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The week in re(ar)view
The truth is in here…………….somewhere

Bangladesh Explosive Technology Sector (BETS) sees 80 percent growth
November 14 a suicide bomber strapped himself up with explosives and blew up a microbus carrying two judges. The entire vehicle collapsed proving that this was no mere 'potka'. The bomber however managed to live. This just goes to show that in some case Bangladesh is becoming more technologically advanced. We now have bombs that can actually be feared.
Police have so far been trying to diffuse suspected bombs by placing them in a bucket of water or poking them with a stick. With the advent of such powerful explosives, the cops have to rethink their tactics. They have to get longer sticks.

More blasted revelations
Continuing with the explosive mood, on November 17 JMB (Jama 'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh) threatened to bury the law minister Moudud Ahmed alive. It is not that we would miss any of the ministers but the events are scary nevertheless. JMB also threatened to blow up the Rajshahi prison if their cadres were not released. Isn't that sort of self defeating especially if the cadres are kept in those prisons?

Bangladesh develops high tech software for determining bombing targets
Further continuation of the explosive mood also brings about their threat to blow up a police station in Companiganj. November 21st report shows that now they also want to blow up Chittagong Railway station. These explosive characters want to have a banging good time, don't they? Our question is how do they decide on such targets? We hand over the keyboard to our RCT (Resident Conspiracy Theorist).

RCT: It seems the JMB have been employing computer programmers in the mosques to come up with a special software that they use to determine the next bombing target. It takes in all the situational variables compiled with the subneutronic isentropic amorphization of numerical coefficients. In layman's terms the computer looks at a map, goes 'eeny, meeny, miney moe' to select a target. Bill Gates has been reported to suffer sleepless nights at this development.

Everybody wins
November 19 there was a report about the question papers to the 27th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) exams leaked. One student even managed to finish the one-hour test in 11 minutes and decided to help out his fellow examinees. Now shouldn't we congratulate him for his humanitarian efforts? With people like him, Bangladesh will move upwards. In fact, it has to move up cause there is no further place left below.

By Gokhra and Mood Dude

Campus news

An evening of poetry

It was an evening of sparkling wit and colourful insights. It was an evening of quiet reflection and shared laughter. It was an Evening of Poetry at Brac University on Sunday, November 20.

Organized by the Department of English and Humanities, it featured joint performances by the students and faculty of BU, and Brine Pickles, a creative writers group, which is part of the British Council's Connecting Futures project.

The first half of the event featured performances by the Brine Pickles members. The MC Saushan Rahman introduced the group coordinator Saiful Islam who started off with an introduction of the group, and spoke about the group's immediate plans, which include another performance at the State University of Bangladesh on Sunday, November 27, and a bigger event at the British Council in December, which will be a joint collaboration with four young creative writers from the UK. After rendering his poem “Tea”, he handed the floor to his team, which comprised of Theotonius Gomes, Sabrina F Ahmad, Farhana Farid, Asif Iqbal, Fatimatuz Zohra, Munasir Kamal and Hasan Ameen. The more memorable performances included Theo Gomes' poem about the Dhaka Tokai, Farhana Farid's poem about women and their roles in society, and Munasir Kamal's poem about racial discrimination within the school.

The second half of the programme left the dais open to BU, and Professor Ashraful Amin was the first to perform, reading his translations of poems by Jibon Anondo Das. Professor Kaiser Haq followed, and had the audience hooting with laughter over his hilarious parodies of famous poems like Banalata Sen, and TS Eliot's “Wasteland”. Students Sama Ara Ashrafi and Towhid Shams Chowdhury read out Christopher Marlowe's “The Passionate Shepherd to his Love” and Sir Walter Raleigh's “The Nymph's Reply”.

Professor Firdous Azim, the Director of the Department of English and Humanities spoke at the end of the performance, commending the Department for arranging the event, and thanking Brine Pickles for participating. Finally, Saushan Rahman closed the programme with a poem by Rabindranath Tagore.

It was a small and simple event, but definitely a memorable evening for all who attended.

By Mohammad Hammad Ali

Right to dream

Two tiny brown eyes peeked out from behind the counter.
Chips ta kotho? (How much are those chips?) It was the third time this week that this question had been directed at him, not to count the innumerable times this whole month of Ramadan.

