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Roses redolent of regret…

As I entered the almost empty bus, a thick, luxuriant, heavenly odour struck my sense of smell. There was no one in the bus, except myself, the conductor, the dziver, and a feeble looking gentleman sitting at a window seat .He was clutching most fervently to himself, half a dozen of the most regal dark red roses that I had ever seen.

As I handed my ticket to the conductor, I could not keep my gaze off those stunning, old-fashioned full blown roses. They were so rarely seen in the age of genetically engineered, perfume less, thorn less, little roses that flood every market. They were indeed a sight to see, so upright and royal with velvety petals and an aura of ancient regal ness about them.

"Stunning are they not?" asked the old gentleman breaking the trance and reading my thoughts. I nodded my head and looked at the old man. His eyes were dark pools of hidden sorrow.

"My wife was as beautiful as them if not more, both inside and out." "Was?" I inquired. "She passed away twenty years ago, this very day." " What did she die of?" I asked trying not to appear overly inquisitive. "Of a broken heart", he whispered softly almost to himself.

"I was a young man of twenty six when I first met my wife, a very pretty girl. I was handsome, wealthy, a bit of a womanizer and she was so different from all the other women in my life that it wasn't long before I proposed. She accepted me, and we got married without delay. However by the first anniversary of our wedding, I realized my infatuation and passion had died down to near nothing.

My restless nature resisted the bonds of matrimonial routine. I fell back to my old ways of parties, other women, and looking after my business. I started to push her away from me, hardly having any time for her, but her feelings for me had never changed. She still truly loved me, and continued to do so fervently.

The long lonely hours of waiting I so thoughtlessly inflicted on her caused her to take up her one and only passion, growing the most fascinating, dark red roses one had ever seen. Perhaps the sight of these breathtaking roses was the only thing that could make her tender heart forget the unhappiness I gave her.

Years rolled by, and into my sweet wife's life came a ray of sunshine, her two small twin baby daughters. But the sunshine did not last for too long.

Before their third birthday, they both died of severe pneumonia. My wife then fell ill herself, though the doctor could not diagnose anything specific. It was then I came home from one my business trips and discovered her journals. I read it and with every page I turned, a new realization crept into me…What a fool I had been these long twelve years of my marriage.

My wife loved me more that I could have imagined. In every entry nearly a whole page spoke about me, one of the lines read "Every time I go near my roses I think of Daniel, maybe I would have lavished all the lovm and affection I give to my roses to him, if only he was here…." I felt like the biggest fool in the world. Here as my own wife caring about me {o intensely, hile I spurned her emotions and went around having cheap meaninoless relationships with other women who actually meant nothing to me…

I rushed to her, held her poor sick hand, and told her that I loved her with all my heart. I told her what a fool I had been, and now everything was going to change.

But we do not always get that second chance to remedy our errors….and she left me to join our babies with God. She died with a smile on her lips and that indescribable look of peace on her face. She died holding my hand ith one of these roses. Before she left, she told me, "When I am gone, and if you are ever lonely and alone… and you nemd my love, hold my roses. They contain all the love I have ever given you."

Saying this, the man concluded, tears overflowed his eyes. "Go your way my dear, and live your life, but always make sure you never hurt anyone who truly loves you. Understand the difference between flirting, empty sweet words which may act as an illusion for a time, and genuine caring, for true love rarely comes your way." The bus halted to a stop, and the man left me with these words, and one of his lovely dark red roses.

By rAz

A good day

Nine thirty! That's enough for today. It wouldn't have taken this long if I would have come in time. Well.... it was worth it. Can I call it a date? Probably not. But the girl sure had a pretty face. It was worth it. Well then....lets wrap it up. I better not leave a light on like the last time.

The cell phone is beeping. Its an SMS. Wonder who its from! Don't want to find out just yet. Lets keep the mystery alive for a while. This is the thing I like best about 0mobile phones; you get an SMS and you always wonder who its from. 'You got 1 message' -- it says and you can open it whenever you want to. Its different when you get a call. You always know who it is and you have to pick it up when it comes. Where’s the fun in that?

Lets see now...the server is turned off, the lights are all out and the doors are all locked. No mistakes this time. Hmm...lets read the message now. I don't know this number. Even better! 'Cheers! We have won! Bangladesh is the best! I'm proud to be a Bangladeshi!' What was that anyway! Well....never mind. Its late, I do hope I find a taxi.

"Good night sir!" -- said the doorman as he held the door open for me. 'Sir!' - It felt a trifle strange at first but I'm used to it now. In fact, it feels rather nice. Who doesn't like to feel important? So, does that mean I'm 'somebody' now? Nobody is somebody! There's no philosophy in that line. Getting dry. Eh? 'Sir'?

"Say, you wouldn't know the score today. Would you?' -- I asked the doorman.
"Yes sir I do! We won!". He's go a million dollar smile.
So that's what it is about! Well, well.... that's nice. Don't get to hear a thing like that everyday. There's a taxi! "Taxi!"
I only found out today. I didn't expect a raise so soon. Well... I'm glad to know about it. Can always use a little extra cash. This job was a lucky break.

