Party at Parky
Yamin Tauseef Jahangir
The Grand Vitara, followed by a Lexus LX 400, skidded off the highway track and sped through the dusty road as we made our journey towards the KAFCO (Karnaphuli Fertilizer Company) area. Away from home, some 100 KM or so, a tiresome two and a half hours drive, we were pretty much determined to reach our destination- the Parky Beach. Located far away from the busy city life, this place gives you a chance to breathe fresh air and get a touch of nature. My friends and I, after our A-Level Exams, decided to break free from all the family rules and study pressure, and spend some time away from the madding crowd and relax for a while. And there's no other place like Parky Beach for that. It is an extension of the Patenga Beach in Chittagong, but the scenario is totally different from what you'll see at the Patenga Beach. Unlike Patenga, Parky does not have big boulders of rocks, no chaotic visitors, no 'fuchkawala', no 'feriwala', but has tall pine and palm trees and a sandy shore where the fine particles glisten spectacularly in the morning sun. Then there are huge fishing boats, parked right on the shore with gentle fishermen busy with their regular chore. Moreover, you'll find small cottages placed off shore giving you ample reason to relax and sip the cold coconut. Though the beach is being prepared as a picnic spot, there are still enough opportunities for picnic under the shades of greenery and it is in this region that you'll get to see a lot of seagulls.
I didn't quite realize what I would have missed if I cancelled my trip to Parky. We reached Parky at noon. Not to mention hunger was our first priority at that moment. Instead of renting a cottage we preferred to 'create' our own shelter. So we tried to make some sort of a tent and were happy with the fact that finally we made 'something'. We had bought food with us. Since we were starving it didn't take long to finish the session. We then relaxed for sometime under the artistic shades produced by the trees and watched the blue sky adorned with white clouds. The packs of clouds looked like cauliflower heads, and few even had silver lining. There was a gentle breeze that made for an absolute soothing environment. It made me feel full of youthful exuberance, as if I was ten years old again with childlike mischief, and felt a rush within myself to unlock every secret of life! The shrieking sound of the seagulls was trying hard to destroy the beauty of the environment, but such was the charisma of nature that nothing affected it in anyway. The sun rays penetrated the leaves of the palm trees and fell on my skin and the warmth made me feel so alive. My friends then decided to play soccer. Since we were eight in number, it wasn't difficult for us to divide into two groups. We marked an area making it the field and set up the posts; drawing a lot of attention once we started playing. The people of Parky were indeed very nice and friendly. Soon there was a crowd and we got ourselves engaged in a serious beach soccer match! The crowd cheered, roared and it was no different than playing at my school. The first match ended 2-1, and my team lost. Then two people who were watching the game showed interest in playing and we didn't refuse. The second match was awesome and ended in tie of 3-3. In late afternoon, we just ran for the water to cool us off.
The cold saltwater was a sigh of relief for us; I just felt like bathing all day long. The waves were pretty high and we had a lot of trouble standing, and when a wave hit us, the impact was so huge it almost got me off my feet! I even had the taste of saltwater, but nevertheless it was quite an experience. We then saw a fishing trawler moving at a snail pace. We asked for a ride and the fisherman agreed; we went for a spin and it was somewhat like going on a cruise. It seemed as if I was Jonny Depp from 'Pirates of the Caribbean' in quest for some hidden treasure. We came back to shore after half an hour and prepared some snacks. Later we watched the sunset together, took photographs, and had loads of fun. We also went up on a hill, which was a little distance away from the beach and watched the sea from there. The twilight was magnificent, the seagulls wandering over the crimson sky, and I started wondering how beautiful nature could be.
At dusk we gathered some woods and made a bonfire. We spent the evening in 'adda' with cups of coffee and the crackers seemed to be the cherry on top of an apple pie. We then headed for the city at around eight at night. I vaguely remembered what we did in the car, because I crashed on the seat and dozed off. The next morning when I got up in my bed, all seemed like a fantasy tale, but few bruises and backaches made me realize how true it was!
Parky beach is truly an amazing place to hang out with your dearest ones, to relax, chill, and have a blast. You'll get to see nature at its best, and the memories that you'll have I'm sure will last a lifetime. For me, the trip was definitely a memorable one and I would like to go back someday when I get the chance. Till then, stay on your toes and keep that duffle bag ready, who knows may be your chance is near!
Archaeologists find remains of Emperor Augustus' birthplace
A team of archaeologists recently announced they have uncovered part of what they believe is the birthplace of Rome's first emperor Augustus.
Leading archaeologist Clementina Panella said the team has dug up part of a corridor and other fragments under Rome's Palatine Hill, which she described as "a very ancient aristocratic house.'’
Panella said that she could not yet be certain that the house was where Augustus was born in 63 B.C., but added that historical cross-checks and other findings nearby have showed that the emperor was particularly fond of the area, she said.
Excavations on the Palatine in recent decades have turned up wonders such as another renewed Augustus' house, including two rooms with stunning frescoes of masked figures and pine branches. Panella said there are at least two houses on the Palatine where the emperor was known to have lived. Much has yet to be uncovered, hidden in underground passageways.
Pre-Roman Tomb Found Beneath Roman Forum
Archaeologists digging beneath the Roman Forum have discovered a 3,000-year-old tomb that pre-dates the birth of ancient Rome by several hundred years.
State TV Thursday night showed an excavation team removing vases from the tomb, which resembled a deep well.
Archaeologists were excavating under the level of the ancient forum, a popular tourist site, when they dug up the tomb, which they suspect is part of an entire necropolis, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
"I am convinced that the excavations will bring more tombs to light,'' ANSA quoted Rome's archaeology commissioner, Eugenio La Rocca, as saying. Also found inside the tomb was a funerary urn, ANSA said.
State TV quoted experts as saying the tomb appeared to date to about 1,000 B.C., meaning the people who constructed the necropolis pre-dated the ancient Romans by hundreds of years. Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of the god of war, Mars.
Last year, archaeologists who have been digging for some two decades in the forum said they believed they found evidence of a royal palace roughly dating to the period of the legendary founding.
Source: New Scientist
(R) thedailystar.net 2006