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Recovery of a lost relation

I looked out through the little window of my small room. To the east, where the sky was dark, the black lines of the warehouses were almost blotted out. The reflection of the setting sun floated on the river presenting a beautiful spectacle to the eye of anyone capable of appreciating the beauties of nature. The setting sun seemed to had a peculiarly tranquillising influence upon my mind. Animated glimpses from the past kept coming back to me nudging me into a sort of forlorn mood.

Someone from the back street started playing a violin, and the melancholy music by the anonymous permeated the whole atmosphere, creating a wave of nostalgia. And far, far at the back of my mind were some memories fluttering about like a moth, pattering at the door of consciousness. The last light was filtering out of the sky in a thin livid line to the west and memories from the past started floating on the mirror of my mind.

Through the mist, I saw her lying on the bed, unconscious. My mother sitting right beside her, praying to the almighty, in undecipherable words. Then I saw myself standing beside the bed with an expressionless face, looking at her visage gleaming with sweat. I was only eight-years old then and could not completely comprehend what was really going on. But a premonition left my heart beating in the most irregular way. The fear that my sister was not going to wake up again from that deep sleep was engulfing me and made my heart forget its natural momentum.

I remembered the fairy tale she used to tell me about a beautiful princess. A wicket wizard hid the princess. The black magic of the wizard left the princess lying on a bed deep into an eternal sleep. The spell could only be broken if someone can tap the pillow on which the princess lie with the magical wand of the wizard. I looked up at my sister lying on the bed unperturbed. How I wished I had the magical wand.

My father came back with a doctor. The doctor left soon enough telling my father something as he reached the door. The words left my sombre father greatly perturbed, sitting on the rocking chair for the rest of the time. And we all waited, with a mingled feeling of sorrow and anxiety draining our mind.

At last after a long agonising period of time, she opened her eyes. She looked briefly at all of us surrounding her, and the faintest flicker of love and affection passed across her bright blue eyes. She took hold of my right hand softly and I could feel the sisterly love through her touch. Tears came rolling down my eyes. I was trying to form some words of affection but the sentences would not form, and when I next looked down at her, her eyes were staring up at me blankly. She was dead.

The sudden pain in the heart brought me abruptly from the past to the present, to the reality. Five years had gone by but the grief was still there cutting through the core of my heart. I looked up at the sky again, which now showed a multitude of stars. The moon was three quarters full, riding high like a ship over the water. I stood and, for a moment, closed my eyes; breathed in the river smell, its sourness and dampness, the pungent mixture of the rotted wood and oil, and tar, the faint fish stench, and mingled with it, the distant smell of the open sea.

There was a sudden knocking downstairs. Reviving myself, I went down to open the door. I opened the door and saw my father, uncle, aunt and through them my mother and in my mother's lap was something wrapped in a white piece of cloth. Everyone entered the room and my mother coming close to me lowered her lap and said in a feeble voice “Meet your sister”, and then she smiled. I, stunned with amusement, found a pair of bright blue eyes looking straight at me. Those blue eyes, sharp nose, rosy cheeks kept on reminding me of someone else. I took the baby into my lap. I felt the throb of her heart. She looked at me with blinking eyes and seemed to smile. For a few seconds I could not believe my eyes, but then I smiled her back. I had got back my long lost sister.

By Ahmad Saleheen

Book review

The Sky is Falling

Hehe…no, this isn't Chicken Little's autobiography. (Incidentally, I haven't seen the movie yet, and I'm dying to…the little chick is too cute!)
After a whole month of trying to think only pure thoughts, I thought I'd engage in a little violence and scandal. Here's where Sidney Sheldon's “The Sky is Falling” comes in.
Gary Winthrop, a well-known philanthropist and the rising star in the US Senate, is murdered by art thieves in his home. This follows a string of freak accidents that has wiped out the rest of his family, all of whom had been prominent political figures. The last person to see him alive was a Washington anchorwoman named Dana Evans, who had interviewed him the night before his death.
Dana has recently returned from the battlefront in Sarajevo, embittered by all the suffering she's seen, accompanied by Kemal, a boy she picked up from an orphanage there, whom she plans to adopt.
Now she's getting ready to settle down and marry her colleague, Jeff, and give Kemal a complete family. The death of Gary Winthrop, and the elimination of his entire family strikes her as a little odd, so she decides to do some digging. You can guess what happens if you open a can of worms…
This story is an old Sheldon best seller, and the reader can expect a lot of thrills and spills and suspense. There are enough twists towards the climax of the story to give Dan Brown a run for his money.
You can probably get the book at Etc or Words n' Pages for Tk 300-400. So grab yourself a copy and enjoy a literary roller-coaster ride.

By Sabrina F Ahmad


He was all set to go. His long awaited holidays had come at last. Another year has just gone by and he finally got his much needed break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Of course, it'll be only a couple of weeks before he has to resume his hectic daily routine, but he wasn't going to let such thoughts ruin his mood. His boss had grudgingly allowed him this extended leave, and he wanted to make sure that he wanted to make sure that he savoured every moment of it.

