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Plight of the Tigers

May be they will step up their efforts and play consistently better if their mascot survived by the end of the century. Yes people, if you need that relevantly emotional Aircell advertisement to tell you that the Royal Bengal Tigers of the Sundarbans are on the path to extinction, then you are pretty darn ignorant. The symbol of our nation's pride and strength, and the mascot to most of our sporting events (except the Doel, who kind of stole the spotlight this time) is on the verge of dying out. It is very apparent that our furry forest critters did not choose this path of demise themselves, but rather human beings are the ones who put it on this roller-coaster ride to an early doomsday. And if you have the audacity to ask who the culprit behind this genocide is, then take only the necessary steps to carry yourself to the nearest mirror. You don't have to dress up in camo, and shoot the striped beasts, nor buy tiger fur coats to eradicate our native cats. Ignorance is now a bigger danger than anything else.

The iconic Royal Bengal Tiger is one of the most elegant yet rare subspecies of tigers found in the world. Once estimated to be of a population of about 40,000 when the British first landed, the numbers of tigers has gone down dramatically over the last century. According to global web encyclopaedia Wikipedia, surveys have indicated that there are about 450 to 280 tigers left in the motherland, most of who reside in the Sundarbans. The fall was rather steep during the early 1900, with tigers falling prey to the whimsically demented pleasures of the hunters. On one occasion when the Viceroy visited the Sundarban area, an estimated 120 tigers were killed in a span of only two weeks. Hunting during and sometime after the empire era was what caused the largest fall in the tiger count.

When we finally realized that we endangered the existence of our striped jungle cats, an ineffective ban on hunting did not play its part in stopping the fall in the already dwindling populous. As liberty provides a person the ability to reach his goals in various and even dubious means, some of our malevolent hunters converted themselves to the ever evil poachers in order to meet their own malicious demand for profit or to satiate their personal whims. Poachers continue to play their appalling yet semi-successful attempt in robbing the future from the glory of the Bengal Tigers. However, although varying in some years, the number of poaching incidents has also gone down rather significantly. This is mainly due to some of the organizations (some created by the government, and some privately), that were created to reduce the threat on tigers, and increase their population to a more stable level.

The most shocking peace of fact is that currently human existence is what is endangering the Bengal tigers, rather than the poaching or hunting. Since Bangladesh is already an overpopulated county with a considerable population growth rate, people are competing with our native tigers for living space. Probably seen as something similar to cockroaches from the tiger's point of view, the habitats of tigers are being over-run by our people. Every single day, more and more people burn and cut down portions of the Sundarbans in order to make a living. This is forcing more and more tigers to either flee across the border to our neighbours, or confront the humans themselves, which always ends in tragedy. Our very own ignorance and selfish demands are what is depriving us from a better future. It gets even worse as studies has shown that a portion of the fate of the Bengal Tiger lands on the shoulders of internationals, and not just Bangladeshis and Indians. Our self-induced climate change, if allowed to continue in the current rate, would make sure that the cats drown, unless we provide them with scuba gear.

As Edmund Burke said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, he reminds us that we are all involved in the fight to save the tigers. Spreading the awareness, raising funds and instigating changes necessary for the future existence of tigers is a duty that we all must uphold in such times. Along with copying their stripes as a means of earning more profit and make themselves more popular amongst the crowd, individuals and mega-corporations should work even more publicly in supporting their mascot cats. If the number of tigers in the country is the key factor influencing the Bangladesh Cricket Team, then helping our feline comrades seem even more important. Since the animals are not only the assets of our nation, but also that of the world and our future, it is our duty to work together and ensure the continuity and welfare of the Royal Bengal Tigers, as well as the performance of our cricket team. And yes, the Royal Bengal Tiger is our national animal. Dhoni confused it with the peacocks.

By M. Fayaad Islam

We do not Love Lovelove!

On a particular day of a particular week, two guys who were supposed to work were NOT. Instead, as far as their brilliant excuses go, they were talking about work. The following conversation shows what exactly was this work they were talking about:

Don (D): Hey man, nice "Bhalentine Isspecial". Me likes.
Ero (E): Thanks, man. By the way, what's up with you lately? No articles? You got Writer's Block? (gasps)

D: No, even worse. I got Loveloveitis.
E: What in tarnation is Loveloveitis? Lemme guess, you're sick of Dr. Lovelove? (sniggers)

D: Yes, dude, yes. He makes me feel small. Very, very small.
E: You do guess saying something like that would buy you more shameless humiliation than ever?

D: I don't care! He has stolen my space! MY Page 2! MY awesome articles! MINE! MINE! MINE! Even my girlfriend; she LOVES Dr. Lovelove! She doesn't even bother whether I write or not as long as RS has that scallywag! And she was MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! (wails horribly enough for Ero's glass of juice to break)
E: Sheesh, dude, what's gotten into you? I thought you always kept your cool. OK, I'll be honest- I hate that guy too. He's got a larger fan base than I have. Gets more fan mail than anyone else in RS. He even gets snail mail!