Twenty five thou... its not so bad. Not bad at all! Wonder what mom would say! Things are really looking up. The last few months have been really hard for her. It felt as though no good is to come from anywhere and now look at things! Getting good news from all around! I missed the game though. _ell....I was never into cricket anyway. So its all good. Couldn't be a better way to end a year. Well...wha| about my old theory? It was like this, - things start to look good from March, then things go well till June, then its down hills till the next year. Its really bad in December. It doesn't look like the theory is working. Does it? I'm damned glad it doesn't.

There's a good thing about going home late. There isn't much traffic on the way. It hasn't been 15 minutes yet and I'm almost home. It looks like those guys in that jeep are having hell of a time. There are six of them. Obviously they are out to celebrate the victory; brought a flag and all. I got my head out of the cab and shouted at them, "Hey guys! What's the score?" They gave me a queer look; took a while to figure out what was going on. Now one of them shouted back, "Yo fruit! Which tree did you fall from?" Serves me right I guess. Never mind. This has been a good day. Twenty five thou.... How about that!

I found my cousins waiting for me on the main road; they had been there for a long time. There were lots of people there and everybody was talking about the game. Wish I could be there when the festivities began. Doesn't matter. Lets make the best of what is left. We drove down to our cousins'. Emptied his fridge. It was a good dinner. All I needed then was a good smoke.

"Did you hear? There was an earthquake. It was really bad in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. 8000 people died." -- my cousin told me as he lit my cigarette.

"Is that so!" -- I took the first puff and it felt rather nice.
"Hell! I heard its terrible down there. People got washed away from the beaches and.... whole cities went under water...I heard they showed some scary pictures on TV."
"I thought you said it was an earthquake."
"Well... it was. A really big one! It seems it shook the hell out of the Earth's surface and there were tidal waves...ermm....something like that."
"Didn't you get the details on news?"
"Well....not really...the game was on and I forgot all about it when the we won."
"Well....that's the way it is."

Eight thousand peoplm! I think I sho}ld read about i| online. There it is on ABC news. "The world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years struck deep under the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Sumatra on Sunday, triggering tidal waves up to 20 feet high that obliterated villages and seaside resorts in six countries across southern and southeast Asia. About 8,000 people were killed in |he devastation." - Looks like its all true. This is bad! It could have been worse though...It could have happened here; it could ha~e been us. That's be terrible. I met a friend online. She was really upset about the disaster. She said she had nightmares about earthquakes since she was a baby.

"What will you do if it happens hear? Can you picture your sister, your father trapped under the house? Not dead...just TRAPPED and the whole city in ruins? What will you do?" -- She was really serious about it.

"You can't think like that. That's no way to think." -- that was all I could say.

It's a terrible tragedy. So many people! They never knew what hit them. Hope it doesn't happen around here. Well....I better get some sleep. Shucks! I was supposed to call that girl. With any luck I'd get her to go out with me this weekend. Oh well... I can do it tomorrow. Better get some sleep now. Have a meeting in the morning. Can't be late. I need that raise. Twenty-five thou... that's a good start! This has been a good day.

By Amitav Rahman

Laws of attraction
You are the one who made the trees rustle with zeal,
without the sense of how much I crave and how deep I feel;
You give me signs I do not recognize,
Yet your seduction you do maximize;
Why must you torment me, yet drive me mad with the look in your eyes,
which nothing in the world could ever pacify.
And though my love shall never die,
You'll continue to switch sides like a gemini.
What must I say my morning and my night,
that you enlighten me with spiritual light
your lips speak only of the wind,
your eyes only of the sea
Why must I not feel your presense within me
How many have you turned to be slaves for your love
that infatuates the rivers and the mountains above
Your hands they create only seductive creations
that massacre the mind and cross the barrier of imagination.
If you would have devoured me I would have wanted your love more and more
Your love is enchanting your kiss insatiably pure
I would have conquered the universe for you
your beauty is impeccably divine and true
And if I admire you ,the beauty in you ,so odd,
Why must n't I beg for the beauty of my God.
By Azmi Syed

A prisone of nature
The world is a wonder
With sorrows and joys.
Yet do I ponder,
Is the age of laughter
Less than the age of tears?
Now the dark night prevails longer
Just like the dying hunger!
And seems to be endless
As nature showed its
A mundane and dolorous existence
And with an unwonted presence,
Now do I live!
I am no prisoner,
Only a victim of nature.
Yet I feel incarcerated!
Will I ever see |heir glowing faces
As restless days creep by,
Of my close ones?
My heart still beats
Where hope still somehow survives,
Though my faith in nature
Is lost forever!
By-Takmilla Tabassum

Who's That Girl
I was hers the moment I saw her
Her brilliant, grey eyes
Her sweet, breathtaking smile
When she walked, she took me away with her
Who is she, so dazzling from head to foot
So vibrant in the way she spoke, moved
So representative of classic style, beauty
When she spoke, my eyes observed her like a hawk
The world was hers, nature bowed down to her
She was graceful and fair
She was astounding and smart
When she looked, my heart jumped with joy
Why am I so much in love
With a girl I don't even know
With someone I never talked to before
When she smiled, my eyes and ears stopped
Where are you now
Where is that amazing girl
I need to be with you, to love you
Come to me and never say you'll let go.
By Arbab Quadri


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