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Unlikely Beneficiaries of Eid

Eid is a special time, an “oh so” magical day when you don't swear and curse the 14 generations of ancestors of nobody in particular when you are dragged out of bed in the morning to get to Namaz. And while you go about the day meeting relatives you probably won't meet for another year and shamelessly take their money, some people out there are secretly rubbing their hands and squealing in delight. These are the people who get the most out of the day and even the Eid where you got the most salami from the visiting rich uncle from America doesn't compare to theirs.

The Parlours and Saloons
This is the time of the year when all the girls want to change their hair styles to something no one else will notice anyway. And the girls in the parlour shops are polishing their tools with delight. Time to charge a huge amount for cutting a few snips of hair from the back, or bangs from the front, or God only knows what. Even the barbers in men's saloons have put on a gleeful face and are waiting for the men to come in and get their hair cut or chins shaved. Yes, a sweet time to be cutting hair and making dough.

The C.N.G. Drivers
Legends talk of a green mode of transport which roamed the streets once, and the fare of this mode of transport was determined by a magical device called the meter. While the transport carries on till today, the meters have become extinct so long ago, that it's enough to make us doubt they ever existed. So while generally the C.N.G. drivers demand a ridiculous sum for taking you from point A to point B, you can expect that fare to be doubled during Eid. They know you will break down - the “khala” you promised to visit is waiting. So go ahead, make their day.

Amateur Cooks
This is their chance to practise their version of the age-old hand-me-down jorda recipe on you. They know you can't resist it, and after one spoonful, even if you don't like it, you swallow it down out of common decency. They will eagerly wait for you to finish their masterpieces, staring at you the whole time and waiting for the compliment. And when you force out a 'I have never had anything like that before', they will contradict you, 'You are just saying that to make me happy.' Then they wait for the next compliment.

The Doctors
They are the smartest people in the country. They knew this day would come and the years put to studying medicine would pay off. They knew you would stuff yourself with every single thing that looks half edible, and after the process, be in need of them. A steady tide will roll into their chambers the next day. Maybe that last plate of “shemai” after two plates of “jorda”, the “polao” and the “firni” was a little too much. At least you are making the doctors happy.

So when you think that you are having the day of your life, think of all the people we talked about above and not the unfortunate. We know you won't anyway, the Ramadan being over and all.

By Moyukh


Results
How the parents deal with the pressure

We've had various pieces of advice on offer before about preparing yourself for results. About building safe houses and stocking up on food. But those whose judgment you seek to escape in the first place - the parents, what sort of arrangements do they make? Everyone, even if there is a certain level of exaggeration involved, whines about result days being some of the worst days of their lives. The difference between a 95 and a 90 in Physics means the end of days for some while others don't really care about their mediocre grades affecting their academic future. Whatever the case, few ever stop to think about what their parents are going through; how after all those days chaperoning to coaching, beneath that mask of calm reassurance and consolation, they too burn with suspense and anxiety.

“My mother walked around the house aimlessly and was jumpy all night before my results. Later, after she finally got them and I asked her about the endless pacing, she said she was trying to prepare herself for the worst.” said the daughter of a proud mother. She also added that her mom wasn't really over-reacting.

Stocking up on anti-depressants and pressure medication is probably the first step parents of especially “volatile” students take; the ones that throw tantrums and blame their respective academic boards for their results, sparking stress related disorders in the toughest of parents. “After saying his exams went “fatafati bhabe” and instilling hope in us, he brings home the news that he failed in multiple subjects. How does that make us feel?” goes one frustrated parent. We feel for her. A restocked medicine cabinet is certainly a good idea, since the entirety of the time before results is spent worrying and fidgeting, at least on the parents' part.

The examinee, in most cases, is lulled into a false sense of calm and serenity, usually after a summer of heat, outdoor fun, and Xbox multiplayer sessions/sleepovers. When the results come, they do so with a bucket of ice cold water right in the face, slapping his/her “summer” goggles off and landing them squarely in front of disapproving parents. What most teenagers don't notice are the constant reminders the parents put in to warn them of their impending doom. Next time your Mom asks you to put down the controller and ponder about what you'll do if your results come out sour, pay some heed to her, or you'll be caught with your pants down when it does.

It's not always the ones with the bad grades that have to sit through the tumble dryer after results come out. The overly-doting parents of a different breed of students, “The Achievers”, start their preps from several weeks before, ensuring an endless supply of sweets from Premium Sweets and Rosh along with a phone with seemingly endless credit. The gobs of affection passed around can get nauseating as with a very serious mission in mind, mothers take position with their phones in hand and dial away. In the blink of an eye the entire world is aware of the child's results: everyone gets a chance to congratulate their proud child. Doesn't matter if the child has no idea as to who s/he is being congratulated by. You can't really find any fault in these people; they're just showing support for their children.

While some parents just forget, some are determined to label their children as underachievers even if they work for NASA and eat broccolis for breakfast. Four A*s is nothing if you consider other people getting 6 A*s. Some psychologists attribute this to a type of “parenting tough love”, designed to push children further, irrespective of their current situation. Various students react to this in various ways but in the end, the pressure induces them to work harder. But come results time, even some of these parents become magically lenient and supportive. A consoling mother enters a nervous child's room the night before the results, “It's okay. It doesn't matter how you do. We will be happy anyway. Don't be nervous.” Whoa.

Various studies done by organisations like BBC Parents and universities, like the University of Glamorgan, try to prepare parents as to the best methods of tackling results: dealing with stress, being supportive and saying the right things. It's unlikely that a high number of parents in Bangladesh have read any of them. But at the end of the day, they still do pretty good jobs, don't they?

By Shaer Reaz & Neshmeen Faatimah

 
 

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