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World Cup 2011:
Shattered Lives and Broken Dreams

By Osama King Rahman

When the men in blue lifted the Cup, Cricket's showpiece tournament came to a fitting end in Mumbai. The dreams of almost a billion people came to fruition after so many years of hard work and dedication. As Dhoni blasted what was to be the last ball of the game, the stadium erupted, igniting memories of 1983. Although many dreams came true, many dreams were also shattered. After all the dust has settled, it is time to pick up the fragments of those broken dreams and piece them back together just as a way of wondering what may have been. At the end of the day, it is these cruel twists of fate that make life as exciting as it is.

Consider the curious case of Darren Bravo. The 22-year-old left-handed batsman was touted as being the next Brian Lara and throughout the World Cup, fans waited with bated breath, waiting for him to signal his coming. Unfortunately, that was just not to be. Despite appearing in every game, Bravo failed to carve a niche for himself, and it seemed that not only was he over-burdened, but apparently he was overwhelmed too. Dwayne Bravo's half-brother, Darren Bravo, remained in the shadows throughout, showing only rare flashes of genius. Although the testament to his prodigious talent was supposed to be finally displayed against Pakistan, sadly it was not to be, and Darren's dreams vanished as he made his way back to the pavilion.

Then we have Muttiah Muralitharan. This was supposed to be his tournament too, providing the fitting farewell for arguably one of the greatest spinners of the game. The surprising decision to drop Ajantha Mendis, who averaged a meagre three runs per over, for the final came back to haunt Sri Lanka, as Murali found himself isolated and more burdened than before. A man who has always risen to the occasion throughout his illustrious career, India's swashbuckling offense proved too much even for the veteran. Hence, Murali's swansong came to yet another heart-break and the man with the highest number of wickets in the game trudged off into the darkness.

A discussion of broken dreams would obviously include all the cricketing nations that took part. However, some shattered hopes created a louder sound than the others. New Zealand, always the outsiders, at one point threatened to derail the bookies' predictions and bring joy back to their earthquake ravaged home whilst Ricky Ponting too wished for a fitting farewell. There was also England who believed that, with the Ashes in the bag, this World Cup would be the time when they finally brought the cup home. Bangladesh aimed for a quarter-finals place and such an insignificant dream deserves no understanding. Meanwhile, Shoaib Akhtar brought the Pindi Express to its final stop, albeit in an inglorious fashion.

And finally we come to that one whisper of hope that no one seems to remember. Indeed, there is one dream that too was broken, yet no one dares to speak of it anymore. The fairy tale of Mumbai may have ended, but there was one story that was yet to be concluded; that of the supposed greatest batsman in the world, Sachin Tendulkar. Hoping to script a tale worth an Oscar, Sachin took the bat and prayed to finally bring up his 100th century while leading India to victory. But he scored only 18.

A wonderful World Cup and as much as it breaks this writer's heart, India's pedigree remains unquestionable and yes they truly deserved this victory. For the country and also for ICC, considering the amount of revenue India tends to generate. Congratulations India.


Piyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahaani

By Professor Spork

Translation (please read with a straight face): This is a Story of Love/The Love Story

According to Wikipedia, Piyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahaani is “a contemporary, visual, and visceral story of the ultimate forbidden love affair between a non human and a mortal Dangerous Love!” We promise to be as unbiased as possible in introducing you to yet another one of Ekta Kapoor's brilliant schemes: the Indian version of Twilight. Just when you thought the rage was dying down, eh?

Pia is an orphan who moves to the college dorms after receiving a scholarship in Mount College, where she meets the man of her dreams, Abhay. Although there is an immediate spark between the two, mystery surrounds Abhay and his entire family, prompting Pia to look into matters which Abhay repeatedly tells her is none of her business. It turns out that Pia is a carbon-copy of an ancient princess Maithali, Abhay's long-lost lover. Abhay keeps rescuing Pia from numerous accidents, each time revealing he has several superhuman abilities such as super-strength, super-speed, etc. She suspects him of being a vampire. Lots of uninteresting things happen, and then everyone turns into vampires.

