Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home





The Potter Chronicles

You would probably be thinking that you've had enough of Harry and his thrilling adventures for a while. But then again, you find yourself terribly mistaken when you lay awake in bed at night, those five books lying back to back on your shelf- just within you eyeshot. You start saying to yourself- well, since I'm not getting a wink anyhow, why not give the pentads another go… And, hopelessly- you start all over again, thinking to yourself it's about time Bloomsbury brought out the next predecessor in the Potter series.

Well, if some of you didn't already know- other Potter books exist! The craze that Harry Potter and his magical world have created in the minds of all is unparalleled in this age of literature. And why has it been able to capture the hearts of young and old alike? Well, a few reasons are:

•J.K. Rowling has created an imaginary world relating to rudimentary situations in the real-world: boarding schools (Hogwarts), ministry (Ministry of magic), popular games (Quidditch) etc.

•She has woven the characters into plots that can easily, also, be related to similar plots in this non-magical world of ours.

•The magic in Harry's world is very closely related to true and existing beliefs of the Wiccian and Pagan community. They bear an enormous amount of resemblance. Perhaps that is why the magic is so easy to believe.

•The propensity of Harry and his gang breaking rules of Hogwarts, not being that severely punished for them and turning out to be rewarded in the end no matter how big a blunder was made in between is probably a reason why children like reading about this kid-hero so much. It assist their minds to roam in the world of no-no's, a thing they have to surrender to in reality.

•Rowling has an inborn flair for telling the tale of Harry Potter, which unexplainably enchants all.

All the reasons stated above have lead people to think about the Potter books long after turning the last page. There have been numerous non-Rowling stems of the Potter series, written by mischievous and talented writers. Some adult readers are so captivated that they have begun concocting their own 'fan-written' Potter adult stories. Most of them get exposed on the Internet. You can find talk about it in the Potter news rooms. Out of these the most popular (one with the highest rating) has come to be "Harry Potter and the Paradigm of Uncertainty" written by Lori Summers (email: Lori@schnoogle.com). You can pick up a copy of this story e-Groups.

The story line of the Paradigm of Uncertainty takes place twelve years in the future, is extremely romantic in nature, and puts Harry living in one big dorm with several other witches and wizards. It is based on characters and situations created by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. The characters of Laura Chant, Sorry Carlisle and the entire Carlisle family in the story are borrowed from the excellent Margaret Mahy novel The Changeover. The story has been categorized as- romance, action/adventure.

Potter fans are of course everywhere to be found. There's perhaps one in every household. But, what about anit-Potterism? Ever heard of that? Well, it does exist. Pottermania somehow hasn't been able to dazzle these folk. They find serious flaws in this imaginary character. There's been numerous material produced on it. But an outstanding one is 'Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace behind the Magick*' written by Richard Abanes brought out by Horizon Books.

As Harry Potter and the magical adventures of a wizard in training continue to mesmerize millions worldwide, Abanes believes several questions must be asked: Does Harry Potter offer any positive moral lessons for today's children?

Is Harry's magick (*the word 'magic' refers to stage illusions by sleight of hand, whereas 'magick' refers to occult practices) truly fictional or is it based on actual occultism? How do the Harry Potter tales compare to the other fantasy books like those written by C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) or J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings epic trilogy)? And above all is J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series harmless fantasy or dangerous fascination?

Well, Abanes answers them all. The amount of research he has done to produce this primer is quite remarkable. Even though you may disagree on many points, the facts laid out in this book are amazing. You'll find there's more to Potter than meets the eye.

Intricacies Of The Chittagong Port.

I am sure that many of us are aware of the fact, that any country?s port has a big role to play in that respective country?s economy. This is because major maritime transactions of a country take place via Sea Port and like all other countries of the world, Chittagong Port is also an intricately developed area, which satisfactorily succeeds in carrying out the various transactions required.

Being intricate and complicated, Chittagong Port also has an extremely fascinating history. The history of Chittagong Port dates back to the 4th Century. According to history, this port had sufficient trade and was important enough to attract fleet from the Middle East ports, China and other South Eastern countries. The Arabs and Yemeni traders landed at the Chittagong Port in the 9th century. During the 16th century, the Portuguese took great interest in the locality around Chittagong, then popularly known as the ?Porte Grande?. However the present location of the Chittagong Port was established in the year 1887 and by 1910, four jetties were constructed to handle 0.5 million tons of cargo annually. The 1971 Bangladesh liberation set a new trend in the external trade, and this was how Chittagong Port Authority came into its present existence and the cost of overall investment of people?s money over the years along with it?s face value costs over hundred billions of US Dollars. A Chairman (Chief Executive) and not more than four other members head the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA). Exhausting, isn?t it?

Chittagong port deals mainly with the import and export of various items, which constitute over 70% of, total international trade of Bangladesh.

IMPORT: Food grain, Cement, Cement clinker, sugar, salt, fertilizer, general cargo, iron materials, chemicals, coal, edible oil, etc.

EXPORT: Jute and jute products, animal hides and skins, tea, naphthalene, molasses, frozen foods, garments, knitwear, fertilizers, etc.

Why indeed is trading through ships so totally popular? The obvious answer is that the cheapest mode of cargo transportation is transport through water and so evidently the most satisfying financially. Countries like Nepal and Mongolia are not that privileged in case of having access to water transport and thus have to revert to other forms of transport ? Rail, Road, Air, etc. In this case, Bangladesh seems to be one of the many blessed countries by nature.

