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The week in re(ar)view
Agitation is our explanation

Underage marriage is the lesser evil?
Dowry is a terrible thing especially when it is practiced in reverse in Bangladesh. You see, the groom is supposed to pay the brides family the dowry in exchange for the girls hand in marriage. We end up having badly beaten or even killed women for this.

In Kishoreganj mass weddings took place that shunned dowry. That's all great except when you consider the fact that many of the girls being married off were underage. Some of the girls were reported to be 12- or 15 year olds.

What's really terrible is that Deputy Minister for Relief and Disaster Management Ahsan Habib Dulu was the chief guest. This is one disaster he could have managed better than attending and also performing the role of 'guardian' along with BNP lawmaker Amzad Hossen Sarkar.

If you think the media is creating yet another false report check out the picture . A child dressed up as a bride is handed over to a grown man while everyone else smiled happily for the camera. Mass wedding or mass pedophilia?

See no crisis, hear no crisis
Comment published on 24 February of Industries Minister Matiur Rahman Nizami stated that he sees no fertilizer crisis. 28 February, Agriculture Minister MK Anwar pretty much said the same thing. All this while farmers especially in Jessore, Rangpur, Chittagong, Cox Bazaar etc are fighting, blocking roads, getting beaten by cops and displaying all kinds of agitated behaviour. You would be mistaken to think they are doing this for fun. The farmers do not have fertilizer to grow the crops, period. The fields are just lying there empty. All we need now is a drought to complete the picture of despair.

The media of course has been duly blamed for creating false crisis reports. You be the judge.

Smash cars to relieve stress
Ever noticed how people have a tendency to break cars and other vehicles on the street whenever they feel 'agitated'? Smashing up public property seems to be a great way of protest as well as stress relief. On February 18 around 50 Dhaka College students mainly HSC candidates took out a procession to protest the incessant electricity load shedding. Then they started breaking cars.

We surmise that if you feel stressed break cars. We are even making a television ad in that respect. You want to protest the downward spiral of law and order? You want to protest you low salary? You feel your spouse is uncompromising? You have an annoying itch in the small of your back and cannot reach it? Just go out and break a few cars and you will feel better. If you are angry that someone broke your car in protest then go out, protest and break some cars yourself. Maybe now we can put Bangladesh on the map with this medical discovery.

By Gokhra & Mood Dude


Call me a pessimist, but I think Dhaka's gone to the dogs. Chances are, when you're reading this there's a generator droning behind you because the electricity's taken yet another trip to wherever it's been going for the past few days. Add to that the heat, the traffic jams, the spiralling prices, and the latest construction tragedy, you've got a recipe for Hellsville.

It's hard to stay positive under such circumstances, but then again, the resilience of human beings is an awesome force. Just take a look at page 3 this week. It's bursting with all manner of activities, from basketball to science fairs. It goes to show that despite all the obstacles and things to bring them down, people are still getting out, doing things that matter. Then there's our Book Review this week, which is a story about jumping some unbelievable hurdles.

Anyway…the oil-spewing generator behind my back is giving me a headache, so I'll keep this short and sweet. Before I go, though I'd like to remind you people that it's high time we had a forum debate so send me your topics of interest, but keep your arguments precise…this column only has so much space. Till next week, take care!

Send your polls, opinions and comments to: teteatete_tgnd@yahoo.com

By The Girl Next Door

RS Mailbx

Your one stop junction for love and war regarding Rising Stars. Mail your soulful thoughts to risingstars@thedailystar.net

In reference to Fahmina Rahmans on article on 9th February. As the writer last week concluded, there were more than the few groups mentioned there, and the funniest and most important was sort of missed out...the "who-cares-bout-v-day," group.

There remains a group of species that are Single, but not miserably so. In fact, they seem to be more or less 'not at all bothered' about the whole v-day phenomenon!

"Duh!" Is what many of you may comment, but few can actually imagine how large this group of people actually is. While a lot of teens queue inside Hallmark and Archies, filling up with tokens of love, and lightening their wallets ages before this special day, there are also a lot of teens with nearly nothing to do but yawn as their friends go on planning their special day with their significant others.

So this article is actually a research report carried out to find out about this certain species of people and why they are not bothered about this certain day and so on.

