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Living in a Dream

...And there was this huge castle unconquered at the peak of the mountain. It has never been tried by anyone; the castle as well as the mountain remained invincible. I was on this quest to conquest that was beyond the reach of humans, which at times seemed impossible and foolish of me to pursue. No, I have to stay focused, remain calm & steady. The pilot spoke, "Alright mister, here is your jump." Giving him two thumbs up and I jumped off of the plane. Sky-diving was like floating on air, flying without wings or wind surfing. Now the unconquered castle was in sight. But it was not to be. I heard the harsh, disturbing & painful noise of my alarm clock. Then everything became hazy and all of a sudden the castle disappeared. Inevitably my dream was over.

I came back to reality once again and I wished I did not. The same old ceiling fan and the unkind alarm clock of mine seemed to be the welcoming committee of the real world. Off from my bed quickly I put an end to the noise and started thinking about the tight schedule that lay ahead. I could not afford to miss any classes and there were seven today. Within twenty minutes I got dressed, packed my bags and did my breakfast. Carrying the heavy backpack on my little shoulders, I stepped into my classroom wondering about the dream. "What a fascinating dream it was..."

...The place was really dark and quiet as well; too quiet to be more precise. The echoes of my footsteps introduced me to an emotion called fear. I had no idea where I was going but I could not stop myself. I was holding a torch and was moving through a snaky narrow passage. On the stone walls, there were numerous drawings of ancient people engaged in hunting, worshipping, doing rituals and building a christened land above the clouds. I stumbled at that part and mumbled afterwards, "A land above the clouds? How is that possible?" Interestingly breaking the shades of darkness a glimpse of shimmering light appeared and it grew more visible as I inched closer and closer. Suddenly the silence was broken. A mysterious voice spoke, "Since you are not a part of Cloudian civilization, you can not go any further..."

"Wake up!" A harsh cry of anger tortured my eardrums transitorily. "What did I tell about sleeping in my class?"

"Sorry sir, it will not happen again." A mere apology might have saved me from a punishment but it certainly did not save me from the clutches of humiliation. I quickly became aware of my surroundings. There were forty students around me, the boring history class was going on and a book on Roman Civilization was lying in front of me open. I breathed a sigh of unsatisfactory which was probably an indication that I was not dreaming any more.

The bell rang eventually and sounded the end for that day. Finally a glimpse of joy reappeared breaking through the shield of unhappiness for this real world. The events to follow would be the same like everyday; the car ride, the driver blabbering and taking the same route to get home. But this was not one of those days. I was still magnetized by the dreams that I had earlier. Subconsciously I thought, "What if I could build a dream machine & create a dream world only for me to linger. It is far better to live in a thrilling dream world than in a weary real world which has nothing to give..."

...Under the cotton cloudy sky, I was standing on a vast garden of fully bloomed white roses as the wind gushed from north to south and east to west making the roses dance theatrically. This was a dream-world and that I knew yet the roses and the rose-petal looked so real. "...Do you or do you not wish to know the whereabouts of the Cloudians?"

It was the mysterious voice again; may be it was the same person or may be not but the tone was definitely alike. "Yes! I do. Take me". Unbelievably a Pegasus came down from the clouds with wings that could measure up to fifty feet and walked slowly towards me. I could not believe my own eyes so I rubbed them a few times. No, the revived mythological beast of wonder was still standing in front me. Looking up I thought, "How much more interesting can it get? There is no school tomorrow and the agonizing noise of the alarm clock will not be heard. No interruptions. Let us see what the Cloudian has to offer..."

By Ben Zaman


The World Today

ANOTHER year has passed by. It seems just like yesterday that we welcomed 2008, and here we are now, celebrating the arrival of 2009. The past year has been a very eventful year for us- promising for some and depressing for others. We saw many changes in the world, from the victory of Barack Obama in the race for being the new American President to the loss of BNP in our very own elections. Many of us experienced the sadness of seeing the unexpected demises of loved ones, while we also welcomed new additions to our world. We watched over the rebirth of hotshot celebrities like Britney Spears, and paid tribute to others like Heath Ledger. Throughout all of these events, we dared to hope for a new world, where we all strived to become better individuals….

The other day, I was pondering over what my resolutions for the new year would be, when I suddenly saw two little children, dressed in rags, tripping in a mud, and then laughing themselves silly. The innocence and the joy in their smiles brought a smile to my own face. The sight made me reflect back on something else that happened earlier that day. I was at a well-known store in Gulshan, looking for those perfect pair of black heels. Out of the blue, I heard a little girl screaming out in the middle of the store, demanding to buy a CD player for her 'shundor purple room'. Mind you, this CD player cost around 15000 taka, and she looked to be around 8 years old. What does an 8 year old want a CD player for? I highly doubt if she even listened to songs, but alas, that thought did not seem to occur to the father, who gave in after a few minutes and bought the player for his daughter. A mere few minutes later, I was stuck in a traffic jam at the round-about, and I saw those same people in the car next to me. An old beggar came up to their window, and asked for alms, to which the little girl promptly replied by giving the old lady an empty packet of chocolate. I was shocked. These people had just spent more than 10000 taka on a CD player, and here they were, not even tempted to help the old and needy. What is wrong with today's people?

The two little kids I had seen later, made me realize that even though we are privileged and are able to get whatever we want, we are still not happy. We want more and in the midst of all our demands, we forget about the less fortunate people, the ones who find reasons to smile even when they have to live through the saddest time, without food, shelter or warmth. So, this year, when you decide on your new year resolutions, think about those under-privileged people. Let's try and stop thinking about ourselves for once, and go ahead and help those who are in need of our help and support. We want a new world. Why not help with the changes by changing our own perspectives?

By Sameen Raina Rahman


Dhaka

Dhaka;
a city of beautiful winters and scorching summers,
a land of shivering poor and hard working laughters,
a city where your nose will smell delicacies
by tin shed houses and mud made chulas,
and the most foulest stench by the roads
of Sheraton and Sonargaon,
a land dominated by money hungry leaders
and a heavily fluctuating economy,
a city where slum brats will steal your money
but make laugh like you never did,
a land of people willing to open their blind folds
by the slightest signal of motivation,
a city of exploitation and frustration enough to make you loathe,
slip, smile and shed your few drops of meaningful tears,
a land where God painted the color green so magnificently
like it was the only color He had left in His palette,
a city which will show you reality
and give you hope for improvement
luring you back to its arms,
to its people with its furiously tranquil beauty;
a land you will fall in love with.

By Adnan M. S. Fakir


 

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