I guess the next question that often does spring to mind is why Chittagong is more commonly known as the ?port city?, whereas other places i.e. Mongla could be just as efficient. The logical answer is that Mongla is a river port with complicated river route connecting to sea, whereas Chittagong is connected to the sea with shortest & easiest water route. Also, Mongla has no railway connection, thus having no distribution method of cargoes when loaded or unloaded to & from Ship. On the other hand Chittagong has better inland transportation facilities ? thus we can unquestionably say the term ?Trade, Trader and Trading? definitely begins from here.

The Chittagong Port being Semi-Govt. body is a ?Service Oriented Port? and not profit oriented. Pay roll, accounts and Billing are done using Computers. Massive computer training is given to Officers and staff, along with a supply of approximately hundred personal computers. All the 15 Heads of Departments have Internet connections. An Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Dhaka has been in operation since 1987, with an annual handling capacity of around 80,000 tonnes . At present, one Container train runs daily each way between Chittagong Port and Dhaka ICD. Bangladesh railway is considering introduction of another train running daily from either side.

The Chittagong Port Authority maintains a full-fledged Fire Fighting Unit within the jetty premises with modern equipment to combat fire. The sheds, warehouses and the yards are provided with sprinklers, hydrant system with different types of fire extinguishers and fire buckets. Adequate facilities are present to deal with fires on marine vessels too and any such emergencies.

The Security Department takes care of the various security issues of the port. Yet, it seems to suffer from a ?significant setback?. ?We don?t have any mechanism to ensure that no illegal or contraband items are going out or coming in?, comments Lt. Col. Md. Sarwar Shahid, Director Security. He mentions that- due to time factor and easier facilitation to importers & exporters, only about 30% of break up import cargoes and only 5% or less full load container cargoes are checked. This is hardly reliable, as no one can be unconditionally trusted. There are plans of setting up a reliable cargo and vehicle scanning system in the near future.

Rumors have been floating around in the past that the existence of a new port was required to manage and handle the ever-increasing number of vessels and containers. Yet, for now anyways, those rumors can be laid to rest, as Chittagong Port?s future plans include the construction of a New-mooring Container Terminal (NCT) : a project for construction of a Container Terminal having 5 berths of 1 km length and 22 hectors back up facilities is in progress. It is expected to be completed by December 2005. On completion of this vital project, the total container handling capacity of the Port would be around 1 million TEU?s Containers (having length of 20 feet). Lt. Col. Shahid also mentions that after this, there will be no need for the presence of any other private port. Well, it surely seems that the Chittagong Port is going to be with us for a long long time to bring enormous financial benefits to the country & people.

By Jennifer Ashraf.

The Rude Relity

We have just entered into a new year. It's the time to refresh our dreams, energize our determinations, learn something from our previous faults, turn around to see the mistakes we have done, determine not to repeat them. Yes, of course these are the promises we make every year before and after entering into a new year. But we always forget them when we step forward. Things remain the same, we remain the same, the poor remains poor, the criminal remains criminal and of course the politicians remains politicians- don't even try to be a patriot.

It has become more than 32 years of our independence. At least 32 times we had make promises to ourselves, to the country people to make a better tomorrow, to make a better place to live in. But for the Bangladeshi peoples promises are made to be broken, dreams are dreamed to be vanished after opening the eyes. 32 years don't take much time to count but if you count the expectations, the dreams- it would become uncountable.

Is this too impossible to make this country a better place? May be not. Look at Malaysia. What was the difference between us? What is the difference now? There was no lagging in our patriotism and still now at least 80% of the country people have no lagging in their love for the country. But for the other 20% people all of us are suffering. These are the people who are taking all most all the advantages of an independent country but in return they are kicking the country into the dustbin. Saving a huge amount of black money in their bank accounts, buying and using the best and costly things, becoming the owner of many assets- they call themselves patriots. Was there a pinch of difference between the loves for the country of these people and the people who are spending their nights in the railway station, footpath and under the tree during the liberation war? Then why there is a huge difference now? Why some people have become the owner of the country and the other has become a burden for them.

Why "me and my prosperity" has got priority over "country's prosperity"? Why don't they think country's prosperity" is also his prosperity. Don't they feel ashamed when the foreigners look at them with an insulting sight and say, "Bangladesh is a country of corruption, pollution and poverty"? Don't they feel guilty to beg emotional and financial help for the country from the rich country for 32 years? Don't they feel ashamed to announce "X" has given us "Y" million dollars to do "these" things with a big "V" sign and a big smile on their face? They act like they have got a gift. Why don't they count the interest that the country has to pay for this huge amount of loan? What they count is the percentage they will get from it. They are mortgaging the country for 32 years. But if you count their bank balance and property I'm sure you would be able to buy Bangladesh with that (some think the country can be sold). But who will want to buy this nearly dead country?

Now-a-days all of us want the same thing, feeling the same need- a leader. Yes, a leader- an honest, dedicated, determined, true patriot-who will lead us, guide us, show us the way to fulfill our dreams, make this country a place to be proud of. Just like the "Mahathir Mohammad" of Malaysia. Maybe we have to wait for this leader till the doomsday. But we would obviously wait for him/her. What else we can do?

By Suravi






home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

© 2003 The Daily Star