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Track to Keokredang

After the SSC exams were over, I was devising ways to spend my vacation meaningfully. Normally most of my friends were opting for trips outside Dhaka or thinking of visiting their relatives, but I was craving for some real adventure. So two of my friends Tonmoy and Sonet and me, we decided to go to the top of Keokredang, the highest peak (3172 feet) of Bangladesh
After a long period of planning and preparations we started our journey on 4th June at 11.00 PM. We arrived at Bandarban on June 5 at 8 in the morning. Then we hired a rickshaw and reached Ruma Station. Here we had our breakfast and bought tickets of Chander Gari. Chander Gari is a four wheeled motorized van used for commuting.
Chander Gari started for Kalghat at 9 and reached Kalghat at 11. We saw a lot of hills and waterfalls from the roof of Chander Gari. Reaching Kalghat we boarded on a trawler and started for Ruma Bazar. It took about one hour to reach Ruma Bazar. On the way we crossed the river of Shangoo. There we took lunch and stayed in a boarding house named Hotel Keokredang.
Next day early in the morning we left Ruma Bazar and headed for Bogalake. It is about 24 km from Ruma Bazar. We walked all the way and reached Bogalake at 12 in the noon. There is a lake between the hills in Bogalake. In Bome language Boga is used for the world dragon. It is called the lake of dragons. There we took lunch and started for Darjiling Para. Darjiling Para is about 4 km from Bogalake. It is situated under Keokredang. We reached Darjiling Para in the evening. We stayed at the home of Sang Sim Karbari of Darjiling Para.
Next day after finishing breakfast we headed for the final goal of our mission the top of Keokredang. We started at 10.00 AM and reached the top at 10.22 AM. We saw the beautiful nature created by Almighty God from the top of Keokredang. The houses were looking like tiny toys and the river was looking like a thin sheet of paper. The clouds were floating around. It looked as if we could touch them. We saw many large hills of Bangladesh, India and Myanmar from the top of Keokredang. We spent the day in singing and dancing at the top of Keokredang.
At the evening we left the peak of Keokredang and headed back to Darjiling Para. At night we made a campfire and celebrated our victory. The next day we started our back home journey. We headed for Seikoth Para at 7.30 in the morning. After walking an hour we reached Seikoth Para. There is a church and a football Ground at Seikoth Para. We took rest for a while and started for Bogamukh. We were walking down the hills for several hours and after crossing a large waterfall four times we reached Bogamukh.
Then we started for Ruma Bazar. We were walking beside the waterfall and after crossing it ten times we reached Ruma Bazar and stayed in the hotel. Next day we started for Dhaka. That is how we conquered the highest peak of Bangladesh. I will never forget the wild experience of conquering Keokredong.

By Andalib Rubayat Pantha

An Evening with Tanusree Shankar

Ihad this unique opportunity to accompany my Fuppa and Fuppi to Osmani Memorial Hall to see a modern dance program by Tanusree Shankar.
The security measures there were very strong and no one was allowed to park their cars in the parking lot. As we entered, people with walkie-talkies were sorting out the guests and we were guided to the left lane heading towards the entrance. Little did we realize that the left lane was for the VIP guests! I've been to Osmani Hall once before while attending my first concert and I sat in one of the last rows.
The place seemed very big then. This time however, we were at the third row from the front and the place still seemed very big. It was 6:45 pm. The program would begin at 7:00 and the hall was already a full house.
Now moving on to the actual program and here there is absolutely no space for my lousy criticism. The program was a Modern Dance performed by Tanusree Shankar and her troupe and it was organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the High Commission of India, Dhaka. This was their third and last performance at Bangladesh having previously performed at Rajshahi Medical College Auditoriam and the Chittagong Muslim Hall.
The first dance was called "Ganesh Vandanna" where they showed their respect to their God Ganesh. It was followed by the "Fisherman's Dance" which I enjoyed the most. Here the dancers portrayed how the woman villagers waited for their male companions while they are out fishing. After "Fisherman's dance" there was "Dawn" where the artists performed a traditional dance where they supposedly danced the whole night until it was finally dawn. This was followed by "Himalaya", "Buddhhi Vijay", "Birds", "Fusion" and "Ahingsha". Amongst these I liked "Buddhhi Vijay" the most. It was about how a chess player was in deep thought for the perfect combination of moves. He couldn't decide what combination he wanted to play but in the end all the tension was relieved when the perfect move was discovered. I am ashamed to say that I have forgotten the name of one of the dances. All I can remember is that the name started with the letter P. "Fusion" was where the west met the east. It was a mixture of Eastern and Western form of dances. The program ended with "Ahingsha" where the dancers portrayed the various forms violence and injustice that existed in our world.
By now you might be eager to know more about Tanusree Shankar. She is a dancer and choreographer of international repute and was trained for seven years by the renowned Amala Shankar. Her choreography is based on the technique of "New Age Dance" following the path shown by Uday Shankar. Tanusree's dances are based on music by her husband Anand Shankar, composer and popularizer of world music.
Tanusree has handled the choreography at various prestigious events which include the Asian Games, the festival for India in the USSR, the Wills World Cup Cricket Championships and the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival 2001. She has toured over 35 countries and performed at the Carnegie hall in New York, Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C., Epcot Centre in Florida and at various places in the U.K. In recent years she has conducted classes at premier institutes in U.S.A. like the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center.
The co-artists comprising Tanusree's troupe were Paramita Chakraborty, Rashmi Karmakar, Varshaa Bardhan, Sreeparna Jana, Mahua Chowdhury, Debasis Basu, Jaydip Guha, Sujit Karmakar, Aniruddha Sengupta, Pinaki Mukharjee and Anil Das.
Tanusree Shankar and an official from the Indian High Commission nearing his stay at Bangladesh, also one of the program organizers were asked to say a few words at the end. They thanked us for the hospitality and how Bangladesh was a home away from home. The audience was moved when Tanusree said how close our hearts were to theirs. The program came to an end. Omitting the narrations by the hostess I had a great time and we were soon on our way home.