The last few months at office had been totally chaotic. The new product the company had recently launched seemed to bring in more complaints than profit. And like the rest of the PR team, he was also having a hard time sitting through all the complaints, abuses, practical jokes and rubbish from the people while keeping an innocent smile on his face. His job wasn't really too bad and his salary was pretty decent. But he hated it. In fact, he hated everything about the city. It seemed so mess, so crowded, so chaotic compared to his hometown. The city was always noisy, always busy as if it hadn't slept for ages. And somehow he felt that it wanted to escape. He could relate his own feelings with that.

He checked if he had taken everything he had to take. He wasn't concerned about his own cloths he knew his mother would make sure that his wardrobe remained the same as he had left it last time. He just brought his toothbrush, shaving kit and the new panjabi he had bought for the Eid. But he needed to make sure he brought the Eid gifts he had bought for his mother and younger brother. The gifts weren't anything extravagant just a plain simple shirt for his brother and a saree he had bought from New Market for his mother. He read the Ayatul Qursi, then locked his room and stepped out.

The launch terminal wasn't very far from where he lived, so he decided to walk. It was around 9 o'clock in the night. The launch to his hometown was supposed to depart at ten which left him with a lot of time on his hand. It was pretty chilly outside. He regretted not taking a shawl or a sweater. It was probably even colder in the town. The moon was barely visible because of the uncountable stars handing beneath the grey canopy of the sky. It was on a night like this many a year ago the he first came to the city. His schooling had been abruptly ended by the death of his father. Since then, he had struggled day and night to maintain a job, continue with studies and bear the expenses of his family. It was nothing but remarkable that he had somehow managed it through all these years, but it would soon pay off. Just a few more years till his brother became mature. Then he could let him handle the responsibility and escape to the town for something he always longed for tranquillity. HE snapped out of his daydream and looked at his watch 9:20. Still plenty of time left. He dropped his pace and started to walk more slowly. He thought about his mother's reaction when he would reach home. It would probably be around six o'clock in the morning. His mother would probably have finished saying her prayers and made herself a cup of tea when he would knock on the door. His mother wouldn't speak a word. She would just stare at him with bright eyes and hug him tightly. The tears running down her chicks would soak the shoulder of his shirt.

All of a sudden, it seemed to him that something was wrong. The aura of excitement that generally radiated in the city before any festival seemed to be missing. Or was it just his imagination? He couldn't tell. He paused for a moment confused, but started to walk again. He was so lost in his thoughts that he failed to notice the two men following him. By the time he did, it was too late. He tried to put up a fight, but it was useless. A sharp blow to his head ended his futile resistance.

He lay there neither fully conscious nor unconscious. He was throbbing in agonising pain. He put his hand on his head ere it hurt. It became smeared with sticky, partly clotted blood. He tried to open his eyes. His vision was blotted with blood, but he could see that they had taken everything his watch, his wallet, his bad. He felt a deep sorrow. His dream would remain unfulfilled. He wouldn't live to see his brother become successful in life. In fact, that chance was now quite slim, now that he was dying. His brother would probably have to face the same troubles he had faced when his father had died. HE could see glimpses of his life now. Small things he thought he had forgotten. Then he saw a face. It was his father's. He was calling him. He knew where he was going. He let out a scream his last cry. It resonated through the empty surroundings. Then everything became black.

By Constantine

Impenetrable mind

Joe was confused. He could not simply reach a verdict whether he was living or dead. This matter has been disconcerting him for quite a long time. Sometimes he had an uncanny feeling that all that was happening to him had already happened before. It was as if he had traveled back to the past and was doing the same things all over again. Sometimes he has a doubt on himself that whether he was really alive or was it just a nightmare.

Many a time and often he had a feeling that he was only a robot controlled by someone else. He felt that he was not doing all the things for his desire but for some other unknown force that was ordering him to do all those things. Joe loathed this kind of life. He hated to live in this manner. Although his world was very appealing and alluring, although he had scores of friends even then he could not be happy. His parents and his friends were very loving, but they appeared to him like emotion less dummies.

Joe had this strange feeling in his stomach that there must be a gap somewhere. He felt that there must be some unknown fact that he had to know, which would solve all his problems. He was fed up of that world. He felt that it was better to die than live like that. Joe clandestinely planned to commit suicide. He looked around him and made sure that he was alone. Then he slowly picked up a knife beside him and stabbed it into his belly…

“Hurrah! We have finally done it,” exclaimed the scientists. They were all rejoicing at their success in creating the software called Immortal. By this software the scientists could reincarnate the dead people.

The life that the dead people would get would be similar to the life they had when they were alive. That would be possible by getting the information from the dead body's brain. They would revive the dead person and transfer him in a computer program. The dead person would live but in the computer through a program. It is more like a computer game where the scientists would have to control the person in a way so that it matched with the real life of the person.

The scientists had been developing the software steadily through the past 20 years. After all their hard work, they had been able to complete the software by the help of a boy's dead body. He was very happy and content in his own world. He had a family, a place to live and lots of friends. He was overjoyed…or at least, they thought he was.

Lou Shekong, one of the scientists among them, had a qualm in his mind. He thought that they had not been able to control him completely. Lou thought that the transformed person was free in some way, but could not work out how.

He had made himself believe that it was nothing but a thought made up by his over conscious mind, until one day, when they saw that the boy had committed suicide when they had not commanded him to.

Technology had enabled people to live a new life. It could take over one's brain but not his heart.

By Azmain Taz


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