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Fiction of the month contest winner
The Redofus

Tan stood there in the busiest road with a feeling that was a miscellany of emotions. The elation of coming here for the first time was surpassed by the nervousness experienced in an unacquainted place, which was again followed by the anxiety of not finding his mother yet. Thousands of Redofuses sped past him, each seemingly concerned about his/her own task only. Some barely looked at the under-aged Redofus and wondered what he was doing at a busy place like Route Vena Cava, but nobody had the time to investigate any unusual sight even if s/he wanted to. At this certain time, the Body, which was their habitat, was going through some kind of turbulent situation. An urgent declaration was sent throughout the whole population demanding all to apply their maximum effort to fight against the jeopardy.

Of course Tan was completely unaware of the fact, since he was an immature red blood cell (Redofus) who had not even pledged officially to perform the holy job of the Redofus. At that moment when the entire community was busily performing their duties, Tan stood at a corner, feasting his eyes at the sight of a snow-white, beautiful white blood cell.

His mother had always praised them. "The Whiteofuses (white blood cells) perform the valiant job of protecting the body. Without them, the body would not survive and all our existence would cease."

Tan, as a child, was not very overwhelmed by the fact that some other species did greater job than themselves. "What about us?" he would ask desperately, " Don't we perform any great job?"

His mother would laugh and say, "Oh my child, the Redofuses perform the holy job of transporting oxygen to all parts of the Body. Without us, the whole Body would collapse as well. It is just that all of us are equally important to run the Body perfectly. Never think of yourself individually… if you can contribute even an ounce for the prosperity of the whole Body, then it'd be your success." While he was thinking about his mother, someone tapped at his shoulder-it was Uncle Nil.

The news that his mother had been disintegrated (died) was a precarious shock for Tan. Uncle Nil had intended to leave him soon after giving the news, with an anticipation to carry on with his work following the declaration. He could not leave the despondent, mournful Tan alone and instead, decided to make the boy his company.

Uncle Nil started talking about the Body's situation to make the child's mind diverted from his mother's grief. "You know thousands of our brothers are dying at the Abdominal Cavity. Lots of Redofuses are falling out of the body. If we cannot stop the loss soon, then the whole Body will collapse."

Tan wasn't really interested until he heard that "the whole Body would collapse". He asked anxiously, "Why would the whole Body collapse if we all work properly?"

Uncle Nil shook his head. "It's not about working properly…it's about decision. The governing body of brain cells is settling whether it would be a good idea to force the Redofuses to perform process of clotting. Their decision will be executed as soon as it is announced. You know, most Redofuses are not very eager to end their life as a blood clot. It's a painful process and nobody wants to die for the sake of others. All wants to live as long as possible. Would you willingly die if you have the option of surviving?"

"I would, if it's for the necessity of the body," Before Uncle Nil could utter another word, he found Tan rushing towards the frontier near which they had already reached in the course of their conversation.

The Redofuses saw in utter disbelief, that a young Redofus was moving towards the edge voluntarily to form a clot.

Someone called out, "Hey child, don't go…you haven't even lived your life!"

As Tan found himself being trapped by thread-like fibres of clot, he said something that shook everybody. "The length of one's life doesn't matter; what matters is its utility. If my death today serves to protect the Body, I think that would be more useful."

Soon after, Uncle Nil found himself heading towards the frontier to form a clot. A feeling of ecstasy filled him, as he found thousands of others following him.


Alex hated the dark, black scar in her stomach. It was the outcome of an accident she survived just by chance, since the doctors feared that she'd die because of excessive blood loss. If only she know that beneath this bleak mark lies the most consecrated place where millions of Redofuses visit to honour their revered hero, Redofus Tan, then maybe she'd have no complaints at all.

By Kazi Priyanka

Bulu's bad day

Bulu scanned his wardrobe for the fifth time, looking for just the perfect outfit. He wanted to wear something, which would make him look perfect for America. Ok, here is the story: Bulu's friend Kalu, who came from America two days ago was coming to his house today. Not only was Bulu excited to see his childhood friend after so many years, but he also felt somewhat intimidated about what his friend might think of him. He was looking for an opportunity to ask Kalu to make arrangements for him and his family to go to America. Surely, he would not say 'No' to his old friend!

He took out the shirt he liked a lot, but had stopped wearing for a while because of a very embarrassing incident involving it. It was red in colour with yellow ducks on it. He thought it was a very cute shirt, and wore it to parties or other special occasions. Recently, he wore this to a party arranged by a friend. While he was on his way to that house, he noticed several people on the road pointing at him and laughing. He instantly checked his hair on his pocket mirror, but it looked fine. Even his rickshaw-puller turned to face him once and flashed him a brilliant smile. That is when he realized that his rickshaw-puller was wearing the same shirt as him! No wonder he seemed so eager to give him a ride! How insulting! He stopped the rickshaw and walked the rest of the way, lest his friend or any of his other guests saw him like this.

Now as he thought of it, he smiled to himself. It must have been a comical scene. Nonetheless, he put that shirt aside and took out another one which resembled it. It was yellow at the top, and grew darker and redder gradually, until it became bright red near the bottom. He believed that he looked exotic in that shirt. Ah! Perfect for the occasion! He then pulled on a pair of ripped jeans. Now he was satisfied. He had the perfect American street look he craved for. Or was it the street American look? Oh, never mind!

