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The week in re(ar)view
We invented infinite levels of corruption

It seems where ever the mobile court and our champion Dr Rokon uddoula goes, there is bound to be something amiss. Are we as a nation that corrupt that we have reached the bottom of the barrel? Or can we surprise everyone by showing that there is no bottom of the barrel, that we can find even more ways to be corrupt? How else can we win our 'most corrupt' title for the next year?

Coconuts: application no. 102
You've heard of the 101 uses of coconuts and if you haven't take our word for it. Coconuts can be used for food, drink and dried food. You can use the husk of old nuts to create mats, chair, rope, rugs and whatnot. The leaves can be used to make more mats and fans. Small plants act as decoration. The leaves can be used to make a fly swatter. More importantly, small coconuts can be used during hartals to inflict maximum damage. You get the drift. Now there are more such ingenious uses but here's the latest. Coconut waste is used as cattle feed. Apparently it is also used as a secret ingredient for making ghee by a factory that markets it as Baghapuri Pure Butter Oil. As far as we know butter oil is supposed to come from cows, not coconuts. The waste is a secret ingredient because otherwise mobile court will find out and fine the factory which they did on April 4. In defense the factory owners say it is actually used for the cows.

Waste should not be wasted
On April 5 our unmasked, capeless, underwear-worn-on-the-inside crusader and his mobile court went to National Institute of Kidney Diseases and Urology. There they found patients being given kidney dialysis fluid that expired November 2005. We would like to point out that not letting anything go to waste is a good thing unless that thing has already gone to waste.

Fires caused by closed-circuit television cameras
April 8 several fires broke out in Jatiya Sangshad Bhaban around Speaker Jamiruddin Sircars office. The fires just decided to start blazing away and were doused immediately by security. CCTV cameras were closed just when it occurred. It's a lot like all those alien sightings take place when cameras are off or out of focus. We draw the conclusion that absence of CCTV's cause fire. The speaker thinks it is sabotage. Heck NO!

By Gohkra and Mood Dude

Critic criticized

This writeup was printed last week but somehow we managed to gobble up half of it. What can we say? When hunger strikes……
Hello all, I am the writer who shocked the music community by mistaking the identity of the presenters of the hugely popular underground music video show, Rock Link. It's amazing how many forums have been loaded protesting the fact that I have gotten the name wrong. I was never famous, now I am probably infamous. So I guess I better apologize for getting the name wrong. It was 12:30 and I mistook Miles for Miraz then later saw Miles written somewhere in the show and concluded that Miraz was in Miles and yeah you get the drift. Of-course I wasn't meaning Black's Miraz by the way. Now that would be really silly. Full sorry to the real presenter- you do a good job but I still think you should probably cut down on the yo's and gesture. And secondly I should probably apologize for mis-spelling bass guitar. Hehe, I have been pochafied enough for this in my school, but interestingly would there ever be a 'base' guitar?

Now the issue I want to address is that whether it is right for something only to be proclaimed as good. Rock Link is a good show but the major argument against all its critics seems to be that it's the only show in Bangladesh of its kind so it should be beyond criticism. The same goes for underground bands and all those underground concerts. Personally I think the underground scene is awesome and has never been better. Those who have made it professionally like the big ones Black, Artcell etc are really good without a doubt. But every now and again a bad album comes out. Some of the mixed albums are absolutely below standard and some of the new releases, I won't name them, are terrible as well. The question remains why bad albums are brought out? Shouldn't it be better if the underground artists remain underground for a while honing their skills before jumping quickly into the mainstream bandwagon. A graver point is why aren't people allowed to criticize them especially in the press? I mean, yeah we are supposed to be sympathetic and give them good review but being critical also can foster the same effect.

The second point I want to mention is that most of the concert reviews are also well always positively written. I don't know whether there is any external pressure or whether the writers are again trying to be sympathetic but it's a well-known fact that many of the concerts are also way below standards. What is distressing nowadays is the fact that while concerts seem to be drying up, people are becoming more and more dis-satisfied with it.

I have been seeing this for a last couple of years. My batch wasn't always the concert-music-band-crazy people but there are some who used to love going to concerts. Now when I ask them whether they would go to say this concert, they reply that it's not worth the money anymore. I don't know whether this syndrome is shared by only my batch, but let me tell you these are people who organized concerts like hell back in the past. Seeing them so dis-satisfied gives off some sort of signals. I guess RS should do an investigation to see whether the underground concert scene is the same or whether it really changed. You see being critical is the only way to find that out for sure. Concert reviews itself have become so typical nowadays that you basically know what to expect when you read each one. What about the dirt, what about the juice, what about the difference? Every concert review has this same formula:

Held here, starting late, sound problems, this and this band came, this and this band performed this, and everyone had a blast.

