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Rising Soap

Real-life dramain the office
By Sabrina F. Ahmad

You've read their work, some of which made you smile, others laugh, and some probably irritated you to tears of exasperation. Perhaps you've wondered about the lives of the lunatics who bring you issue after issue of the Rising Stars. What goes on behind the scenes of this teen magazine of ours? Well, read on, fair reader...this is your peephole into the weekly drama in the RS office.
³ The Mood Dude
³ The Girl Next Door
³ Da Big Boss (The Editor)
³ Riyana
Also presenting our additional stars for today's episode
The Unforgivable Singer: The guy's got a rad voice, really. Somehow, it just fails to warm the icy cockles of our Editor's heart. US doesn't mind, really...he literally gets a kick out of it.
Solitary Sniper: That's what he calls himself. If it were up to me, he'd be the Solitary Snipee, since he's so often the sole recipient of our violent attacks.
Psychedelic Psycho: One look at his clothes, and you'd know what I'm talking about.
The Boycott Babe: Hint: she tried to boycott all 'phoren' goods without much success. Ring any bells?
Bonhomie: This is the Web Waltzer that waltzes into the RS every fortnight to hand in her two bits for the centerfold (or should that be two 'bytes'?)

Episode Three:
Last week, we nearly had a murder in the office when Mood Dude got ready for the kill, only to be thwarted by MoJo's secret weapons. We also had the girls in the office blanking out for no reason...something that's still going on, by the way, and only they know what's going on, and they don't want to tell. Humph! Khelbo Na! Anyway, when the scene opens this week, we see The Girl Next Door eagerly waiting for Wicked Sinner, who's been missing for a while now. Mood Dude seems to be in a good mood again, and we have a fuller crew for once, with Riyana, the Solitary Sniper, and the Unforgivable Singer being back after a brief absence.
(Enter Da Big Boss)
DBB: Kids! Into the conference room...now. You people remember her signature Darth Vader voice, I hope?
Well, in three seconds flat, the little cubicle is empty as everyone makes a mad dash for the conference room.
DBB: "Long time since we had such a meeting...let's get to the point. What is wrong with you lazy layabouts? I don't pay you to download stuff from the Internet and post it under your by-lines.
(All eyes turn towards The Girl Next Door) TGND: "Hey, why are you looking at me?"
Solitary Sniper: "Here's a hint: Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V..."
TGND: "Here's one for you: Ctrl+knuckle-sandwich"
Riyana: "Now, now...let's not get violent here..."
TGND, SS: "It's not your problem"
DBB: "Children! Be quiet! Next issue...we have too many reader columns here...The Connection has Got to Go!"
TGND: "Noooooooooooo!" This is followed by an Ally Mcbeal like moment inside her head, where you can see dozens of taka notes flying out of her pocket.
DBB: "Third issue...I want some more field assignments and cover stories out of you people. Any volunteers?"
A deathly silence prevails...gradually, you can hear that "Mawth" song from the movie Kaante starting to play in the background, and everyone looks at everyone else.
DBB: "Thought as much. I'll have to start delegating assignments then." She stops and smiles and everyone breaks out into sweat. "Mood Dude and Unforgivable Singer, I've got the perfect job for the two of you." She then proceeds to outline the project, the nature of which I'm not permitted to disclose, since the threat of a very painful death hangs over my head, but feel free to use your imagination here. When she finishes discussing the assignment, her two victims look like lunch is the farthest thing from their minds.
DBB: "Finally...I need some more ideas for both RS and LS...and if you don't come up with a few...well, let's just say you don't want to know what I'll do otherwise."
Let's step out of the conference room for a moment, outside those frosted glass doors. Everything has been nice and quiet for the past twenty minutes. Someone comes in with a stack of papers. The people of the Star City Section in the next cubicle are seated quietly at their computers. Say this was the situation right before DBB said those cataclysmic words. Suddenly something explodes inside the conference room. The building shakes. The lights flicker. Papers go flying everywhere. The Star City people jump in their seats. What's going on in there? All right, I'll tell you. Desperate to preserve their jobs, their lives, or whatever is at stake, all the RS members start booming ideas at the top of their lungs. Sheesh! What did you expect? This is a newspaper office, not a munitions factory.
DBB (slapping the table) "Okay, okay...meeting adjourned...you can leave now. If anyone sees the Boycott Babe, just let me know, okay?"

(Enter the Boycott Babe)
BB: "Hey guys, what did I miss?"
RS Crew: "Boss! She's here!"
DBB: "Alight, tell her to come and see me...and tell Bonhomie to see me too."
Mood Dude: "Sure thing, hey Bonhomie...Bonhomie?" (Looks under the chairs) "She's gone!"
TGND: "I think she went...eek!"
Her statement ends in a squeal as a brightly clad thing walks in. The rest of the team turns around, and they start shrieking too.
Psychedelic Psycho: Guys, come on, it's only me.
TGND: My eyes can't take it, I'm leaving.
BB: Me too.
Riyana: Me three.
What is this secret assignment that has the Mood Dude and the Unforgivable singer so uptight? Where did Bonhomie disappear? Find out next week, same column, and same teen magazine...

