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18 years and tomorrow

The alarm went off at 12 a.m. sharp and she got up to follow the tradition of sneaking towards the fridge to grab a bite of whatever she could find and be the first one to wish herself the many happy returns of the day. As she returned slowly to her room, like always she didn't fail to bang her toes on the corner of the door that somewhat appeared open a few seconds back. She managed to swallow the scream as she pushed the curtains aside. The light of the night threw itself upon her and once again she asked herself, "Why are the stars so beautiful and yet so untouchable?"

Reflection was a must on her birthday and usually she'd sit down to write about all the changes she had gone through throughout the year. She would write down all the discoveries she made about herself…about her inner child, her faults and all that could be changed for the better. But this time it was different. She wasn't thinking about the changes over one year but the changes that had taken place over "the 18 years".
It all goes back to the very first memory at age three when she joined nursery. Then came the first day of school. The memories poured in from the first school play performance-to the first night sleeping on her own-to the very first crush…and of course the broken heart that followed it. All the joys and sorrows of her life have always settled themselves neatly in the course of her history. These memories would mingle in her mind from time to time. She always felt that she might as well try living in the past and maybe get lost in her own mind. It seemed much easier to do so rather then continue life in the present and hope for a future. The real world seemed too complicated. A simple girl with a simple life felt too insecure and powerless against the force of materiality. Another story on murder, kidnap, rape or acid attack took another piece of her hopes and courage.

Hugging her knees as she sat on her bed, she was too lost to have heard the Azan. The time had stood still the minute she woke up, but now a streak of orange light hit her eyes and she narrowed her eyebrows in confusion.

Something seemed a little familiar. This was the exact light that formed the same shadows in her room every morning. The woman, who just went to the bathroom to wash herself before saying her prayers, is the same woman who's been doing so for as long as anyone can remember. The voice heard of an old man already saying his prayers in the next room was and will always be the first man of his daughter's life. Her heart grew warmer at the thought.

She peeked from the side of the door (which she cursed as it reminded her of her painful toes). Even her brother got up to get ready for work because he had to go early that morning. Though a grown up man, he was groaning with his sleepy eyes like a little boy complaining about going to school. This sight could never be a memory, it happened too often. It was a déjà vu.

Suddenly she realized that there is no need of fear and confusion. These people, so called family, have always been there for her. They will never let her loose in this strange world by herself. After all she's only 18. To herself, she may feel that she's all grown up but to her family she will always be a child. There's no need for her to detach herself from her memories, but there's no need to live in them either. The sun grows older by the minute but the light it scatters always feels the same. Warm. She too will always be safe and warm under the blessings of her family. They might have scolded her several times.

She may have wanted to run away believing that her family will never understand her but at that moment as she stood there, she realized one thing. She thought about it as she slowly closed the door and looked out the window again. She slapped her forehead as she thought more deeply on it. She was misleading herself at the thought of being an adult overnight. But she admitted that it took her 18 years to understand the philosophy of life a little better, and it will probably take her longer to completely comprehend it. "Tomorrow may come like a breeze or a thunderstorm but those who really care will always be there."

India and Pakistan the names say it all

Hello dear readers! I believe that by reading the name of the article you people have already got the idea about this piece of writing. You might be thinking that here comes another piece of trash, which has no logic at all. But let me you something, I am a guy who believes only in logic and nothing else. So sit back, relax and enjoy this piece of writing, which has got all the logic in the world.

Well first of all let me tell you people that I m a die-hard fan of the Pakistan cricket team but I promise not to be partial in my writing.

So first things first. The basic problem we (the Pakistani fans) face in Bangladesh is that many ignorant people of our country tell us that we should not be supporting a country with whom we have battled in the past. Hence naming us with offending words like RAJAKARS and all that. Now, these people can't differentiate between politics and sports. Besides, those terrifying moments have been long forgotten and the political dealings between Bangladesh and Pakistan have pretty friendly in the yester years. And if we stick to the past, how on earth can we proceed to the future?

Again, the Indian supporters tell that India is really great not only in cricketing terms but even in political terms as they supported us in the war against Pakistan. But let me ask a question now, India did not get any benefit from us, then why did they support us in the war? I am sure that no one knows the answer. But we know that there is no love lost between India and Pakistan. So India might have supported us because they did not want Bangladesh to be a part of Pakistan, as it would only strengthen Pakistan against them.

I think most of the people agree with me other than the ardent Indian fans and now when Bangladesh is independent India is torturing us by the help of the gate of Farakka. They are also putting pressure on us, as we are not selling them our newfound asset that's GAS of course. So by now I guess people know what India is politically. I would also like to tell you people that it was not the Indians who appealed & agreed with the ICC to present Bangladesh with the TEST STATUS, it was the Pakistan cricket team. So tell me now, who has helped Bangladesh? So lets forget politics and come to cricket.

Pakistan has been a great cricketing side with great cricketing legends like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Javed Miandad and the list continues. Lets take Wasim Akram for instance, I don't think I need to say much about him because undoubtedly he is the greatest fast bowler this world has ever produced with more than 400 wickets in both forms of cricket. He also has the highest number of wickets in ODIs and I don't see anybody catching him up there. He also has four hat tricks altogether. No let's take another under-rated player, Inzamamul Haq. I called him under-rated because he is as big a talent as Sachin Tendulkar. Now why did I say so?