He went to check on his wife and daughter. His wife had absolutely refused to wear what he had, at first, asked her to wear, that is, her wedding lehenga. She said that she would never ever show her face in public in something like that, but then he reminded her that she had done so on their wedding night. She frowned and said, 'That was ages ago, when… well, that was just a long time ago.' He slowly saw her point. With her present figure, he doubted if she would manage to fit herself into that dress. He then chose an orange sari with sequins, laces, mirrors and what not on it! After grumbling about how it was too gorgeous and not suitable for today, when a friend would just come to visit, she relented.

It was his daughter's turn now. He found her wearing a pale blue, cotton kameez. No! That would not do at all! Kalu might get the impression that she is a typical Bangali girl meant for Bangladesh and not America. He asked her to wear a shirt and a pair of trousers. 'But you know that I don't have any Western clothes,' she complained. He instantly brought her his red shirt with yellow ducks, and a pair of jeans. 'No father, never,' she said calmly and put her hands over her ears, refusing to listen to anything he said. This new generation is so stubborn! He could not make her change into anything else. Sigh! One member of the family would have to remain khaat. Too bad!

Bulu looked at his watch and realized that his friend might be here any minute! 'Wife! Daughter! Be prepared with your best smile!' he announced. Just then, the doorbell rang. Taking one last glimpse of himself in the mirror to make sure the middle parting of his hair was still in place, he went to greet his friend. With a huge smile, that made his eyes look small, he opened the door and greeted … the fish seller. 'Rakhben naki… rui, telapiya, chingri…
' 'God damn it! Get lost!'

He sat in the living room, seething in rage, when the doorbell rang again. Once again, he plastered a fake smile on his face and opened the door. 'Moila daan!' shouted a voice from upstairs. 'God damn it!' he shouted once again. 'Bou! Get rid of the kitchen waste!' 'Oh yes! There is a hell lot of waste today!' she exclaimed. 'He better not leave without them!' The doorbell rang for the third time. 'I'm coming, baba!' she shouted, and, in that figure, ran with a gigantic bin in her arms towards the door. And thwack! 'Ore ma! My sari-eeee' Her scream made Bulu rush to the door, only to find his wife and his friend Kalu (who looked kalo-er than ever) covered in kitchen disposal. 'Oh dosto! I'm so sorry!'

'Huhuhahahahahaaaaaah!' The moila-wallah started laughing at the top of his lungs from the top of the stairs. Bulu turned red. 'You stupid cow! Collect all this stupid waste and get your stupid face out of my stupid sight!' He turned to Kalu. 'Oh friend! What bad luck! Come in and change, will you?

'Some other day,' said Kalu. 'I promise!' He pinched his own nose and ran down the flight of stairs.

'You! You!' It was his wife's turn to shout. 'You didn't bother to give me one tiny look, when I was the one who cooked and worked all day. Oh look at my brand new sari! I told you I shouldn't have worn it today! You stupid idiot! If you invite your Kalu one more time, I'm off to my father's house! That kallu! Didn't bother to say sorry to his 'bhabi.' Is that what America taught him? If that is so, I'm telling you, I'm not going anywhere near that country! Do you hear?'

Bulu sighed. She would go on for hours. The day went bad. It made him sad, not to mention mad! He did not feel glad that he had invited this lad. God damn it! It was even making him as corny as his dad!

By Marwa

The Gadget

The powerful beams of sunlight peeped into my room, well, actually into my brains through my eyes. At least that's what it felt like. The beginning of another niggling day. Blurry eyed, I searched for my cell phone to check the time because you see, having a clock on the wall is pretty boring. You have to turn your head a total 360° to have a glimpse of the time. Therefore cell phones are more convenient. Problem is, their size might give you a hard time recalling whether it's under your pillow or whether you just left it in the refrigerator with your favorite chocolate bars.

As for me, my cell phone has always been on my bedside. Just now I realized that it contains my world. My clock, my class routines, my daily notes, my games. (Well, all I'm trying to do is point out how important it has been to me, though I might sound like I'm advertising or something. So, don't get me wrong).

My cell phone. My best friend. It has been there in my times of need, my times of worries and my times of delight. During my o' levels, when my land line was dead, my cell phone had helped me solve the most tricky questions. When I was upset it had comforted me. When I was contented it laughed with me (I should be appreciative to my friends too for being on the other side of the line).

I too had been a very good friend to my cell. Whenever I grew rich, I would buy gorgeous dresses for it, generally known as casings. Before going to a party, my cell and I would wear clothes of the same color. We have always looked so good together. Whenever I was alone in a place, I would start scanning my cell phone to avoid any sort of boredom or embarrassment of being the only smart, (I actually mean goofy) one among all the pigheaded people around.

Time to stop this mindless blabbering and come to the point. Where was I ? OK, on my bed searching for my cell phone. As I continued to search for my best friend (my cell), I suddenly remembered something. It is something which now forms a bitter memory, something that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I had lost my cell phone forever!

It got stolen. Until today, I had never realized how much of a help my cell phone had been to me. Now that it's gone, I feel lost. Lost in a world of isolation, sadness, pain and non communication. However, life goes on. I might get another one but ahh! why didn't it strike me before ? A new one sounds nice, wait … Must get online to check the latest models.

By Nuzhat






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