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Desperate teenagers
(Of desperate housewives)

Don't think I am complaining about housewives being the only 'drag force' of a teenage life. It is just that moms who don't have 'official' jobs tend to spend more time at home and so can pay full attention to their children. All this attention accrues up the annoyance at their children's lifestyles… and this often leads to verbal quarrels, which leads to major altercation! Even as I am writing this, my mom is asking me not to shut the door of my room, since, according to her it is my way of "shutting myself out from the family"! There were times of desperation when I tried to convince mom to allow me to go to underground concerts. Her verdict was that these concerts are places for 'hooligans' and since I am a girl, "Accidents can happen!" I retorted, "Ma accidents can happen anywhere!" Despite many efforts (and I mean many) ma says," Good girls don't go to concerts (!)" Now you tell me after this, how can a good girl like me say 'please'?

Dating is still an activity of forbidden charms, and we Bengalis aren't far behind! Desperation to meet the boyfriend or girlfriend inspires teenagers to lie to their mothers, going up to the extent of putting a friend's reputation in danger, or even breaking their trust, stealing money from their parents and not to forget secretly 'transferring credits' from mom or dad's mobile to his/her own cell. Now, if parents could only be a little more approachable, teenagers would be open enough to discuss their secrets with them. Rashid, 18, says, " Whenever I try to be open and friendly with my mom, she says I am becoming one of the Westernised teenagers and drifting away from our respectful cultures." Keeping parents informed is best for one's safety as well, but, then again it are some parents who create the so-called generation gap, by saying; "Society would demean you!"

Spending too much time on the phone or the net? Fardeen says, "You're bound to hear 'Who was that?'…or 'ettokhkhon keno'…or 'kar shathey kotha bolchiley?' It is really bothersome when parents continuously try to coerce us, trying to find out about our life, whoever we hang out with. It seems the world is only peaceful inside the stench-filled toilet where nobody can bother you!" Very true indeed Fardeen! I have faced the misery of closing down the chat window every time mother enters my room. Chatting probably doesn't bother her, the fact that bothers her is that I don't tell her whoever I am talking with or whatever I am talking about. Sometimes when friends chat, they may use words, which aren't soothing and are best left unheard or unread by mothers!

Music is a big part of every teenage life. It is not what bothers our parents. It only bothers them when we're disrupting the serene environment. It also bothers them when we sneer at the sound of Rabindra Shongit. Instead of forcing it on us, parents should give us the freedom to analyse and then choose. Of course some of us weren't interested in Rabindra Shongit to begin with and that's why we switched on to English songs! It is tough to enjoy music when you cannot comprehend half of the words, which you are listening to! The point I am trying to make is that we should be allowed to explore both sides of the coin before choosing something. But there's also another side of the story. Ayesha, 17, says, " My mother asks me why I waste my time listening to an unnecessary thing such as music! I thought music was entertainment, and entertainment is miniscule in a city like ours"

Watching the twitchy twins of the Desperate Housewives, one can only recall their own childhood hungamas…the countless operations which we carried out which were termed "naughty" by our elders. Such as pulling on other baby's clothes, their hair, puking out whatever food mother forced inside our mouths. At that time little did we know what kind of troublesome kids we were for our mothers. It is high time we teenagers realise that whatever our mothers do for us, most of the times it is for our own good.

Likewise, it should not be all that hard for desperate housewives to put down their desperation to desperately try and change a desperate teenager's lifestyle! They should let go of their "little pests" once in a while. After all, what we resist persists!

This article is not intended to rupture the image of housewives by any chance. It is purely the babblings of desperate teenagers going through the desperate phases of their lives. The names have been changed for privacy's sake.

By Critico Nino

Part V
American studies institute

I remember promising my readers in my very first write-up on ASI that I would introduce them to my fellow participants in one of the upcoming articles. I know it took me sometime to actually present the 6 other participants from Bangladesh, who are not only a bunch of very brilliant undergraduate students but who have at the same time proved their ingenuity, ability and aptitude in teaching, debate, literature, handicrafts and community services. I dedicate this article to my six fellow representatives from Bangladesh, who upheld their country's prestige, history, heritage, culture and economy in front of the Americans, Indians, Pakistanis and other nationalities of the world thousands of miles away from their home.

The six other fellow participants from Bangladesh included 2 young men and 4 young women. We had in our group the very decent Muhammad Asadullah, a debater and a student of the English Department of Dhaka University. His knowledge on historic and current world affairs and his intelligent questions during the discussion sessions were an asset for the whole South Asian group. Asad was always there with a smile to help everyone. And we often took advantage of his gentleness by using his apartment for any purpose, be it for cooking, a boisterous gathering or an important group meeting…

We had in our group the very polite yet fun-loving Radia Abdul Wahab. Studying Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering at North South University, Radia is not only a gifted student she is a qualified Biology teacher and a great cook. I'm sure that none of the South Asians will ever forget the splendid vegetable and fish curries that she prepared whenever we threw a party during our stay in the U.S.A.

