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Shattered glass

Tanim asked me if I could help him get a girl he has been wanting to go out with for decades. Someone so adroit as myself definitely proves indispensable in such situations. I hadn't much to do that day, so I agreed. And besides, Tanim knew how to have a good time and living drab was finally getting to me. Trying to look my best, which was never good enough, I went to his place.

This was the first day of my life that my character included a spectacle. (I always knew I was nearsighted, but avoided telling my parents for fear of being forced to wear eyeglasses).

I must admit that it made me look foolish. With a massive figure and tan tinge to my complexion, glasses and I were never an item. And it seemed to me that everyone recognized that glaring fact. Whether it was on the street or in the café people were gawping and grinning at me, maybe even passing a snide remark or two. Though I felt that flagrant behavior like these should be ignored, after a while they were really getting to me.

Tanim was sitting opposite to me in the café. He tried to cheer me up with a voice of mock consolation and said, "Don't take it too hard, man. These new glasses are your ticket to fame. Chicks will adore you. And they might even consider you smart."

I remembered Tanim could be strictly irritating at times. "If that was the case you would've needed them the most." I replied slightly annoyed. And we stretched the conversation for several long minutes, which seemed like hours, till the girls came. That's when misfortune came down crashing upon me.

Tanim was taking his every chance at insulting me in front of the girls and I wasn't able to put up a sturdy defense. The rude comments and gestures were mostly about my new glasses. The girls were giggling nervously and exchanging gleeful looks. Maybe Tanim thought that would get him some esteem with the females. After eons of verbal abuse I felt that I had had more than enough. So I got up and attempted my best to burst Tanim's enthusiasm, but frankly it wasn't of much use. I felt like I had to make a class exit, so I took off the glasses threw it hard on the ground and shredded it with my sandals. The shards of shattered glass looked like diamonds scattered on the floor tiles. I glared at it with contempt and walked out the door. When I was outside I felt a tad bit of remorse and figured that I might regret this for a long time. Tanim came out after me.

"I swear to God, man, another word out of you and I'll grind your behind into pulp", I said. I was shaking with fury. My eyes twitched slightly as I was always very nervous around girls. Being insulted by my best friend in front of a couple of girls was not my idea of a good day.

"Chill. Dude, it's just a joke. Or you could also consider it as a complement," Tanim burst out into laughter again only stopping to catch his breath. "And you should mind your language in front of the ladies."

The girls followed Tanim outside and one of them was holding the remnants of my glasses. She came to me and said in a serene voice, "I think the frame might need a little fixing. Other than that that it's pretty much intact."

I stared at her for a while and Tanim was on his toes to start again, so I looked away and started to cross the road. I realize that a car was speeding my way and before I could react it hit me hard from the left and set me flying on to the rigid road. I might have survived that blow. Few months in the hospital would make up the ruse. But sadly, the driver didn't have the decency to stop. The car drove over my limp body diminishing what life was left of me.

So that's how I died. It was pretty amusing, yet pathetic. I should've kept my cool that day and as I didn't, I paid a hefty price. The car tore most of my flesh and smeared the asphalt with bright red blood. As if it wasn't bad enough dying in a car accident, I died with the burden of guilt about littering the roads.

[Note: The characters and the plot of this fiction are fictitious. Readers can send their feedback at the following address: voldemort2099@yahoo.com]
By Knafice-Man

Book review

Alias Grace

If you like your murder mysteries to unravel slowly, like the Dance of the Seven Veils, where layer upon layer of the puzzle is slowly stripped away until you reach the naked core which holds a shocking secret, then Alias Grace is the book for you.

Winner of the Booker Prize 2000, Margaret Atwood bases this novel on the true story of Grace Marks, a house maid accused of murdering her employer and his paramour.

The novel begins with a dreamlike recollection of Grace's thoughts and emotions immediately preceding the murder. It weaves through fragments of information about the court hearing, and a collection of quotes from different people, before we arrive at Grace herself, where she has already been handed her prison sentence, spent some time in an asylum, and is now living out her term in prison. A model prisoner and a paragon of virtue (if that word may be used for a 'celebrated murderess' as she calls herself), she is the subject of much controversy. There are people who believe she is innocent, psychologists who are interested in her because of her stint at the looney-bin, and she is constantly being shuttled from the jail Governor's house, where some doctor or priest or shrink is always waiting to examine her, to her prison cell.

Into her bleak and hopeless life comes a young psychologist, Dr. Simon Gordon, and Grace finds him unlike all his predecessors, and to him she begins to narrate the story of her life. The story is told from a perspective that people have hitherto ignored; they have been all too eager to label her as they see fit without really listening to her, and here is where the story really kicks off. We get to learn about her obscure beginnings in Ireland, her eventful passage to Canada, her foray into the real world, her happier years spent with her best friend Mary Whitney, until we slowly progress towards the events which led to the murder and the trial.

Atwood slips into her characters' shoes with almost effortless ease. She narrates Grace's story in the kind of language you would expect from a woman of her time and station, and can just as comfortably switch to the correspondence between the other characters, so it is a very believable story. Don't be fooled by the languid pace of the story though; there's a twist waiting for you towards the very end.
So is Grace a murderess, a madwoman, or merely the victim of circumstances. You read and decide.

By Sabrina F Ahmad

Yahoo Messenger 7 with voice

So what's new in Yahoo messenger 7? Well they started Voice conversation but wait! Audio conversation was available on the last version 6. Yes at first I also thought that, but when I begin to use it, I feel the difference. In last version of Yahoo Messenger and recent MSN Messenger they give you audio conversation possibilities by using normal data input output method. That means in last versions when you talk, messenger just convert it to digital data files and send it to other messenger clients and the result is poor quality sound sometimes robotic sound. That's why many people prefer normal telephony technology is good for conversation!

But now technology has been changed in the Yahoo Messenger 7. In Yahoo Messenger 7 in spite of converting audio it just uses VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to send and receive voice conversation and for this they change the brand name "Yahoo Messenger" to "Yahoo Messenger with voice". VOIP technology is rapidly used by many renowned telephone companies because of high quality audio transfer. VOIP means there is another server just for sending and receiving voice not data. Result is high quality sound in lower speed net connections.

His strident 'mutterings', sometimes in the form of recital of 'surahs', or scolding the I was astonished when I hear clear voice (Even sound of a paper pin!) conversation by using new Yahoo Messenger with my low speed Dial up net connection. Even in new version you would not find any clash between sound and other disruption and "hands free" option in Yahoo Messenger is now tighter and more power packed! Although main user interface is not changed but there's major improvement in Photo Sharing, Yahoo! Avatars, Audibles, Voicemail and Call History. So I recommend downloading it from:

From this link you will get the full executable version of Yahoo Messenger 7 (About 8 MB).
By I.M. Tanjin Ahsan


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