Question 1: How many people fall into this category?
Estimation: More than you can imagine. It was calculated on a scale of probability that 4 out of every 10 teens fell into this category. Though, it fluctuated fairly between teens, based on where they studied, and the conservative nature of their families, but on an average it was seen that 40% teens are NOT At ALL bothered about this oh-so-special-day.

Question 2: Why do these people take this IMPORTANT day so lightly?
For this interesting and controversial question, we decided to spice it up by a few comments from the regular Bangladeshi teen......
"So why do you think these teens tend to be least-bothered about the day that is generally held so special?"

Teen X: "Don't you see? How will they show their faces when they don't even have proper Dates? Just think of the insanity, not having a date for Valentines day.urgghhh..gives me the creeps to even think of it!"

Is it really the ACTUAL reason? Could it be that the "who-cares-bout-v-day," group of people don't show their faces in public on this special day because they are ashamed? Could the 'don't-care' attitude be due to the shamefulness of not being able to get even a SINGLE date? Or is it otherwise? Find out the truth to this fascinating question in the following paragraphs.

Teen Y: " I think, that group of teens are much above materialistic tokens of love. Yes, they probably do believe in love, but they also have the belief that love stretches far beyond these romantic words, and expensive gifts. It is a feeling, a true companionship that few are lucky enough to receive, and they wait till they find their true love."

So, which of the opinions are accurate? Many more teens were interviewed, but most of their opinions rounded around these few facts, except one more...

Teen Z: "'Why' you ask? Because there is no sin greater than that!! To even think of Love..god forbid!...before marriage. Just imagine the greatness of the sin! Oh-god-forbid me to have even heard such a question! Tauba, Taubaa!

It is already bad enough that 90% teenagers now-a-days MIX with people of the opposite sex under the illusion of being 'Friends'...I tell you something, there is so sin greater than that! Tauba, Tauba!

Well, that was all for this group of people.
So, back to the question, there were also few people who claimed that there was no TIME for this sort of junk...when there are such important things as STUDIES, and STORY BOOKS, and science projects to look to..but somehow, we guessed that 'cant get a single date' logic might have been true for this teen!

So, even though studies and our family is our priority now, I think all of us can find enough time to at least daydream about our secret heartthrobs! And speaking of this group of people, the "who-cares-bout-v-day," group, our research couldn't come to a proper conclusion as to which of the opinions might have been right. We believe it is either a blend of all the above causes, or each cause for people of different characters. So, to each their own logic.

So, whether it is indeed the failure of this group of people to get people to ask them for dates(which I doubt is the actual cause!), or their lack of time to devote to this dumb thing called love and valentines day or just their wait for finding true love, the frank truth shall be forever unknown to all but those belonging to this unique group. Whatever the reason may be, we hope all those people belonging to this group find life enjoyable and worth it, with or without the significant others.

Happy Future Valentines Day!

Faria Ahmed

An odd little world!

This is the story of a stupid poser, and by 'stupid', I mean dead DUMB. I know that the combination of being dumb and being a 'wannabe' does not really go together, but read on and you will understand what I mean. Once, this guy went to a wedding party somewhere in Uttara. He saw a beautiful girl draped in a black sari. He tried to meet the girl's eyes for some time, but all in vain. Just then, he saw his school mate, anxiously watching the same girl from a distance. The wannabe-guy quickly went to his school buddy and started talking…

'Hey dude! Wassup? Uhh-huuh I see you eyeing the beautiful chick over there. She is my girlfriend. Come let me introduce you to her,' said the wannabe guy.

'Huh?' his friend raised his eyebrow. 'Oh really? Okay, introduce me to her, oh please do,' said the friend.
'Umm…' the wannabe thought for a second. 'Sure, sure come with me.'

They went over to that girl, and started talking as if she was indeed his girlfriend. 'Hey, this is my friend Shajin. Say hello to him,' said the wannabe.
'Err…Hi!!??' the girl was confused.

'So what do you think about her? Shajin?' said the wannabe to his friend.
'Err…she is gorgeous. I wish she was mine,' said Shajin.
'Say that one more time and I will kill you!' the wannabe fisted towards Shajin.

Shajin was furious, he could not help it and he bursted out, 'Cool it dude! I think I am going to kill YOU! That girl, whom you said is your girlfriend, is actually MY girlfriend. Go and ask her, you…'

And the rest my dear friends, you can easily guess! The wannabe went home with bleeding lips! Let this be a lesson to all of you-look before you leap!

By Shamma M. Raghib


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