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Animals can be friends

THEY say that a dog is a man's best friend. Could that be a lie? Well if it was, then why would the saying have been so famous? Obviously it's got to be true because over the years, people have surely witnessed for themselves that a dog is in fact, a man's best friend. Just because it's an animal doesn't mean that it isn't worth anything. Is it really that absurd for an animal to be considered a friend? It's not like other quotes about animals and dogs are non existent. For example: The more I see of man, the more I like dogs - Mme. de Staël. The latter quote however, is not that popular.

Remember Snowy from Tintin? The loyal dog would follow Tintin everywhere he went and they both would save each other from the most dangerous of situations. Snowy never was just a dog to Tintin. To him, the dog was his companion, a friend. While this example might have been from fiction, skepticism. But these things do happen in real life, to people in your very own city. Sure there's no Tintin and no Snowy in Bangladesh, but there has to be a Russel and a Rocky.

Just look around and you will witness there are people in your very own school, who on reaching home, rush to their rooms to check on their beloved pets. For many, these animals are what keep them going through the most difficult of times. There was a boy in grade 6 who never really had many friends. But he had pigeons, a lot of them. He would think about them when he was doing classes, miss them all day (come on, he was just a kid!). The moment he would step on the roof of his house, the pigeons used to come flying to stand on his shoulders as if to say “we missed you too”. How do I know all this? Because he told me when he grew up, when he had more friends than he could count. By the way, he still has pigeons.

Pigeons are birds, how can they be friends? They can't talk; they can't console you or fight with you. What gives? Obviously, we don't understand their language. Like when a dog barks or a cat meows, you don't know what they mean. But when a dog is wagging its tail or a cat is constantly brushing itself against your legs, you know what they want. Similarly, they don't understand you much either. But they understand your tone, they can tell if you are angry or sad and they come and sit beside you, looking as solemn as you do or else they somehow try to cheer you up. If that's not friendship then what is?

It's not just about birds, dogs and cats. Dolphins have been known to protect humans since ancient Greece. They have rescued so many people from sharks by forming a protective ring around the victim. Dolphin instructors grow so fond of the dolphins that they have a hard time letting them go. What about horses? Famous ancient civilizations, like Scythians, gave a lot of importance to horses. “Horses were not just transportation for Scythians; they were their protectors, providers and best friends”.

Whether an animal can become a human's best friend is actually all about connection. Like the way some people love the rain while others prefer sunny days. Some people like winter and others enjoy the summer; if you can connect with the weather, with people, then why not animals? It's about the bond that grows between two living beings. Certainly you can't expect such a bond to exist between you and a goldfish or a turtle, now that would be really absurd. But the animal kingdom is huge, and it's huge for a reason.

Reference: msnbc.msn.com, news.bbc.co.uk, en.wikibooks.org (about horses), Wikipedia.com

By Nayeema Reza

I love my pet, but we're not friends!

“pet (ANIMAL) noun [C]
1. an animal which is kept in the home as a companion and treated affectionately.”
- Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

ETS are cute furry animals that are a real treat to look at and an absolute joy to cuddle and keep around in the house. What is more satisfactory then coming home after a long tiring day to a happy little Bubbles/Tickles/Pickles/or Chuckles which idolises you and loves you for who you are despite all your flaws and shortcomings? The feeling's so self esteem boosting that it naturally makes you want to forget about your worries even if only for a while. By being so guilelessly innocent and so absorbed in their own little world, (which, by the way consists of you, and food) it makes you content and happy.

Pets are great companions and extremely loyal creatures. But can they be “your (human's) best friend”? I think not, and here's why:

For starters, your pet is an animal, your friend is Human. Simple enough, but it needs a little bit of explaining, thus: You own your dog. You bought your hamster with a certain amount of BDT at a certain point in you life from Kaatabon, and you keep your pet snake in a little glass box. You do not own your human friend and there is no amount of money that you can put on his or her life. And for all that philosophical mumbo jumbo about how “Man is sometimes worse than animals”, well that's true in the sense that humans can be very cruel sometimes, but they're never like animals (unless it's a psychological complex).

Popular crackpot theory is that animals are our best friends because, “they don't crash your computer; they don't borrow money from you, and they don't play with your PS-3 all day.” That's a very good point, but what about all those times when your dog decides to take a leak on your bed? Can you borrow money from your pet in your time of need? Can your pet go for a holiday outside the country and bring back chocolates, car models, shawls and all that stuff for you? What about all that money you spend on your pet for his vet? Heck, you don't even have to bathe your human buddy! Yet you still call him or her a
pain in the backside?

My cousin sister's so obsessed with her dog that she keeps saying that she wants “Pillows”(the dog's name) when she grows up instead of sons and daughters! It's disgusting! Oh and then there's training your pet. Do you ever have to potty train you human friend the way you have to with your pet? Although I agree that behaviour modification training is an attractive prospect when it comes to humans, and you wish you could train the humans to behave properly for a change, but you have to compromise sometimes!