It's Not Your Problem Anymore

By Riyana

Before I go on to the problem for this week I have a message for a wonderful 11-year-old girl Mou. I'm very sorry that this message is going in so late but my PC was out of order and I received your e-mail on Thursday, June 12, 2003. Thus I am very sorry for disappointing you. I hope that your Appendicitis operation went very well. I want you to listen to me. Everyone has fears. Some people are afraid of bugs, some of horror movies, a maximum of dentists and yes even of doctors and their big needles and yucky medicine. Never feel ashamed of being afraid. Treat it like a game you would play in which overcoming your fears is how you win the game. And so what if you had to rely on a sister to overcome it? As long as you win in the end, that is all that matters. And as for your parents, with a brave girl like you, I don't think they will ever have anything to be afraid of again.

Also, dear readers,
In last week's column, you might have read that I declined an offer of e-mail correspondence with a girl called Hany. I want to share my experience with you. When I was around fifteen I started e-corresponding with a person who I thought was very much like me and we got on famously until the person and I actually met and I discovered to my shock everything was a big fat lie. Now, Hany was upset and she e-mailed me again bombarding me with questions like why I couldn't mail her, didn't I have friends and didn't I mail them etc.
Now, Hany (and readers) if you are reading this, you will know of my experience and after that I learned something. Virtual friendship is like a fog. Everything has an apparent look and you can't grab and keep the fog in your hand. I strongly believe in meeting people in reality, then making friends and then e-mailing. Not the other way round. And Hany, yes I do have friends (too many to count) and no I don't mail them (except for those living abroad) because I see them everyday. And one other thing, I'm not in a jail although you might perceive it that way. It's a question of confidentiality. Every profession has some bindings e.g. doctors take the Hippocratic Oath and lawyers take a similar vow. Similarly when we work for a newspaper, especially writing for an Agony Aunt column, we are even more restricted in how we proceed. I don't even talk about my work with my real friends. Most don't know about it. And, I make it a point not to print the problems of people who don't want them printed- I simply try to give solution like I did last week with SR. By the way SR, I got your e-mail but couldn't open the attachment so if it's important please resend it in the text form.
Hany, I hope you understand.
Hello Riyana,

This is Raven. I just want to inform you that I and my girlfriend having a very bad time in our relationship. And the main problem is the family. The family desperately trying to disconnect our relationship and they are performing it by giving wrong information over telephone. And this creates misunderstanding between my Cynthia and me. So, I request you to solve my problem. I will eagerly wait for your reply.

Dear Raven,
Whenever you see that there's some sort of misunderstanding or confusion you'll know that it isn't each other's fault, Talk it out and you'll be fine. I'd advice you to get cell phones so that you can talk directly. They now have cheap deals for students.

Mail your problems to notyourproblems@yahoo.com and we'll try our best to solve them. Due to limited space, I'm afraid we're only able to print one problem at a time. Please have patience and give us ample time to reply and print your problem.




By The Girl Next Door

Hey everyone!
Hope you're all enjoying the rains after the blazing heat of the past fortnight, although I'm pretty sure the local weathermen must be really embarrassed, having predicted another sunny week, only to get a downpour that very night.
Right, I know my mailbox has been packed to full capacity, so a lot of your mails must have bounced back. I truly apologize. I deleted all the junk, so you guys can mail me again. For those who are still going through their A levels, I wish you all the best.
Well, Father's Day is coming up, and I hope you all have some nice plans for your daddies. If you have any interesting Father's Day anecdotes to share, please mail them in. It's always nice to hear from you.
I suppose you might have noticed our new mini-series "Rising Soap". We've started it off by dramatizing the little events that actually take place in the RS office. Here's an opportunity for all you budding playwrights out there though: if you have any script ideas you'd like to share with us, please feel free to send them in. You might find your ideas being posted as the "Script of the Month". I'll be waiting to hear from you. Harry Potter fans, be on the lookout. I'll be doing a special section on the rumors very, very soon, and we'll have a special HP "Conspiracy Theorist" telling us his ideas. So keep your eyes peeled.
Okay, that's all from me this week. Take care, and stay cool!
Send your polls, opinions and comments to: thegirlnextdoor1@hotmail.com


My gang

By Daneesha

We are six members in a gang. They come in the evening and we play ghost. I have a friend named Razia who always plays the ghost. She wears a scary evil mask and makes us scream with fright. We also play dinosaur. I always play the dinosaur and scare everyone away. My dada gave me four jumping balls that glow in the dark. We switch off the lights and shut the door. Then somebody drops the balls and we have to catch them. We love to play picnic with my toy tweety bird, pots and pans. Sometimes my ma gives me real cakes to eat. I love to play with my gang.


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