Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


A fairy tale of the real world

Fairy tales, what comes to your mind when you think that word? You can call it a fictional story that may feature folkloric characters such as fairies, goblins, witches, giants, princesses, and talking animals and enchantments, often involving a far-fetched sequence of events? Well think again, because in one corner of this world lies fairy tales, and its is a world that is so beautiful, you would never want to get out, and when you really do it strikes you as the biggest blow of your life. A tale near to a fairy tale is in progress, in a small part of a country named Bangladesh, in a place far, far away.

The weather was balmy with sharply etched grey white clouds in the dark night sky. She sat on one corner of her verandah and looked at the starts that peeped through the corner of the clouds. He was in the stars now, and he would softly whisper to her when she cried to sleep. Reedita felt like it was yesterday she saw him go away. Every night her dark eyes would get damp and the fountain of tears would slowly lull her to sleep and the stars would watch over the ebony black haired girl go to her sweet slumber. She always lay on her tower, hoping that one day this would end, a new beginning would come.

Irador was passing by the road when he heard a sniffling sound coming. The sound struck to him as the harmony with so much pain engrossed in it that it would radiate sadness on the entire vicinity. For sometime he noticed this, and felt the pain from this sound. The pain was somewhat similar to his, and he began to search deeply for the girl in the tower…and one day, he found her. He looked at her eyes having devoid of fear while being with him, he saw her eyes and saw something that he always wanted to see- he saw her soul within.

They knew it was love, or it was close to love. They understood each other. The following days had the most delighted seconds. Reedita was afraid to give her heart to someone else, yet she did. Every moment with him was like being in heaven, his every touch made him feel like she was the princess of this world. She was a princess indeed, she was his princess. They clutched each other and walked on the busy roads, thinking it was only them and the whole world did not exist. Reedita felt like Irador's newly wed and he treated her as tender and warmly as that. They sat beside the lake and made a promise, a promise of trying their best to make their happily ever after come true. They were the world's cutest couple and were each other's one half.

As they say, every day has to end with a dark silhouette shrouding the light. As Reedita sat on her verandah waiting for her prince charming to come, she saw the dark clouds mask the perfectly moonlit night. He did not come that night, and she waited the whole night, in the hope that he would come, in the hope that he would call.

But he never did.

Irador sat in his cubicle wanting this to end. He was standing on the brink which had two sides to go. One side he saw his love waiting for him to come to her, and the other side was his family wanting him to fulfill their dreams. Their dreams could not make him go to her. The following days he tried hurting her so bad that she goes away from his life, but she never did. She heard every taunt he gave her; every insult was endured by her. Irador was getting on the brink and falling more and more. He saw her cry and he could not make her smile. All he wanted to do is make her happy, and make her smile. He could not do that anymore, because for that he had to fight, fight till the end. He was not sure if he could do that. He had to go to her, at least for the last time.

Reedita grasped him and started crying her heart out. This made him pain more. He was the one making her princess cry, it was his entire fault. He knew he had to let her go, let her forget the pain; hitherto she was a stubborn girl

'We are not meant to be together, my love', Irador whispered in her ears

'Yes we are, I believe in you, I believe in our love and I know that if you fight this storm we will be together', she let a sob out and let out a shrill

'Fight for me if the love you have for me is true. Fight for me if you want the dawn to begin with me, fight for me if you want me to be in your embrace and fight for me if you want me to be your side, for eternity.'

'You know I can't…'
'If you love me, you will. I will be right here waiting for you, remember that'

'I will try to fight; I will try to remember that, but…'
'If you love me Irie…'

That was the last time Irador ever saw held princess, and that was the last time they made a promise, which still is in progress. Every fairy tale has an ending, a happy one. This tale awaits its beginning; will Irador win back his princess? As they say, if the love is true he will, but reality says he might not. In this war, hope love wins! What say?

Dedicated to INZ

By bloo somebody

Foto Feature

In this world of beautiful things, my mother land is always the best one. It's nice to see her blushed face in the crack of dawn or close of dusk. Whenever I stand in front of her beauty, I find myself speechless. I am overwhelmed by her vastness, her mesmerizing features. I'm not lonely, not distressed. Her clouds are there to provide shelter, greens to soothe my soul, rain to cleanse my inner self and the waves to dance with me in the rhythm of utter silence. I'm proud to be a child of my motherland, Bangladesh.