Animals are really sensitive to emotions and it's really sweet when your pet recognises that you're upset or scared. It's even sweeter when they try to cheer you up in their own little ways. This shows that animals can be really friendly, but it's not an excuse to claim that all of your human buddies are insensitive. What about all those times when you were really upset and your human pal turned up at your place to help you out. How they put their comforting hands on your shoulders and
hugged you and gave you a much needed advice?

Pets are wonderful creatures and their effects have been scientifically proven to be mentally therapeutic. Pets are not friends; pets are affectionately kept companions in the house. As for me, I love my cat Caramel, but we're not friends. He's just a pet.

By Nuzhat Binte Arif

Friendship makers

THE curse of cellphones is that we are never left alone. We all receive calls from unknown numbers. But if you are female, you must have received a second call at least from that same number. And what does the male voice on the other hand inquire? For starters, how about your friendship preferably leading to love and dancing in the rain? We don't know who the callers are but they seem to actually enjoy the situation.

Pranks instigated by friends can be fun, but being woken up at midnight to get stupid and useless texts can be extremely annoying. Things don't improve when it's a call from an unknown man calling to ask it is a place he definitely knows is not. And yes, the person who interrupted your sweet dreams normally has no idea who you are. To him, you're just another victim whom he chose to carry out his desperate acts on.

The ranks of the callers range from the 'old' men to the younger wannabe guys. In fact, it takes only single word adjectives and nouns to describe these phone users but too bad all the terms are not forbidden on papers.

These very creative people think that the only way to impress a girl is by praising her looks using metaphors related to the nature or fairy tales. “Tumi ato shundor dekhe monehoy akash theke pori/rajkonna neme esheche (Your are so beautiful it is as if a fairy/princess/both has come down from the heavens)”. Then there are memorized, over-used and tarnished texts containing descriptions of their love for the (unknown) girl. Thanks to the internet and cell phone service providers, collecting the so-called love messages is a cinch. There are quotes from famous philosopher's taking equal footing beside corny Hindi/Bangla movie dialogues. You can't decide which feels worse-the use of wrong tense, wrong spellings, the countless spaces between the words, or their devoted affection for question marks that they use in, with or after every statement. What adds to the frustration is even after they realize the sensible girl is not the least interested, they still continue desperately to become her 'friend'. It's as if it's a game and caller shave to rack up points for the number of girls hit and the hours spent (i.e. wasted).

But the annoyance serves up some good laughs. If all their disreputable mistakes are taken into account, it would be enough to fill up several pages. Take for instance their favorite way to woo using what we may call the 'Friendship Style'. Yes, it is so famous is requires capital letters.

It is as frequent as our daily meals and as tasteful as cooking them without the salt. The simple sentence "May I be your friend?" had been rephrased to the infamous "Can I make friendship with you?" Variations of the theme include "I want to make friendship with you?" Most probably, as a tribute to the original, they all decided to keep the question mark at the end.

Some thought of using more profound English, which resulted in the current hot line, "I want to create friendship with you?" And let's not leave out the true patriots who further debated to keep the friendship style in Bangla form, "ami tomar shathe friendship korte chai". I can only hope that at least they themselves know what they truly want or mean through their epic friendship offers.

When they send a text, they usually write it in English possibly hoping to create a good impression. Well, it DOES create an impression, just a different kind. You can't blame them for trying though. Maybe they never got the chance to learn English properly. But bad is it when they cannot even use our very own Bangla properly? 'Ami vhalo amake vhoy nei' (I am good, do not fear me). That would be the worst way to indicate yourself as a nice guy. It should be translated to 'stay far, far away'.

And lastly there is the usage of proper and formal (and thus not normal for texting) header and footers. They hardly ever forget to start with 'Hello. How are you?' and end with 'take care bye bye'.

While most are compelled to text, there are others who prefer to communicate by verbal means. They are the middle-aged men who apparently are forgetful of their age. They call the girl and primarily inquire "hello, apne ke? (who are you)" And when the scared/irritated girl throws the question back or ask who they are looking for, they give their most-loved reply, "apnare chai (I want you)". While sanity would suggest hanging up the phone some dare to swear at the caller. Sometimes they take it quietly and ask to make friendship again. And other times those callers end up showing their mastery of dirty language. However, the caller usually tends to carry on with the 'relation' till eternity

These unforgettable and unforgivable events occur all around the country. It is all about belonging to the female gender and owning a personal phone. There's no real solution to this problem unless the government makes a new law where reporting complaints would discharge those people of their 'soul mate' devices. Till that happens, some people will continue in their quest to 'make friendship'.

By Miss Melancholy



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