staring at the
mosses turning deep green and flickering,
While his collected Marlboro golden foils lay dull
Beside his almost bare Nido tin.
The rhythmic silence, music to the ear
Finally breaks, while pale yellow streaks
Struggle through the chilly fog of the drizzles
and the first Azan of the day is made.
A few mindless minutes pass by;

The puddle from the drain splashed by labored wheels
As the first rickshaw puller of the day pulls in;
I watch him feast on that two taka bun
Which hung for days, draped in the chill;
It was just another lazy day in the rain.

By Adnan M. S. Fakir

The golden years

I wish I was a kid again,
Getting away, far far away from the miseries and pain
Which upon me this cruel life has lain
I wish I was back in my childhood again
With those glorious moments, back when
With all my friends I used to play
Till it wasn't the end of the day.

"Come back, come back," mother would cry,
"Just a little more, mommy," I used to lie.
Here and there I would run away
And make her tired, looking for me all day.

Often with my parents I would disappear
Into large open fields with birds everywhere,
I would run as they would fly
And be lost in the horizon, leaving me to cry.

Those golden days, best days of my life,
Lost forever, in rule of time
Which I will cherish till the end
Even now, when my eyelids touch,
I am back in the old bed, with mother at my side

By Samin Riasat






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