Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


Country road take me home…


Jan 18th 2:35 p.m
Yippie! The first AS of my life, successfully completed (at least I didn't faint during the exam, like some poor girl did). Whilst the Edexcel people try inventing grades to award me with, I must look for some fun. And forget the RS for sometime (as if I do any work there!).

Jan 19th 10:30 p.m
Bored already! Must look for some serious action to write on! Right now looking forward to a picnic tomorrow!

Jan 20th 9:30 p.m
A heavy-eyed and very disgruntled me sat in the back of our car with mum and dad, while our car zigzagged along the heavy Mirpur traffic with our 'tour guide', a diplomat bhaiya, the son of my father's colleague to whose picnic resort we were going, instructed our driver to go to Savar via 'Beribaadh'.

Surprise! Surprise! Having lived for 17 years in Dhaka, I had never known a local Ashulia existed in Mirpur and this bhaiya, who had resided abroad most of his life, knew intricate details about it! Pathetic, aint I? For eyes habituated to the resolutions of a concrete jungle, this combo of greenery and water (though most of it now encroached) appeared a feast. Beribaandh had a lot to offer: the Intellectuals' Graveyard, limitless acres of still untouched land, water-bodies now victimized by sand dredging. What I found endearing were the small semi-rural communities on the two sides of Beribaandh, all to be reached via 'shako's, men catching fishes that were literally jumping above the water, the small 'ghaats' here and there.

As we entered Ashulia, that old feeling of austerity took over. This was our very old Ashulia, a land that bears the true expression of time, where every trodden foot leaves a sign; not a footmark, no, rather empty chips packets, plastic bottles and every other pollutant obtainable.

A final shortcut and we reached our destination, where gates opened for us in style. The humongous walls encircling the spot gave no notion that this property was H-U-G-E. I gasped in awe, at the kingly work of nature that lay before us. Boundless brick pavement led to a small bungalow in the center haunted by trees of all kinds. Being ushered into a small separate open hut, we sat around and witnessed 'pithas' being made on a clay stove. Thinking I was in for a daylong of boredom, I had packed in several novels in mum's bag, but the sight of the other two girls who had been talked into coming along with their dads was a relief.

While our dads talked of how they used to love eating pithas made by their mums hot from the oven, we, having absolutely no taste for these, walked around and gossiped. And what a treasure it was for us when, the eldest amongst us, the heiress to this property, found us a clump of the rare-in-Dhaka touch-me-not plants, or the lojjaboti lata. As we three took turns in giving it its rightful shame, the plant closed its leaves as if literally ashamed, bringing back with it loads of childhood memories of zoo trips where such plants were the main attraction for me.

The mooing of the cows nearby, the hens being fed with tidbits of pitha and the gathered cackling of ducks added to the very homely and village like ambience. As we walked bare feet on the dewy grass, our high heels reminding us agonizingly of the world outside, we met woodpeckers, squirrels, each busily carrying on its jobs as if our presence barely meant something to them. We picked fresh vegetables from the small vegetable patches and had a first ever rendezvous with green pea, beans, ginger plants. Watching our lunch being prepared with the freshest ingredients one could get and that too by a group of men, for a change, were a feast in itself.

And you know what the best thing about the place was?
The sound of the wind that one could hear sitting inside the bungalow, the 'swishing' of wind as books term it.
The novels I had taken with me, lay forgotten; my cell phone, my most beloved possession remained turned off; I even forgot the RS ---it seemed as if I had cut off all worldly ties for a day. As we sat in the open hut, eating away the simply cooked yet delicious food, relishing nature at its best, it almost seemed unreal to be true.

Though reluctant to leave and return to the world outside, I took back with me as memento---a marigold plant.
Traveling back to Dhaka, the past few hours seemed like a dreamit was too good to be real. Such serenity could be 'experienced' for a day, but actually 'tolerating' such harmony would be another thing for a city sleeker like me. And as our car sped along Beribaandh, I switched on my cell phone to find a list of messages waiting for me, while our car music system sang away a known rhythm'Country Road take me home…'

By Reesana Sifat Siraj

Book Review
Five point someone

For those who would like to take a break from the big names for a while, and have a taste of something totally unique and original, 'Five point someone' could just be the book to read. It is insane, it is a page-turner, and most importantly, it has got genuine humour.

The story is about three hostel mates, in IIT (the Indian version of MIT), who screw up their first test big time. As they try to devise ways to make amends, things only get worse. Soon, they find themselves amongst the lowest ranked students, and their 5-point something GPAs out of 10 brands them as total losers in the IIT society. No matter how much they wish to turn things around, their GPAs come in the way of everything; their dreams, responsibilities, and love life.

The story is set in the IIT campus in Delhi, and the locations and venues are real. Although the main storyline is fictitious, still anyone can relate to its feelings and happenings, which are all very typical of college life. The language is simple and informal; complete with the expletives we are so deprived of using here in RS. The fact that Indian college life is not much different to ours makes it even more enjoyable for readers like us. The book has topped the Indian lists of bestsellers for over seventy weeks after its release, so you get an idea how popular it is.

I believe this would be a treat for readers of all ages, in fact anyone who has experienced the whirlwind days of college. As for the price I am not exactly sure, but it reads Rs 95, so should be well within range for anyone.

By Tawsif Salim

Am i crazy?

My name is Jessica Mason. I live in Brookly, New York city in USA. My father's name is D'Andre Mason. My mother's name is Melissa Walls. We had a happy family until I was eight, when my father was fired from his job. After that, there started misunderstanding between my father and mother due to financial problems. Finally my mother divorced my father. Then I faced the difficult question. The question involved me in choosing a parent with whom I will have to part forever. I couldn't choose. So, there was a terrible court fight between my parents about me. At last my mother became victorious in the fight. I had to part with my father.

After the court case, me, my mom and my grandmother started living together and my mom got a job. Then two or three years later, I started to notice that my mom didn't come home as early as she used to before.

One day while I was riding a bicycle in a park, I suddenly saw my mother. But she was not alone. She was at that time kissing a stranger. The horrible truth sank in like a stone. I was deadly shocked and realised that my mother had a boyfriend. When I saw the incident, I instantly went back home in tears.

A lot of days passed after that incident. I now know all about her boyfriend. Soon after, she left us and started to live with him, even though they were not married.

One morning, when I opened the refrigerator to take some food out for breakfast, I found it was totally empty. I also didn't have any money to buy food. So I called my mother to tell her about the present situation. She calmed me down by saying that she would bring food by noon but she never came. I became frustrated and went to her boyfriend's house. There I found her on a couch watching TV and eating chips. She was so surprised to see me and told me to go back. She also told me that she will buy food for us at night. I became really angry. There was a full wine bottle and a cigarette lighter on a table. I took the wine bottle and broke it on the carpet which was instantly soaked. Then I took the lighter and started a fire on the carpet. I wanted to burn my mother, her boyfriend and also the house. Unfortunately, only the carpet was damaged. My mom called the police. They came and took me to a mental hospital. Now my question is, am I crazy?

By Muhammad Abdullah Al Mamun


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2006 The Daily Star