There's also a river which Abhay's entire family is afraid to cross, and the one time Pia does cross it, multiple shadows appear with glowing yellow eyes. These creatures are yet to be unveiled, but three guesses as to what they are!

The serial is still in progress, so there's a lot more after that, don't worry, including numerous side stories such as Pia discovering her best friend Misha's father to be her own father who left when she was a child, random people falling in and out of love, a Jacob Black character named Kabir, some singing and bad dancing, a couple of scandals, more vampires, and lots of college drama. Very exciting stuff.

Verdict:
There are a few funny episodes, and Ekta Kapoor is highly skilled at hooking people onto things they don't want to watch. Amateur acting skills and terrible wardrobe (consisting largely of combinations of pink and yellow, and lots of glitter) aside, the show does improve as it progresses. The background music is better than most other Hindi serials, and for once they don't show every last character's face with the dha-dha-dha-dha-dha-dha sound whenever something happens. However, the spin cycle during two people staring at each other for five minutes has not been misplaced. The main characters are all ugly, the side characters are not. The fake tattoo on the vampires' backs is pretty cool though, and if you don't fall over laughing at each of Abhay's parents' expressions, you have one sad sense of humour.

What is impressive is that credit has mostly been given where it was due. Twilight is mentioned as an inspiration, along with Vampire Diaries. What have not been mentioned are Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Dracula, and possibly several others we failed to identify.

A suggestion get someone else to watch it and tell you when something funny happens. Because there are a lot of funny things happening. Even things which aren't supposed to be funny.


Our topic last week was See-saw and the following write-up, though far smaller than the word limit, manages to say a lot more. This is the type of creative experimentation we've come to expect from our readers. For next week, we have Still Life. Write-ups should be written within 500 words and sent to ds.risingstars@gmail.com before noon on Sunday.
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On the See-saw

By Raisa Rownak

Children. One boy. One girl. Pretty faces. Red see-saw. Under a tree. On the see-saw. Girl goes up. Boy goes down. Boy smiles at girl. Girl opens mouth. Says something. Unheard. Wind blows, ruffles girl's hair. Boy laughs. Girl glares. Roll. Green ball. Boy jumps off. Slam. Girl on the ground. Boy runs. Picks girl up. Fixes hair. Brushes dress. Back on see-saw. Boy looks at girl. Sweet smiles.

Two years. See-saw painted blue. Old tree. Boy and girl. On the see-saw. Up and down. Down and up. Girl reaches out for boy. Boy looks. Tries to hold hand. Too far. Gives up. Sorry. Girl sighs. Boy shrugs. Let it be. Girl wants a flower. Boy frowns. Hops down. Slam. Girl down. Hurt. Boy turns. Does not run. Walks to girl. One hand. Girl does not need it. Back on the see-saw.

Four years. Grey see-saw. Tall tree. Girl alone. Waits for boy. Seventeen minutes. Boy comes. On the see-saw. Ups and downs. Silence. Ring ring. Cell phone. Boy answers. Excuse me. Boy off the see-saw. Slam. Muffled scream. Ouch. Girl down. Waits for boy. Does not come. Gets up. Nine minutes. Boy back. On the see-saw. Ring ring. Hello.

Six years. Brittle see-saw. One tree. Boy and girl. Big. Grown up. On the see-saw. Up and down. Creak. Girl afraid. Boy annoyed. See-saw too small. Boy looks at girl. Furrowed brows. No good. Boy off. Slam. Girl angry. On her feet. Arguments. Goodbye. Wry smiles. Forgotten see-saw.

Twelve years. Brittle see-saw. Aged tree. No boy. No girl. Tired tree. Breaks down. On the see-saw. See-saw broken. Memories. Gone.


Recruitment

Rising Stars asks interested young individuals to apply for a position in our team. We have already started receiving applications and the deadline is on 14th of April. Please send us your CV and a sample write up, we offer no topic. People published in our BetaWriters column will be given preference. Attach the BetaWriters entry that got printed as well as mentioning the date. Please note that a CV and a sample write up (and BetaWriters if applicable) must be sent for an application to be considered. Send us your applications to ds.risingstars@gmail.com and put Recruitment Application as the subject.


 

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