You see, he has got more than 65 ODI fifties under his belt. This is surprisingly far more than Tendulkar's. So, by considering the position he bats in, I dare say that he is a better batsman than Tendulkar himself. As he bats in the middle order, he is not allowed to play the way he likes because the slog overs come into play and he HAS to go for the big shots which results in his fall. If he had been an opening batsman, then probably people would be calling him the greatest batsman of all time. Now lets see Pakistan as a whole. Last year they went on a tour of Australia to play a 3 game ODI series. There they won the series against them in their home soil, where on the other hand, recently India were badly beaten by New Zealand when they went on a tour of New Zealand. Yes. Pakistan is an unpredictable team and at times they use it to their advantage by beating teams like South Africa and Australia by a large margin.

The Indian cricket team. These words immediately give you a picture of some guys with an offensive leader. I sure have reasons to call Ganguly offensive. But first, let me tell you something. Indian supporters tell that we, the Bengalis should support Ganguly, as he is Bengali too. Well, let me ask you something. Will you people support a guy who is of the same origin & culture if he is offensive? I think every 'smart' person will reply 'no'. So, why did I call Ganguly offensive? I am sure anybody who has seen the Natwest series final that took place in England will be aware of the fact. Those who are not let me tell you the summary. In this match India had to chase a huge total of 325 in just 50 overs. They started in a shaky manner but eventually went on to win the match. As soon as India won, Ganguly stood up in the players's gallery, took of his t-shirt and started to swirl it above his head shouting the words that should not be said in public.

Now does anybody still want me to support Ganguly? GIVE ME A BREAK. Another irritating thing about India in cricket is their excessive support shown in cable TV. Every nation wants to support its cricket team. But in the case of India, its excess and excess of anything is intolerable. Indian law states that betting on matches is illegal and the Indians say that they want to stop it. But during the cricket world cup 2003 I saw a song on TV. This song was sung by Adnan Sami and was picturised on some of the Bollywood superstars along with the whole cricket team. This song was shown to support the Indian cricket team…nothing is wrong with that of course. But the worse part comes in when the lyric says "jee bharke shirto pe shirte laganeka." This means bet as much as you like. Isn't this absurd that sometimes you are saying not to do a thing and sometimes you say that do it as much as you like. Indians definitely have a great cricket team but they are "total losers" when they face Pakistan.

Their past head-head records say that they have met 87 times when Pakistan have won 52 times and India have won 31 times. There were 4 games with no results. These records clearly show which is the better team. As India continued losing to Pakistan the Indian fans got more desperate and this might well be the reason for the Indian government to stop their team to face Pakistan. But they have given the political reason that they cant face a play a team with whom they are fighting on the borders of the country. Then why the heck aren't you doing that in other sports? I mean India is regularly playing hockey with Pakistan. Whatever may be the reason, the fact of the matter is that it is India who is depriving the cricket fans from enjoying the much entertaining India-Pakistan matches.

So by now I guess people have understood what I want to mean. (You have to be heck of a lot of dumb for not understanding this). I believe nobody can deny any of my statements as I have given some logic behind each of my statements (just as I promised J). But it is a free (!?) country and everybody has the right to choose. I gotta go now. But before I go (this goes to all the Pakistani fans) if any Indian fan says anything obnoxious about Pakistan then do remember to ask for reasons.


They Wish To Live

Tina was much later than usual to come home from school. Tina, the only daughter of Mrs. Khan, was nine years old and read in class four. She was a good student and a very gentle, kind hearted girl.

Suddenly, Mrs. Khan heard her daughters voice at the door, "Mother, please quickly open the door." She seemed to be very excited and happy. Mrs. Khan opened the door and Tina rushed in with a girl. She said, "This is Choity, She will stay with me from now."

Mrs. Khan looked at the girl once more. Her dress was dirty and torn, and she seemed to be very hungry. Mrs. Khan asked her daughter, "Where did you bring her from?"

"From… from the street, mother. I'll tell you everything later. Now, I'm hungry. Give me something to eat. Err… could you give Choity something too?"

After they both had lunch, Tina gave one of her dresses to Choity. She got books for her and tried to keep her happy all the time. At night Tina let Choity share her bed. Then she went to her mother and asked, "Are you angry with me mother?"

Mrs. Khan's reply was, "No."
Then Tina said, "I found her standing by the street, crying. When I heard from her that she had lost her father before her birth and her mother died a few days ago from malaria, I couldn't stand it anymore. At first I thought she was taking money from people, but she wasn't. She doesn't want to be a beggar. She is a little girl just like me. I have my family to depend on, but she doesn't have a mother or a father. In fact, now she has no one to love and care for her and to call her own in this world. Her mother worked in the house of people and thus she provided herself and her daughter. But there's no one left to provide her now. Mother, why was fate so cruel to her? I know that I'm not able now but in the future if I get the ability I won't let any child like me be an orphan or die without food or stay without affection and love. Everyone will be full of life. The world will be filled with joy and happiness. We will all live…alike. Mother, this is my dream."

Mrs. Khan had tears in her eyes. All she could say was, "God bless you my child and may He bless your dreams also."

Tina returned to her room and found Choity fast asleep with soft, contented smile on her face…

By Farana Leemon







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