We had in our group computer whiz kid like A.K.M. Tauhidul Islam James. I'll never forget the day when the result of his term final came out and some of us dyed his beard and hair pink (!) to celebrate his terrific performance. James bhai, who's a student of BUET guided the whole Bangladeshi group throughout the long 6 weeks. He's been our guide and our big bro. Even the Pakistanis and the Indians resorted to him whenever they stumbled upon any problem, be it regarding computer, crisis within friends or shopping for electric gadgets. We would never forget his relentless effort in compiling all the work of our home country presentation, his every single effort to keep us united at all times made it possible for the Bangladeshis to come up with an outstanding presentation and a cultural show in the U.S.A. The kudos and the standing ovation from the American audience was indeed one of the biggest achievements for us. After all, we believe that we were given this opportunity by the U.S. Department of State to promote all the good things that our country has. Our emphasis on our War of Independence, the prospects of our tourism industry, our position in the world as a moderately secular democracy and our rich and deep-rooted culture and traditions highlighted Bangladesh as a small yet a promising nation in the world map.

We had a budding architect in our group- Tanzela Mansoor, a second year student of the Architecture Department of BRAC University. This smart young girl with her folk dances won the hearts of many during our home country presentation. Her speech on the Tourism of Bangladesh was indeed a prime attraction of our one and a half-hour long presentation. We had a poetess in our group too. I don't know if every one will remember Kazi Tahmina (Toma) for her Haikus but I'm sure she'll be remembered by all for the delicious alu bhorta, begun bhaji and egg curry that she cooked almost on a daily basis. These simple foods tasted heavenly when all 20 of us were striving to cope with the bland American food. Toma studies in the English Department of Dhaka University.

And last but not the least we had someone like Anahita Ahmed in our group. Not only a bright student, Niti is a person who has an in-depth knowledge about what's going on around the world. At times I wondered how this girl knows so much…
! Sometimes the lecturers had a hard time finding appropriate answers to the smart questions Anahita threw at them. Anahita, who is now a student of Institute of Business Administration (IBA), often said during our stay in the U.S.A. that she would someday govern Bangladesh... Oh and I will never forget the yummy shahi tukra garnished with chocolates and nuts that she prepared for us on a number of occasions.

Our home country presentation took place on the 28th of July. The tension of representing our country for the first time outside Bangladesh at times made us nervous and shaky. But the support we got from many of our friends living in Bangladesh and of course, Fahmida Chowdhury, the Cultural Affairs Coordinator of U.S. Embassy's American Center always helped us to get geared up before every important occasion. I am sure that such a rare opportunity thrown at the young people to promote their country and culture certainly helps enormously in better exchange of ideas and in bridging gap between countries. We are very hopeful that in the upcoming years more and more students will become part of this South Asian Undergraduate Student Leadership Institute and broaden their horizons to become more educated global citizens. I'm sure that such an opportunity for our young people would open the door to innovations and future economic and educational developments for Bangladesh and the South Asian region at large.

By Wara Karim

RS Hangouts
Grill N' Chill

If you are well into mid teenage years and are living around Abahoni Cricket Field, the smell of grilled chicken surely brings saliva into your mouth! Exclusively sponsored by Benson and Hedges, this is a favourite hangout place for the Abahonians and teens of all shapes and sizes. When you pass by Dhanmondi Road 11, around the afternoon time, expect to see throngs of youngsters chattering and sprawling inside and out of the splendid but small eatery. Most of them are students from the surrounding coaching centres and also the Abahoni Field, however and it would be kind of embarrassing for old dating couples to be surrounded by kids who practically know each and every other person.

Like Boomers, Grill N' Chill has a large cosy sofa at the front corner, and right beside it, there's a touch-sensitive jukebox. From Metalica to Incubus to all types of Bangla songs, anyone can use the jukebox, register for free and idly pass the time away while munching away fries or just chilling out with friends. The only drawback is that there's only one jukebox, so you have to patiently wait for your turn to listen to the songs when the place is filled. If you want to rule the jukebox alone for a while, I suggest you try finding out the break periods of the surrounding coaching and avoid coming those times…unless of course you're a student studying there!

Entertainment apart, the place is famous for its delicious Putine. The food prices are comparatively cheap and affordable (considering the fact that mainly teenagers hang out there). Most of us would prefer a cup of beverage and fries however. Putine costs around 90 Tk; coke has the usual price of 15 Tk. You can also choose from a range of burgers and grilled items, all within your budget! However if you're lazy as I am, I suggest you take a friend who wouldn't mind being waiter for a day, since the place has self-service rule!

I leave it up to you to find out about the other delicacies that Grill N' Chill has to offer. Drop us a line about your favourite dish, while we hunt down the other RS hangouts! Till then, adios!

By Shamma M. Raghib

I am sorry…

I am sorry for all the pain I have caused you
I am sorry for all the times we have faced,
I am sorry that I'm having to leave you
I am sorry for all my mistakes.
I am sorry…
for the cups of coffee I made you drink
for the many calls and gossiping,
for all the dreams I made you dream
for promising.
for all the teddy bears I gave
for the lost ring you forgave,
for all the kisses you made
for coming late in dates.
for driving you all the way on Fridays
for forgetting to call you at nights,
for walking you home everyday from school
for making you laugh, my moon.
for taking you to the movies you hate
for all the popcorn fights on the theatre stage,
for tickling you whenever you started to cry
for all the 'sweet dreams' before night-time.
for all the quarrels we have made
for not talking to you in May,
for the surprises in your birthdays
pretending to have forgotten them always.
I am sorry…
for leaving
for saying sorry so many times
for making you laugh one last time
for asking you not to cry…
I will miss you always.

By Adnan. M. S. Fakir


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