D: I am the Don! People respected me, you know. They came to me with their problems. That is, until DOCTOR Lovelove came along! How corny! Don't those readers know doctors are lame people?
E: Well, it IS pretty catchy. The Don Khan thing never caught on...

D: Ero Senin sucks too. It's Sennin, NOT Senin. But, I think it's time the dude received Hate Mail. Nowadays, it ain't “Lovelove is cool because he works for RS”; it's all "RS is cool because Lovelove writes for it!" Who got this guy his PhD, anyway?
E: The Lennon Peace University. (quietly)

D: DUDE! (stares)
E: Hey, what!? He mentioned that in one of his articles. You gotta admit he's awesome with sarcasm! We failed in that all the time when it came to NEWS.

D: True, that. We tanked on more than one occasion. But I haven't read any articles of his. It's against my principles.
E: Principles? YOU? Okay. (laughs)

D: Ignoring that, so... hate mail. You want to create a Fake Profile and post something on the Facebook Fan Page like Taha Tareque? Maybe we could even tell Taha to say something himself!
E: And then what, get our bottoms kicked about by the entire RS Staff and diehard fans!? Heck no! We need another strategy, something failproof.

D: Letter to the Editor?
E: Both of us know better than anyone else what happens to those.

D:Touché. What about sending photoshopped photos of Lovelove with guys to his girlfriend? Given his popularity among male readers, she would believe it. (evil grin)
E: We ain't handy with Photoshop. We could bust his identity...

D: ... and get our own identities out as well. This is a hard life we live, as vigilantes guarding this city that truly is-
E: Yeah, okay, okay, I get it. Secret alter egos. Noted.

D: How about an Anti-Lovelove FB group?
E: It would get spammed by his fans. I think he pays those guys to be his fans. You know, like all those strikes we have.

D: Yeah, you know what, we could fabricate an entire story against him, show how evil he really is, label it the Lovelove Conspiracy, and then circulate it across the Web.
E: I think we're giving him way too much press than he deserves. If it bothers you so much, why don't you meet him out in the parking lot and settle it like men?

D: As in call my attorney before Lovelove gets into his car?
E: No, Dork Don, as in break his fingers so that he never types again. For good measure, break his toes too. Something tells me that guy is capable of anything.

D: Nah, SFA would kick us out. As it is, I don't write regularly like I did.
E: We could transcribe this conversation. Remove all politically incorrect lines, tone down the attitude and pretend we really didn't mean it.

D: NICE! That way, we don't get the Pink Slip, we don't have to break his fingers and maybe we would finally get some ATTENTION! (drooling)
E: Uh-huh... whatever makes you happy.

By The Don Khan and Ero Senin


Bornomela 2010

On February 21, 2010, the Sultana Kamal women's complex premises were presented with an event truly unique in all aspects. Organised by the daily Prothom Alo, the day-long festival of alphabets or 'Bornomela' took place amidst the cheerful presence of exuberant children of different ages. It all started with a small-boxed announcement printed on the daily Prothom Alo that requested creative idea from children for making Bangla alphabets out of different interesting objects. For example, the letter 'Cho' can be made by arranging and lining up different coloured 'churri' or bangles. The entries were asked to be sent for a countrywide competition, the results of which were announced last week on February 21.

The first prize went to an assortment of multi-coloured origami lobsters that made up 'Chingrir Cho'. There were also alphabets made of 'teep', glass, food grains, lots of colourful erasers, paper flowers, burnt cigarette butts, sea shells etc. The day-long festivities also included another competition for drawing and Bangla handwriting. But apart from the competitions there were lots of other fun activities too.

A short way from the entrance stood a huge 'Bo' behind the signboard 'Mosto Borno'. The children were asked to paint the gigantic letter however they wished using paints and brushes that were provided for them. Some children were seen flying colourful kites and running all around the field while some other were seen busy with 'Shobde Dhadha', a scrabble-like word game played by large tin blocks painted with Bangla alphabets. Children also enjoyed the maze-like 'Golokdhadha' and spins on the traditional chorki (they named it 'Bornodola'). There was a corner stall named 'Borno Jaadughor' where a few bespectacled kids were seen studying the evolution of Bangla alphabets from ancient scripture with serious expressions on their faces. 'Borne Poshak' was another arrangement where 'Deshi Dosh' had brought their best fashion materials for display and sale. At the centre of the field, a huge traditional bioscope box was set up (although it had modern display equipments inside, but anyway) where children were seen crowding up to take a sneak peek. Other mentionable stalls were 'Haate Khori', 'Borne Khabar', 'Borno Chhobi', 'Borno Shombhar' etc.

A decorated stage was also set up for a daylong cultural function for the children who wore black and white dresses. Some even wore cute saris and traditional panjabi ensemble. They were seen running to and fro all around the place in delight, dragging their parents along as they went. Some more excited ones, however, weren't too enthusiastic about waiting for slowpoke grown-ups and kept their parents busy chasing them as they dashed from stall to stall. The daylong festivities ended on a joyous note, with children cheering and demanding for more similar events in the years to come.

By Raisa Rafique



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