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The Deep, Dark Blues after High School

By Zarif Masud and Anika

WHY? WHY? WHY???

That is the question we ponder after we're done with the painstaking A levels/HSC - why more exams?

“I was very reluctant to sit for more exams after already giving a million of them (for O levels and A levels),” says university student Samira. There was a murmur of “Amen” to that.

No matter how many levels of hell we've undergone, the exams just keep on coming. It's a friggin' battlefield out there. One slip up and people will start labelling us as 'failure'. If you think you are done with all the hard stuff and can now take a breather, think again. It's a cruel world and there's no end to hard work. One of our parents kept telling us before the HSC exams, “Just three more months and you'll be done with HSC. And then you have another 3 months to prepare for your university. If you do well enough, you'll get into BUET and then you only have to study for four more years. Isn't that wonderful?” We packed our bags and ran away from home that very night.

One does not simply graduate high school and attain society's approval. Ah yes, society - the real culprits; they've set this bloody trend of admiring people getting into places like BUET and Dhaka University. Now your parents want you to get into these places because otherwise 'they wouldn't be able to show their faces in public'. Every one of your best friends will betray you at some point and won't even tell you about it. They'll go around telling everyone how he/she hasn't studied at all in the last few days.

Yes. Your friends will become nerds, your folks will become even more annoying - reminding you every 10 seconds how you are digging your own grave and how you'll spend you life as a homeless person because you didn't get into IBA. You'll be forced to join pointless coaching centres. You'll be forced to bargain for more books at Nilkhet. You will be forced to pull more all-nighters. Worst of all, you'll be forced to miss out on that long awaited movie release or the latest episodes of that sitcom you love so much. We know it hurts; it hurts at the very core. But, let's face it, porashona na korle kew patta dibey na (if you don't study, no one shall respect you).

“Korte to hobei (It has to be done),” says Salman when asked how he felt about sitting for more exams after the A Levels. You see how we are being forced into a do or die scenario? We don't have a choice here, dammit.

Then there are those who are faced with severe dilemma over where they should be studying. When we asked Borshon about his time after the A levels, he said, “It was pretty messed up. I was stuck in no man's land, unsure about the direction in which my life was heading. I was confused about my plans for the future as I contemplated the prospect of going abroad or trying my luck here. Spent a lot of waking hours going over the ifs and buts.”

“It was the most unpleasant time of my life.”

The torture is unrelenting. First the tension and dilemma - followed by hopelessness and desperation. There are brief moments of hope which are quickly crushed by peers and more often than not, the coaching centres. Frustration seeps in and sucks the sunshine out of your life. Some crack under the pressure. Some give up altogether. Some give up everything else and study. According to our panel of 'experts', the insanity rate during this time increases by 42.42%.

To all you A Levels and HSC examinees, do not panic when you graduate high school. Take a deep breath and think carefully about what you want to study. Set your targets and then proceed to that target. Try to get a hold of the question patterns. Solve the last few years' questions. A lot of questions get repeated. It's not going to be easy. But like some famous guy once said, “Nothing good comes easy; all good things take some time.” Wait. That was Bon Jovi. But you get the idea. You don't have to shut yourself in and study all day. Have fun. And study too. There's plenty of time to do both.


BOOK REVIEW

Bossypants
Author: Tina Fey

By Orin

Despite what we see going down in 30 Rockefeller Plaza, there's no denying that Tina Fey is the big package of awesome. With a brilliant sense of humour, geeky attitude and shows like 30ROCK and Saturday Night Live under her belt, she is easily the coolest woman alive. On TV, at least. In 2011, Tina Fey returned with her book, Bossypants, part autobiography part philosophical whimsy which is easily one of the funniest books of the year.

Bossypants is not technically a memoir; it is the blend of awkward humour, hilarious life views and philosophy. It does however chronologically follow Tina Fey's life, starting from her teenage years in suburban Philadelphia to her college days till the launch of her comedy career in Chicago. In the meantime we get the glimpse of her humble domestic life, her old school dad and her unsuccessful romantic encounters at college. The whole book is hilarious, but Fey becomes unstoppable when making self-depreciating jokes about her attractiveness or women's self-image in general.

The book sounds a lot like Liz Lemon from 30ROCK and whether she's replying to internet hate mails or mocking the glamour and glitz of a hundred flashes, her voice stays surprisingly honest. A feminist and a democrat to the core, this book goes to prove that her comedic voice is unlike any other as she says 'Only in comedy does an obedient white girl from the suburbs count as diversity.' Despite the countless challenges she had to face on her way to success, her attitude is reviving. 'Either way everything will be fine,' she continues, 'But if you have an opinion feel free to offer it to me through the gap in the door of a public restroom. Everyone else does.'

Whether its exclaiming 'I can see Russia from my house' or being brave enough to make fun of own insecurities, Tina Fey is everything we love about TV and comedy and Bossypants is a perfect reflection of that. A must-read.


Just another guy

By Confused Vegetable

The BRTC bus is stuffed, as usual. She struggles through the throng. “Please excuse me. Make way please,” she requests squeakily as she avoids pushing her way in. She makes it to the bus. No seats left, obviously. She takes hold of one of the rods.

She loves people. Empty places calls for ineffable horrors - past experience. She watches the two bus doors; more and more people squish in. That guy cannot - must not - get in. She likes him. Hence, she needs to stay away from him/trouble.

He gets in. The bus starts moving. She tries to act busy. Doesn't work, according to her. Awkwardly, she tries to move to a safer distance, away from Trouble. Still doesn't work; he sees her. He calls her name out loud. She smiles because apparently, otherwise it would be kind of rude.

“I did not know you travel in public busses!” Trouble exclaims.

What does he mean by that? Is he underestimating or admiring her? Is he just like every other guy, who acquire weird excuses for being possessive, over-protective and madly jelly or stupid for no reason?

“Actually, I do travel by bus quite a lot.” She manages a non-flirtatious smile and replies. Quickly, looks in another direction to avoid eye-contact.

“Oh, I see. It's just that you don't look like the type of girl to travel by public transport.”

“Oh wow!” She thinks to herself. “I don't look like the type of girl?! You pretentious, underestimating little -” She curses at him heavily - in her mind. Rage bubbles within her. Who entitled him to pass judgement on her? What makes any guy decide what bus-travelling girls look like?

She takes pleasure in the thought of strangling him. Fortunately, she is good at keeping emotions out of her face. Good practice, she has had.

A fat woman sitting on a seat by the window, with an outfit calling for a desperate attempt to look good, gets up. Woman must be leaving on the next stop. Tired of standing, our girl takes the opportunity. He can't reach her now, too far away she sits. Our girl has successfully avoided Trouble. Phew.

She is a dubious liar, by the way. She prefers standing and enjoying the ride first hand with all the sudden brakes and overtakes. There is comfort in the bus's desire to reach the destination. There is a sense of purpose to it.

Or maybe she is just weird.



   

 

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