The shop keeper looked down in annoyance and for the third time this week wondered why the poor can't just remain in their places. They can't even afford a decent meal and this boy here is seriously thinking about buying chips? Like most shopkeepers, this shopkeeper too knew how to assess his customers and who to pay more attention too. Likewise this boy was just a waste of time.

“Ja tho ja, taka thakle aysh”(Get lost and if you have any money, then only come)
Ali moved sadly away from the counter, thinking he'd show the shopkeeper that he really was capable of buying. Just because he was poor didn't mean he didn't have feelings. Ali had been saving this whole month and on Eid, those precious chips would be all his. He knew Eid was for fulfilling your desires, where people bought new clothes, shoes, toys and what not and he was no exception. He heard in Ramadan, you can ask Allah for anything you want and Ali wanted a pack of chips. He fasted everyday because he had no choice (unlike other 6 yr olds) and prayed to Allah for his chips and soon his dream would come true. As Ali thought of this, a smile crept to his previously saddened face and his eyes lit up. Yes, like those rich school boys munching away sitting in their rickshaws and cars, Ali too would enjoy a packet of chips. Of course he would share with his little sister as well. Ali by now knew the price of the chips but couldn't help asking just in case the price rose. The dead line was just a week away and he already had 8 taka saved.

Saving 8 taka was not much of a big deal in a city like Dhaka if he wasn't just 6yrs old and didn't have an overbearing step mother to deal with. Ali's current occupation consisted of selling flowers and all the proceeds of his meager sells went into the pocket of his gracious mother who constantly reminded him of the favour she was doing him by giving him one meal a day. Ali never complained until the fateful day he asked to keep back an amount to save for a packet of chips.

“Ki? Tui chips khabi?” (What?, You want to buy chips?) Then a burst of laughter and a stark refusal. “Bhath khaite payne ar tui chips khabi, shok kotho”(We don't even get rice to eat and u want chips?) After that, she was extra careful to check whether he gave up all his money to her and Ali was careful to sneak a few cents behind without her notice. After all it was his hard earned money, not like he was stealing.

As Ali made his way home, he did not notice the tall, bearded, well dressed man who followed him home. The man who witnessed the interaction between the shopkeeper and this boy and who saw the boy count his meager savings and smile gleefully to himself.

Ali crept to his makeshift torn piece of clothing which served as his bed as soon as he went home, his mother and sisters not having arrived home yet, and fell asleep. It was only awhile later that he realized that some packet lay at his feet. Ali was scared but decided to check what it is.

He wondered who left it there ..surely not one of his slum mates? He tore the packet open not only to find a new sat of clothing but a nice pair of shoes and believe it or not 5 whole packets of chips. He couldn't believe it, did God send an angel to his house? That was the only explanation. It was true in Ramadan, wishes did come true. There still existed angels on this earth.

As the man drove home in his car after having encountered the shocked face of the boys mother on his way out, the man couldn't help but think of such untouched innocence which still existed on Earth. He couldn't let that innocence be transformed into bitterness. This boy was as young as his child and deserved a fulfilling Eid, though he only asked for a packet of chips.

By Afrina Choudhury

RS Mailbox

The article 'The Coaching Conundrum' was really good. It uncovered the truth behind all the so-called 'excellant' coaching centres. Being the victim of a certain coaching centre myself, I can say for certain that most of the coaching establishments of today are nothing more than business ventures to earn even more cash. Seems like the people who set up these centres care more about what's in the students' parents' pockets than about the students themselves! Every single teen out there should be wary of these institutions and steer clear of them. Again, great article!
Nisma Elias


1. In which country was Pablo Picasso born?
2. In which year was Mother Teresa awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?
3. In which year was Julius Caesar assassinated?
4. Which country's capital is Tirana?
5. Which is the largest moon in the solar system?
6. What is the largest species of ant?
7. Where was William Shakespeare born?
8. Who was the first UN Secretary General?
9. What is the Ayers Rock in Australia also known as?
10. 85% of Neptune's atmosphere is composed of which element?
11. What is the capital of Somalia?
2. 1979
3. 44 BC
4. Albania
5. Ganymede
6. Dinoponera
7. Stratford-upon-Avon
8. Trygve Lie
9. Uluru
10. Hydrogen
11. Mogadishu
If you answered:
0-2 questions: terrible
3-5 questions: not bad
6-8 questions: very commendable
9-11 questions: unbeatable

By Bushra Sameeha Anwar



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