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What could be more enjoyable than watching TV? When you find a lot of time on your hands with nothing else to do, say during a vacation, you just know you're going to spend a large chunk of it in front of the tube. So this winter break, I looked forward to relaxing by watching reruns of my favorite shows.

However, I soon realized that I had grossly miscalculated how much patience would be needed just to watch a single show. After the first 5 minutes into the program, an advertisement interrupted me. No problem, I think. It'll be back on in no time. And after exactly 5 minutes, the show was. Then after another 10 minutes into the attention grabbing episode (it was one of those riveting CSI shows), another ad, this time for some laundry detergent, appears on the screen. It's alright, I thought. After all businesses need to make money and they have to advertise.

So I tried to occupy myself by surfing channels but whatever channel I tuned on to was showing an advert at exactly the same time. When I got back to my original channel, I found the show had already started. Thus after an even shorter amount of time, I found myself staring into the face of a happy-go-lucky housewife who was persuading me to buy a certain brand of mop. Entertainment at its best.

All in all I calculated that for an hour long program, I ended up watching 30 minutes of commercials. So after watching TV for about two hours, I could take it no longer and was almost ready to throw the remote at the screen. What had happened to TV viewing? I felt like I was living in advert-land where miraculously, at short intervals, there would appear some sort of film on the screen where the characters were not trying to sell me some beauty product, weight loss supplement or fast food. The average household in America watches 8 hours of television per day, with its nearest rival Turkey coming up with 5 hours, according to an article in the Economist. Britain and Denmark both compete with 4 hours of TV per day on average. In the well off households in Bangladesh, I'm sure the average child watches no less than 4 hours of TV per day, with adults perhaps more. All this television watching is of course bad news. Over the course of a year, children spend more time watching TV than they spend in school or participating in any other activity except sleep.

However, it seems to me that we won't have to worry about this that much. It has become nigh impossible to sit down and watch just two programs back to back without seriously losing your temper at all the advertisements that keep popping up. It's also very funny how all the companies for the same type of product make the same claims. All the shampoo adds say they'll make your hair shinier, softer, stronger, all the skin care ads say they'll make your skin smoother, fairer, younger, all the business adds say they'll give you some service or a deal at a better price with more satisfaction and etc. If all of them guarantee the same thing then how come people who buy these things still suffer from brittle hair, tired skin and useless merchandise? After all don't the ads say each product is better than its competitors?

The bottom line is I have become totally sick of watching TV because I know this is a common phenomenon for every TV channel on earth. I am exploited every day by billboards, signs and people on the street trying to wiggle me out of my greens. I desire a little peace when I'm at home but I'm definitely not turning to the TV for that anymore

By Nisma Elias


The series loss against Srilanka-
A few thoughts

Another frustrating test match comes to an end as Bangladesh loses to Srilanka in Chittagong. The bowling attack seemed to lack any spark, the fielding formation was too defensive, and once again the tail-enders showed the top order batsmen a thing or to about batting. Criticisms aside, there were moments of individual brilliance in both tests that give fans and supporters some hope vis-à-vis the current state of the team. Given such a young team, some optimism regarding a solid batting line up, aggressive bowling attack and good team performances would only be realistic.

The team has failed to establish a good opening batting pair since being accepted into the test world. Many have come and gone scoring 50's here and there, but failed to perform consistently and hold a good average. Despite the clichéd 'leave the balls outside the off stump', opening batsmen have repeatedly fallen prey to new ball bowlers and in some cases literally thrown their wickets away by playing wild, expansive, unnecessary shots. The second test saw our batsmen in a defensive frame of mind, often sacrificing even the bad deliveries in an attempt to extend their crease occupation. This self-generated pressure, coupled with some disciplined bowling and an aggressive field set by Captain Jayawardene, contributed to the demise of the Bangladeshi top order in both innings of the second test match.

Praiseworthy was the fighting spirit displayed by Ashraful and Sakib al Hasan in the second innings of the first test match. The latter has done well both with the ball and ball in this series, scoring important runs and picking up crucial wickets against the Srilankans. Ashraful on the other hand still appears to succumb to his natural shot-making instincts, playing one too many extravagant shots leading to his downfall. His excellent knock of 101 runs in the first test once again reinforces the fact that he is a capable batsman at the highest level who is capable of balancing out patience and stroke-making against any bowling attack. Wicket keeper Mushfiqur Rahim is proving to a great successor to Khaled Masud, chipping in with valuable runs in the middle order in addition to keeping things alive with his encouraging words to the bowlers from behind the wicket. Mashrafe bin Mortaza also showed great concentration with the bat in his half-century in the first innings that saved Bangladesh from the humiliation of having to follow-on.

The Srilankan batsmen seemed to toy with our bowling attack in the second test match. Neither the pacers not the spinners managed to reap much off the pitch which offered turn and uneven bounce to trouble the batsmen. Ashraful's field setting also appeared too defensive, specially in the first innings of the second test after Srilanka lost a few early wickets.

Loyal fans and followers of the team can only hope that Bangladesh learn from these mistakes and put up more competitive performances in future games. The selection panel also needs to be careful in picking a solid squad of young players who are capable of playing consistently in the following years and gain some experience. With the retirement of long-time veterans like Habibul Bashar, it is hard to establish a team with a mixture of young and experienced players. One hopes that this team will one day flourish into an experienced and skilled unit and start winning some matches.

By Sakib bin Salam


16 December in Kolkata

Here I was in Kolkata for the umpteenth time. But this time it was different; this time my experience in the city of joy was quite unusual and of a different sort. This time I was visiting Kolkata as a proud son of a Mukti jodha.

14 golden sons; 14 proud patriotic men; 14 Mukti jodhas were invited as guests of honour by the Eastern Command in Kolkata to participate in the 16 December celebration of Vijay Diwas of the War of Independence of 1971.

Major (Retd.) Fazlur Rahman B. P. was one of the 14 men. He is my father and I felt privileged and honoured to be part of this exhilarating scenario. I was lucky enough to meet some of the retired army officers and also the GOC-in-C of Eastern Command,

Lt. Gen V K Singh (who was a Captain during 1971) and listen to their experiences and roles in '71 war. Contrary to my pre conceived idea that the Indians never gave much credit to our Mukti jodhas for the '71 war, I was amazed by their appreciation and acknowledgement of the Muti jodhas.

I even heard Lt. Gen V K Singh saying and I quote ' The martyrs gave away their yesterday for our today'. Listening to some of them, I ended up with the feeling that because of the ferocity and determination of our Mukti jodhas the war ended in 9 months; not solely because of the Indian support. Some of the strategies made and tactics taken by our the then commanding oficers and the students turned Mukti jodhas are still being stated as finest examples by the Indian military.

The respect and honour the Indians showed to our Mukti jodhas was exemplary. While writing this article I started with great enthusiasm but it has gradually turned to despair and disdain as I think of the thousands of Mukti jodhas who doesn't need to be honoured by the Indians but by us. Let them not fade away with the passage of time; let them not be forgotten; for our fight for an independent and prosperous nation is not over yet.

By Dr. Faisal Rahman


Aloha Dawn

Like a crystal gem it shone,
Reflecting the sun's rainbow throne,
A pearly drop on the leaf of shaded jade
Slowly the dark night blurs
start to fade,
Stealthily crept the dawn.

The blackbirds roused their
numerous kin,
The gradual onset of sunrise,
The housewives begin making pies
The refreshed trees, greener than ever,
The lively chirruping of the birds ceasing never.
The awakened cities clamour and
The Hurray of 'Good Morning'.

By Pavana Khan

 


 

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