You know that's not true most of the time. Why isn't anything written about it?

By Reggie

Pahela Boishakh and us

A cool beginning
Please guess one of the major signs that indicate Boishakh is near us. No, not the red and white clad display dolls adorning all the fashion houses of Dhaka city. It's the Kaalboishakhi, duh! A little (well, maybe not that little) rebellious shower to cool the scorching Choitro heat. On a similar cloud-burst evening a few days ago, I was listening intently to the rhythm of the raindrops and the whispers of the wind, spellbound and dreamy, almost in the mood for poetry, when suddenly…DHRIM DHRIM DHRIM… JHALAK DIKHLAJA…AJA…AJA …DHOOM DHAM! Apparently, one of my neighbours, literally carried away by the Kaalboishakhi, thought it was time to PAARTAAY and so he did, from 7 to 11pm. Honestly, how long at a stretch can somebody stand all that “Aashiq banayaaaaaaa” and stuff?

Pantaabhaat hype
A beggar woman and her son are talking. The kid asks
:Amma, why do these rich people go nuts about eating pantaabhaat once a year?
B.w : It's supposed to be traditional, but they just do it for fun.
Kid: Oh! Well, we eat pantaabhaat ALTHROUGH the year. Now how fun is that!

Will we be defeated by darkness?
Even a few years ago not a single Bangali felt hesitated to join the Boishakh celebrations with hundred percent spontaneity. The cultural programmmes would start from dawn by Chhayanot leading the way at the Botomul and continue throughout the whole day, amid the presence of hundreds and thousands of people clad in traditional clothing. But now what most people think is“Oh no! JMB!! Bomb!!! Well, they may have caught Bangla Bhai but what if some English Bhai or Urdu Bhai pops out of nowhere?”

Life is very dear to all and maybe it's wiser to stay safe at home rather than joining the celebrations accompanied by a constant fear of insecurity. But despite that we noticed positive, lively and spontaneous participation showed by a record-breaking number of people last year who themselves painted the streets of Dhaka red and white with their presence. To me, it was the best protest ever and one really hard slap on the face of bomb-terrorism. After all, we Bangalis are not cowards. And this year our pride and courage are once again put to test as we approach another Pahela Boishakh. Because the devil may have lost two arms, but he still knows many ways of evil. Question is, are we ready to defend him?

…And 1413
The festivity is already in the air. You can sense that strongly if you visit the DU campus area. The IFA students are very busy with noboborsho preparations. Their gorgeous and colourful procession is one of the main attractions of Pahela Boishakh that people look forward to. April 14, 2006, Friday, we are going to enter a new Bangla year1413. May this year bring more joy and happiness than the previous. Shubho Noboborsho.

By Raisa Rafique

RS Mailbx

Love, hate and everything in between. Send it to risingstars@thedailystar.net

One small step for girl kind..
First of all, a heap of gratitude towards Mirza M.F Shirazi and Shahriar Asif and everyone else who thought our very tiny protest was praiseworthy. Indeed, the reaction that I got from everyone was much more then what I could have only dreamed of. And this really is what gives me hope of a new beginning. So Mirza, like you, I want to believe that our conscience hasn't died yet, and all of us together will make a difference beyond the imagination. Even if our effort was a tiny drop in the ocean, a tiny smidgen, I'm still glad it was at least somewhere to start from. And that's why I always turn to RS, because I believe this is the place where only people of strong spirits rule. So thank you all for caring. Now I know that my dream is not a mere illusion.
Mayesha Tasnim Priya
This was by no means a small step. It's good to hear that people actually bother to do something like this instead of just feeling offended and going home to forget all about it.- Ed
Djuice phobia
I was so upset after reading the main article of 30 the March by Farzeen Anis. At first I was so excited watching the headline and the cartoons. But after that it was ridiculous. I do not know why is she against the djuice language. Maybe she thought it would give her a `KOTHIN BHAB`. She has to understand that these are very popular among the teenagers. The words like kothin bhab, ajaira pechaal, jotil mood etc has been spreading before the arrival of djuice. Djuice just used these slangs for their business and publicity. We should feel proud that our teens use an entertaining language and in every part of the world teenagers use some interesting languages. The writer has also opposed about the bangla sms. But do you know in Japan most of the mobile operators and mobile phone companies use their own Japanese language? In our country some young talented people have introduced this Bangla sms system recently. We should be proud of them. I also want to mention that many of us write Bangla words in English for sms. It does not mean limited knowledge of English rather it means our love and affection for our mother language. Let's be proud to use `AJAIRA PECHAAL` as our very own language.
M. Ishrak Ahmad


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