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The Valentine's Disaster Diary

10.30 am:
And it promises a great day. I got up real early for a change. It is a very big day indeed. Lots to do. Lots of places to go. I wake up to see my yellow Panjabi neatly folded on my desk (I folded it last night myself. Then I put it under a pile of other clothes and books so that it stays without any haphazard creases). I wash up, put on the Panjabi and a pair of blue jeans. I try to whistle a tune, but just a bit of unsynchronised air puffs out. I need to work on my whistling skills. I log on to Facebook and post “Letz r0cKKZ pe0pLez” as my status. I put some gel in my hair so that it looks all silky and gleams. I spend about 15 minutes in front of the mirror admiring how great I look. Oh, I am such a handsome little devil!

As I proceed towards to door, I shout at my mother to give me some money. She hands me a thousand. It will indeed be a great day!

11.30 am:
I stand in front of my house and patiently wait for a rickshaw or a CNG to take me to TSC. I make a few phone calls to my friends and inform them of how great this day is going to be and ask them to hurry up. Then I call Jarina, Mariyam and Ruksana and wish them a Pahela Falgun Mubarak. This makes them laugh. I am so funny!

12.00 pm:
Not a single rickshaw is in sight. I could go all the way to the intersection but I might sweat and that will ruin my Panjabi. So I won't walk.

12.15 pm:
I walked to the intersection. I got on a rickshaw. My armpits are wet. Hopefully it will vaporise soon enough. I just hope I don't smell.

12.45 pm:
I am stuck in a traffic jam. My good mood from the morning is vanishing. The folks are waiting for me, and here I am looking at phlegm on the street. Luckily Mariyam texts me and I reply her. Although I don't understand why she takes so long between each message. It forces me to count patiently to 60 before sending my reply.

1.15 pm:
Still stuck in the jam. Mariyam doesn't reply anymore.

1.16 pm:
A crow swooped down low over my head and dropped a neatly aimed crap on me. I failed to dodge and my Panjabi is all ruined. The couple beside my rickshaw start laughing. I show them my teeth.

2 pm:
I reach TSC at long last. But the folks are not here anymore. I call them and they tell me to go to KFC Dhanmondi. Treacherous mongrels.

2.45 pm:
I am hungry and I reach Dhanmondi on foot. Every rickshaw is carrying couples. Every road is packed with rickshaws. And my Panjabi is wet with perspiration. I don't think I smell though. It's one of my charms. I say hello to my pals who are waiting for me on one of the couches and make straight for the bathroom. I hear annoying sniggers behind my back. I pay them no attention. In the bathroom I clean the crap-smear on my Panjabi and straighten my hair with water. All the gel on it seems to have run down my face as sweat. As a result, my face looks oily.

2.56 pm:
I wanted to text a 'hi' to Ruksana. My pocket has been picked. My mobile and my money are gone. Strangely I don't feel that sad. May be I have lost my capacity for sadness.

3.15 pm:
Maria and Titli reach KFC and they sit with us. They refuse to sit beside me. They wouldn't tell me the reason. I think I can guess why; I can smell the why. I thought I couldn't feel sadness anymore. I was wrong.

4.30 pm:
My folks and I go outside and decide to disturb couples enjoying Valentine's Day. We walk between every couple holding hands and force them to let go. I was having some fun until a guy pushed me and I fell in the drain. Now my Panjabi is ruined. I decide to call it a day. I ask for money from my friends so that I can hire a rickshaw to go home. Instead they tell me to hire one anyway and pay him after I get home. I will remember this slight.

6 pm:
I am tired and sad and I reach home. My mother is yelling at me because she couldn't catch me on my phone. I tell her it is stolen. She calms down.

I log on to Facebook to find no notifications. Great. Just great.

By Jawad
The writer is well aware that Valentine's Day and Pohela Falgun are two different days. The doofus in the article, isn't.


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Release date: 24th August 2010

"And that, my friends, is how a revolution dies"- Haymitch

Mockingjay, the third and final installment of the epic Hunger Games book series by Suzanne Collins, takes the readers through a wondrous adventure full of fairies and pixie dust. Well no, I am lying. It's nothing like that. It's just as gruesome and gory as the first two books. True to her masterful writing style, Collins makes sure that the story moves at an extremely efficient and exciting pace with lots of action, engaging dialogue and vivid descriptions of the series' post apocalyptic setting.

Mockingjay starts off with the protagonist Katniss Everdeen visiting the decrepit remains of District 12, reminiscing about her pre-Hunger Games days. The Hunger Games are now officially over and President Snow of the Capitol has declared an all out war to fight the rebels from all the Districts. There is a rebellion raging across Panem against the Capitol led by District 13. Collins is not shy when it comes to accurately depicting the effects of war on children and families through violence, death and the eminent fear of losing your loved ones. Katniss's journey and growth in the face of the rebellion gives us a sense of how the world is really not composed of pure good and pure evil. She soon realises that the side she is on might not be all good either, but it really comes down to a choice between a rock and a hard place.

All the main characters are back in all their glory including Katniss's drunken mentor Haymitch, the snare expert Gale and the charming artist Peeta, although not in the way you'd expect them to be back. There are several other very interesting characters that are introduced and we get a better understanding of what the other districts are really like. One warning: expect deaths.

The book is heartbreaking at times, but it does have those light moments where the reader can't help but feel optimistic (I burst out into nervous laughter a few times). There is a wedding and, of course if you're into that kind of thing, we finally find out if Katniss chooses Gale or Peeta. I am trying not to give too much away and spoiling the story but what's important is that all the puzzles fall into place, and all the questions are answered.

The book sold more than 4.5 million copies on its opening weekend when it was released back in 2010, which is a brilliant number in itself and should say something about it. More than that though, it managed to keep me on edge and even drew some extremely emotional reactions out of me. But really, don't listen to me (or maybe do), just go read it, love it (or not), and judge for yourself.

“May the odds be ever in your favor!”

By Nuzhat Arif Kimi
References: Wikipedia, businesswire.com and, of course, Mockingjay


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