Royena Rasnat

The Fall

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox ('Solitude')

Have you ever ridden a wooden roller coaster? It looks terrifying, winding and coiling through the skies and turning inside out, dipping suddenly to the bottom. Terrifying, but exhilarating. People usually think twice before getting on the ride, but once they do, they rarely ever regret it.

All you have to do is grip the handles really tightly and let the wooden roller coaster crash and bang its way through the tracks. The way uphill is usually slow; and then there it is. The sudden fall. The swooshing, plunging sensation in your stomach that is generated by the fall- all you can do is scream or hold on to the handles hoping you wouldn't fall when the coaster makes its upside down journey.

The critical rule is that you have to fall. The ride is incomplete without it. What would a roller coaster be without it?

The fall happens, always- and it specifically happens when you're trying to shield yourself away from it. Life's been good so far and everything's perfectly in place? Boom. The sudden change in circumstances reminds you nothing is perfect. The stairs that have been climbed so meticulously are suddenly worth nothing, for all at once you find yourself flat on your back, staring at the ground, looking up at the stairs which now seem so high and far away, wondering where your feet slipped.

Noticed how, on the coaster, when you're falling down the tracks someone else is rising high above. Sympathy is hard to find, and perhaps it should not even be looked for. After all, others are enjoying their rise while you're grappling with the fear of your fall.

But maybe, just maybe, the meteoric rise later will compensate for things. Then, perhaps, after the ride you'll be all exhilarated and want a second try instead of becoming sick from the ride. Maybe, the fall will become enjoyable once it's over- something to look forward to, to look up to for giving a definite meaning and purpose?

It might be temporary or it might be long-lasting. It might make you scream, it might make you shut your eyes and block out the world or it might make you sick, but it's as inevitable as the sunrise everyday. Be prepared to fall, people. It's coming.

By Anika Tabassum

Book review

On the Road

How long would you last if you were given Tk 500 and dumped on the highway sans cell-phone and transport? How would you find your way home? Heck, would you even want to? Such a set of circumstances is almost unimaginable for the average Dhaka urbanite. Yet sometimes, a combination of youth, boredom, and wanderlust can lead to crazy adventures and magical discoveries. Sometimes, it can lead to a novel like Jack Kerouac's On the Road.

A little trivia before we get to the story itself. According to an article in the New York Times, the first draft of the entire novel was pounded out in three weeks on a single huge roll of paper in 1951. While you would probably never consider writing as an excessively physical act, feeding that 120-foot roll through the typewriter must have been a feat of strength. Apparently, the work was fuelled by a lot of coffee.

Now, with a crazy writer like that, it should only follow that the book is just as wild. The semi-autobiographical story, called the 'voice of the beat generation', features the adventures of Sal Paradise (based on Kerouac himself) and his friend Dean Moriarty, (possibly based on his friend Neal Cassady) as they go hitchhiking across the country, listening to bop music and chasing some elusive high.

The first trip began with Sal getting restless after a lengthy recuperation from some ailment he doesn't want to discuss, followed by a divorce. Inspired by a short visit from the young ex-con Dean Moriarty, who soon runs off with other mutual friends, and his young wife Mary Lou in tow, Sal decides to go track them down.

With fifty dollars in his pocket, and not much more than the clothes on his back, he begins his journey, hitchhiking across the country in search of his friends. Meeting random people, sleeping under the stars, mooching free drinks, cigarettes or the odd breakfast off friendly waitresses at roadside diners, he finally catches up with them. Many adventures follow, new places, faces, women, jazz cafes, and more. Paradise and Moriarty keep meeting and parting throughout the novel, each spurring the other on towards more wild goose chases, the point of which is simply the joie de vivre of the moment. There is a telling passage in the book where Sal goes “the only people that interest me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing ... but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'

The pace of the book takes some getting used to. The narrative is frantic, and random, not unlike the energetic music the characters are always listening to. Just reading about the adventures will leave you tired and breathless, and Sal and Dean are classic examples of what any mother would call 'a bad influence'. If you're looking for a read that really grinds your mental gears, this is definitely a book to try.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2008 The Daily Star