By Alex

we are not cowards

"WAS SHE A COWARD?" By Meher Nigar drew my attention. I'm sure each and every girl who heard about Rumi, Simi, has felt a like asking a very important question; where is our safety? We, the young girls, don't want so many things from the society except our assurance of moving safely wherever we are. No doubt there are so many girls who are facing the same situation as Rumi and they are at a loss what to do. Being one of them I can tell mine.
Three years ago a senior student of my university proposed me to marry him. Before the proposal he talked to me 3/4 days via another senior student. It was our exam time so he used to ask me how were my exams in front of my friends. As a junior student it was quite natural to answer. This is how the story starts. On 12th Feb i.e. 2 days before Valentines Day he sent me a gift by a classmate of mine. I couldn't recognise who the sender was because the gift did not have any address. So I opened it and found a card, a letter, and a poem praising me. I had the courage to return the gift on 13th, i.e. before valentine's day by that classmate.
On 14th Feb i.e. on valentine's day he, the so-called Romeo called me on phone and the conversation went like this:: Is Seema there?
Me: Who are you?
: I'm Akaash (a given name), is she at home?
Me: Yes I am. What do u want?
: How dare you returned my gift?
Me: Why should I keep it?
: Because I gave it to you and you have to accept it.
Me: You are not supposed to talk to me like that.
: I want to talk to you face to face.
Me: I don't want to.
: But you have to.......
He showed a very dominating attitude with each and every word he uttered. I stopped receiving phone calls but he kept disturbing my parents and me. Finding no other way I told this problem to a senior student and he was a kind of monitor of our department. He assured everything will be ok and not to worry. Every day he (Akaash ) used to wait in the parking lot or in front of the main gate. He looked aggressive. The late night disturbing phone calls continued again.
One day forcefully he talked to me and told me that he wants to marry me no matter what happens. He'll wait seven days for my answer and if the answer is no he'll do whatever he likes. I thought he was joking. The seven days went by coolly enough. No disturbance, no stalking. I thought everything was over. On the 8th day after my class some of my friends informed that he was is waiting in front of the lobby with a microbus and 7/8 cadres and 2/3 new faces. I was petrified; I couldn't talk. My friends took me downstairs by the back staircase and drove me home safely. Then he started spreading rumours about my character and me. He campaigned it throughout the departments. People used to stop talking and start staring whenever I passed through the corridors. It was a horrible situation. I was humiliated badly. Many of my classmates thought I was lying to them. He also threatened me by saying if I don't marry him he won't allow me to marry anybody else! If anybody comes along he'll kill that guy! He wants to see the "end of the game".
It is not possible for my parents to protect me everyday. Who'll assure my safe return to home? I lost my confidence and felt isolated in my own class. One year later he got T.C. for his political activities. But he keeps disturbing me even now. Most of the time he calls and at times he has other boys call for him. He said he loved me. Is this love or a sick mentality? I'm tired of everything. I don't know what my future holds. Do I deserve this loneliness all my life? Why? Because I'm a girl? A middle class girl who has no right to choose her own way of life? Would people call me a coward for not trusting any one or for not committing suicide? There are lots of girls like me who can't commit suicide and can't omit those chapters from life. Then who is the coward? Me or Rumi?

BySayma Ahmed Seema

Book Review

A Guide to Students

AGuide to Foreign Universities with Funding for Bangladeshi Students - Australia, Canada, UK and USA is the
First of its kind book in Bangladesh. It provides comprehensive information on universities with funding for Bangladeshi students. Tuition cost, minimum TOEFL/IELTS score needed, SAT averages, website and financial aid information available for every university in Australia, Canada, UK, and USA with funding. The book is authored by Tanveer Abbas, known for his academic excellence in home and abroad. He is currently working with the IFC/World Bank Group. Tanveer Abbas graduated from Dartmouth College, USA in 2001. In addition to his studies in the US, he had spent time studying at Oxford University, UK. At various times in the past, he had worked as an Analyst at Morgan Stanley (New York and London), Goldman Sachs (New York), and Schroders & Co (New York).
Published by OneWorld, Palladium Building (3rd floor), Gulshan Circle II. Can also be obtained from Boi Bichitra, Kemal Ataturk Avenue, Gulshan or by mail by writing to C/o- PO Box 9077, Banani, Dhaka 1213.





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