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Beta Writers

Every week Rising Stars gets articles from readers and every week we find more and more requests asking for reader contributions to be printed. In an effort to accommodate the readers and to encourage budding writers to truly explore the art of writing, this week we offer our newest column. etaWriters hopes to be a joint collaboration of the writers of RS with the readers of RS. Every week, a topic will be posted here, on which we will request articles from the readers, and in the week following, the best article received will be printed along with a new topic. Fiction, satire, anything goes as long as one best uses the topic given and those who get printed often will be given preference over others. This week, to start things off, we present an article written about the Five Senses, and this same topic is now open to contributions from the readers, within the word limit of 600 words. The deadline to submit your piece is Saturday midnight.

Five Senses

By Tareq Adnan

Seeing: I walk into the classroom, go sit down at the back and take off my glasses. With sight denied everything is a blur. I hear the others murmur, their voices pensive. I hear the strong, clear voice of the teacher and it's as if I can see every expression on his face. The surface of the wood pocked by countless roving pens underneath my hands, I drag my nails across their cliff edges. Out of habit, the end of the pen is in my mouth, it has a certain metallic taste that I will always connect to pens. I hear the squeaks of the marker being dragged across the board, the teacher drawing yet another diagram. I can see it clearly.

Hearing: I walk out into the rain, the streets; I plug in my earphones, no music turned on. With sound denied the world is subdued. I see the mud churned up into the air by so many tyres, I see it splashing back onto earth. I see squishing feet, nimble footsteps bypassing puddles. I can smell the dirt stirred by wind and water. I take off my shoes and feel the earth underneath, turning to mud, feet slowly squishing down, I walk and I feel the sidewalk, the asphalt, my feet splashing down into churned water. I see people talking into phones, lips moving, telling the world that they'll be late. I can hear them clearly.

Smelling: I had felt the oncoming of a cold so I drank a gallon of iced water before sleeping in a freezing AC-ed room. I go to a wedding with a clogged nose. With smell denied, everything seems mechanical. The miasma of expensive scents distilled over a small number of people engulfs me, squeezing with tactile intent, the manly colognes, and the suggestive perfumes. I see a race of lovers all coming together, watching one of their kind in the bride and the groom. I hear their babble, I feel them swishing past me, I see them in so many colours it hurts. I carry a bouquet for the couple and I touch the flowers, the hued petals wafting coloured fumes. I can smell them clearly.

Tasting: I walk into a restaurant, nictone from half a pack wafting from my back. The food I eat is so much like chewing cud. With taste denied, the world seems unnatural. All I feel are the shapes slowly disintegrating in my mouth, against a numb tongue still bitter from the aftertaste of the half pack. I feel the thread on the table cloth; hear the soft Muzak, the cold touch of the cutlery. I see two lovers exchanging rings, I feel like I'm an intruder in their private excitement. I see a mother feeding her child from her own plate; I hear a woman calling the man who'd stood her up. I take a sip of her anger. I can taste it clearly.

Touching: I tie strings around the tips of my fingers, tight. I walk into a library, a place of calm, quiet words, whispered, written, read. I hear them flick their pages, I hear the people mouthing words as they read and I mouth along too, words I hope to one day finally write. I look at the shelves, the books lining them; I imagine the creases in their spines as I look at them, the texture of their pages, the musty smell that always floats out of a book, giving it personality. I walk up to a shelf and run my hand along it, numbed fingers bumping, only the motion and the sight are testament that they're still there. I imagine the countless stories, the talent behind the telling of them; the pain, the frustration that gave birth to the artistes' creations. I can feel them clearly.

In my room, I feel I've stumbled upon a truth. With five senses to live in this world, denying one makes the others work that much harder. I sit still in my chair, a blanket wrapped around me as the freezing manufactured air from the AC delivers routine caresses, and I turn it off. I stare at a wall devoid of colours while the speakers emit static. The gum in my mouth that I still stolidly chew has lost all taste. With the windows and the doors closed, the room is without smell. No sight, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch; yet… I feel everything.


Money can't buy success

Don't you just hate those commercials on TV that say, "money can't buy everything" or "there are some things money can't buy, for everything else there's master card" (this one doesn't even make any sense, you can't have a master card unless you have money). No matter how corny it sounds, money can't buy you everything. Well at least not on the football pitch.

In the world of the beautiful game, money is as useless as David Beckham's dribbling skills. Clubs like Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea have learned this the hard way. They all tried to buy trophies rather than earning it. Needless to say most of them have failed miserably, except Chelsea (but exceptions aren't examples). Now the million-dollar question is, where did the clubs go wrong? Or better yet, where did the manager's go wrong? The answer is simple. Read on.

Football is a team sport. You need a team of eleven players all working together towards a common vision in order to gain success. Players have to play together with each other constantly to develop an almost telepathic understanding between them. Players like Messi, Xavi, Iniesta who have been playing together for, God knows how long, have shown us that if everyone is working together the success will take care of itself. What clubs like Real Madrid do is, they constantly keep changing their squad. Every two or three years, we see a different batch of "Galacticos" with a new manager and in the end they get their behinds kicked by Barcelona. Buying great players does not guarantee a good team. Players in Real Madrid and Manchester City think they are bigger than the team itself. They prefer going solo, rather than passing the ball to their teammates.

Manchester City have also tried to spend their way into the history books. But all that money couldn't even get them a spot at the Champion's League. Tottenham Hotspurs, on the other hand have made it to the Champion's League and that too by beating Manchester City. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has concentrated on building up the young players and scouting for fresh young talent. An almost new team was formed and with time, hard work and teamwork, success came knocking at the door and Spurs made it to their first ever Champion's League.

However, money can be used to achieve success. Big money clubs can buy players that they actually need, rather than some "superstar". Instead of buying every midfielder in the world, Real Madrid can spend their money on a few defenders or maybe even a classy striker, because somebody has to score a LOT of goals if they want to over take the Catalan Giants. Clubs like these can also spend money on their youth academy and create their own superstars like Manchester United and Barcelona do. Scouting is also a good option to look for potential superstars and this method has been used by Sir Alex and Arsense Wenger to create players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Cesc Fabregas.

I would like to finish off this article by quoting a famous line once said by a famous man "The art of management is building a team with balance, with certain characteristics that blend with each other". You hear that Jose, "Balance" is the key to success not Cristiano Ronaldo.

By Alvi Ahmed


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