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Rising Stars Exclusive
Tete-a-tete with Jal

Pakistani band "Jal" has been setting the Dhaka scene alight in the early days of September with some scintillating performances all over the capital city. With their hit songs, "Who Lamhe" and "Aadat" the band have made their first trip to Bangladesh a major success. Farhan Saeed, the vocalist, Gohar Mumtaz and Aamir Shazi, the guitarists, have not only wooed audiences but have even set a few female hearts fluttering.

Their concerts have seen venues packed to the rafters as ardent Jal fans packed in to watch their heroes in the flesh. Etcetera Bangladesh, gave the youngsters a unique opportunity to meet the band in an hour long autograph session held in the quaint coffee shop on the first floor of their Dhanmondi branch.

Amidst resounding cheers, lengthy queues, moony eyes and loud declarations of undying love, Rising Stars had the opportunity to catch up with Jal for a short but snazzy one on one interview.

Rising Stars (RS): How much have you enjoyed Dhaka so far?
Farhan: Well, to be honest, we really haven't had the time to really go around and look at the sights and sounds of the city. It has been pretty busy with four concerts in a short span of time. It has really been just a lot of travelling between the hotel and the concert venues. Other than that we have visited a few places and honoured some dinner commitments.

RS: Anywhere special that you visited?
Gohar: Well we did go to Water Kingdom…

RS: …you must have enjoyed it there?
Farhan/Gohar: Yeah! Water Kingdom was a lot of fun!

RS: How impressed were you with the crowds at the concerts?
Farhan: We were all really amazed at the number of people that turned up to watch our performances. We had no idea that we were so popular here in Bangladesh. We had a huge number of people attending all our concerts, especially in Sheraton where more than eleven hundred people turned up. It was impressive to say the least!

RS: How impressed where you with the Bangladeshi bands? Farhan: This was our first trip here and unfortunately we really did not get to experience the Bangladeshi bands first hand. But I thought that Ayub Bacchu, who played with us at the Club Amazon concert, is an exceptional guitarist and that his band was excellent.

But we have heard very good things of Bangladeshi bands from Salman who has been to Bangladesh before…
Salman: …yeah, I was here with Junoon (during the Ampfest concert at the Mirpur stadium) some time back and thus I had the chance to listen to a lot of Bangladeshi bands play. I think out of ten that I heard at least six of them were excellent and most had very good potential.

RS: What do you think the Bangladeshi bands need?
Farhan/Gohar/Salman: …media exposure more than anything else definitely.

Farhan: The potential is immense from what I hear. Its' just that they need the media to portray them in a much more favourable light and then large scale success follows almost naturally.

RS: What are your plans for the immediate future?
Farhan/Gohar/Salma/Shazi (laughs): …we were thinking of calling it quits! You know! Shut it all down…we have had enough!

Farhan: No, no…really as far as Bangladesh is concerned, we are coming back here again near the end of this month to play in concerts just before the Ramadan begins. We are hopeful of turnouts as good as this one then as well…

As far as albums go, we are working on a few things at the moment. We fly to New York tomorrow. No concrete plans as yet. Lets' see how things work out!

RS: Any plans to play anywhere in Bangladesh but Dhaka?
Farhan/Gohar: Well, There are plans to hold a concert in Chittagong when we come back here, but nothing is confirmed yet. We will probably know in the near future…
RS: Thank you for taking the time out to talk to us. It is really appreciated. We hope to see you back in the near future!

Farhan/Gohar/Salman/Shazi (hand shakes all around): Thank You!

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam

Generation E

New local online teen magazine hits the net

Generation E is a new online magazine for the local teenagers, youth or whatever they call us these days. It's a nice magazine and to check it out (and you should check it out) head over to its official website Generation-E.info. The magazine comes as a freely downloadable 3 Mb PDF file that can be viewed on your PC by the widely used Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Let's take a quick look at what's inside the magazine. You have serious articles like the one they had about the consequences of over-dieting, food for thought like the one about males being called "chauvinists", or a feature on what girls think about cricket, and lighter stuff like the dating tips. There are also educational articles on vocabulary, and newsy articles like the feature on the Stamford Debate Club.

The magazine has a music section, which features, amongst a medley of musical information and reviews, an Artist of the Month, usually local talent. There is a movie section which features both new and old flicks. There were also horoscopes, or "Horror-scopes", which were nicely written. The fashion section is bound to be interesting for the female readers. Other than that, the inevitable jokes, poems and an interesting advice column with a twist: Ask Aunt Agony.

And since it's a downloadable magazine, it's website has other downloadable goodies too. There is an Mp3 section where new and original music are up for grabs. The current issue features music from the band Ancora. There are also some wallpapers of GE.

All this is quite a lot for a first issue and it's incredibly tough to put everything together. Sure, there are lot of places where things could be improved, but it's pretty good for a first issue. The magazine looks stunning, for one thing. The quality of the write-ups is also very good. The only thing I disagree with is the choice of some of the topics: it felt too much concerned about girls. Half the articles were about them and the other half was mainly about music, movies and clubs. The majority of the potential readers are males, simply because of the local teenagers, the males are more active online. The magazine needs stuff that's more appealing to them.

The first thing the magazine needs to do is to get more readers. Last time I checked their site, they only had about 400 visitors, in total. The magazine deserves so much more than that!

The magazine could do with more stuff in it. It's a monthly, so only 29 pages are not really enough. Music, movies, and for the lack of a better word, girls have been covered. I'd suggest that new topics should be introduced. The editorial desk already promised cultural programs, model watch and writing, art contests, among others. I'd have suggested to introduce gaming, tech, more coverage on movies and celebrities and all. But I guess that's not what the magazine is about. It's about "uniting young, enthusiastic people under one umbrella" and they're probably heading in the right direction. Oh, and remember that the GE crew should keep in mind that they're a fully independent magazine, unlike the print magazines. They don't have to worry about space limitations, about ticking people off or covering boring PR events of any kind, and they should use that in their advantage. I'd say they should a new section where stupid people are ridiculed and laughed at, but that's just me.

Readers, check out the magazine and keep an eye on their website. This could be a great magazine in the making.

By Niloy

Campus news

Mastermind debate tournament
Mastermind school hosted its first inter-scholastic and inter-collegiate debate championship within the school premises from September 8 to 11.

The schools that participated were Sunbeams, Mastermind, Manarat, Aga Khan, Acadaemia and Sunnydale. The college level participants were from Manarat, Aga Khan, Notre Dame and Acadaemia. Each school/college was allowed to send two teams. All debates held were extempore and teams were given half an hour to prepare.

One team from each of the following schools made it to the semi finals: Sunbeams, Manarat, Aga Khan, and Sunnydale. The final school debate was held between Manarat and Sunnydale and Manarat won in both the school level and college level.

Aga Khan boys and girls inter-school basketball tournament
Aga Khan School organised a huge tournament as a part of their celebrations after completing a hundred years of operation. The matches, though originally scheduled to be held in the school premises, had to be shifted to the Abahani indoor basketball gymnasium due to unfavourable weather.

Participating schools were Sunnydale, Aga Khan, Scholastica, Sunbeams, Green Herald and B.I.T and there were both girls and boys teams from two separate age groups: under 14 and under 18. The finals of the senior girls will be between Scholastica and Sunbeams while the contenders in the junior girls' finals will be from Sunnydale and Green Herald.

All the final matches will be held at Abahani on the 17th. And it's bound to be a tough competition. Since it's open to all you can drop in for the great show.

By Aniqa Moinuddin


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