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Golf 101

By Mahir

Silence prevailed over the beautifully mowed lawn and the crowd waited as the player measured his angle. They became restless, but the player, an embodiment of patience and calm waited for the right moment and finally struck the ball. The silence was broken with a round of applause as the white ball flew off to its destination and the player, followed by the crowd moved on to the next location.

Golf has always been a mysterious sport in Bangladesh, the only connection being occasional glimpses on ESPN. A man hitting a small white ball with his club failed to get our attention. However, golf started to grab interest in our country with the introduction of a few Golf Clubs here and there, but the real spotlights were fixated as one Siddikur Rahman constantly started making the news after he won the Brunei Open in 2010.

Golf, basically, is exactly what it looks like. The player has to hit the ball from a fixed place (called the “Teeing ground”) and aim it to the hole in another fixed place (called the “Putting green”). Between these two areas there are plenty of obstacles like sand or water which the player must overcome to send the ball to the desired hole. Golf is usually played with 18 holes per round and simply put; the player who completes the 18 holes with the least number of strikes is the winner. The standard number of times someone can club the ball is 72 but to win, players must get this number as less as possible.

Now, it may all sound easy, but there are multiple factors to be considered. Firstly, professional golf tournaments aren't played in one round, and to win the contestant must play well in all the rounds and every day to keep their score lowest. There will be multiple players with the same score and eventually leading to sharing positions. The champion receives a gorgeous amount of prize money, but the other ranked players get a share as well.

Besides winning the Brunei Open, Siddikur won a number of tournaments but the fact that he is one of the top ten players of Asia and constantly going up in the world ranking is really admirable.

Besides him, we got a number of promising youngsters waiting to follow his footsteps and enter the professional circuit and the winning of the gold medals in both single and team events in the last SAFF Games in golf proves our dominance in the sub-continent.

So far we have 12 Golf courses in our country and if you are encouraged to play, firstly you should know that it is one expensive sport but more importantly it is addictive, even more than Texas Hold'em or Angry birds. However, golf clubs in Bangladesh doesn't allow teenagers to play unless one of your parents is a member but then again improvisation is just down the alley. All you need is a stick and a mug.



Last week, our topic was Shift. Some very good entries turned up, offering a smattering of different styles and stories, which we appreciated. The entry below was wonderfully written and we thought it went well with the recent global headlines. Next week, our topic will be: Moo. Entries have to be within 500 words and need to be sent in to ds.risingstars@gmail.com before Sunday noon. Good luck.
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SHIFT

By Samiha Tasnim

The wood panelling and heavy curtains gave the office a sense of elegance. The walls were dotted with paintings of the masters, collected from all corners of the world. At the moment though, the room stood empty.

In a small room across the hall, stood a man. In a suit that shouted style, a Rolex and a peacock blue tie, he might have been a young businessman. Closer inspection revealed someone much older, with a fine crop of salt and pepper hair that gave him the look of a man much respected in society. His face was little lined for his age, but there were dark circles under his eyes and terror in his gaze. He stood alone, staring fixedly at nothing. Somewhere down the hall, a clock began to chime.

Five minutes to eight, the door of the office opened and he strode in, radiating power and confidence from his every step and hiding his fear behind veiled eyes. He walked to the mahogany desk and opened a drawer as the laptop on the desk blinked and then began to glow brighter.

The newspaper remained ignored at the far end of the desk, the front page depicting a bus on its side, burning brilliantly bright.

Outside the building stood a silent crowd. People had been arriving since dawn and more arrived every minute till the group overflowed from the sidewalk, spilled onto the street, climbed the pavement on the opposite side and were stopped by the buildings standing sentinel across the road. Still people came, in ones, twos, threes and more. No shouting, no urgency; just a calm wait for the inevitable. The earlier arrivals leaned against the lampposts, swapping whispered jokes.

It was getting dark outside, but the curtains remained almost shut. A thin slit remained, through which he looked upon the ever-increasing crowd. Terror began to creep back into his eyes.

The crowd was bigger than ever. Here and there people began to unfurl banners. Larger than life faces of Javier Mariachi leered down at them, but none minded it. The dictator was going down.

Javier Mariachi stood behind his desk in his immaculate suit and tie, eyes wide, nostrils flared, breath hissing through his teeth in gasps. In front of him atop the files, a revolver lay gleaming. Like the people outside, it too waited.

At the stroke of eight, a young man in a crimson bandana jumped onto the roof of a nearby truck. He pumped his fists and shouted something, screaming his words at the building. Most of the mob was unable to make out his exact words, but they got the gist. The calm was broken; the young man had sounded out loud the words on everyone's mind. They roused themselves in unison as if they were one body, shouting, shaking fists, waving banners and finally making themselves heard.

At the stroke of eight, gunshot echoed down the hallway.

It marked the end of Javier Mariachi's shift.



 

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