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Gaming contest at Bashundhara

Sad? Cos you couldn't attend the last Bangladesh edition of world cyber games, because you had your stupid midterms. Or perhaps you attend the event, but got out in the very first round, courtesy of some button mashing hunk who knows nothing about gaming but a lot about mashing buttons on the pad. And you had to take early exit without showing the world what you are made of, a true gaming guru left out in the cold. Well fear not, because there's another opportunity knocking right around the corner.

Well sure its not big and bad like WCG. Neither it promises to take out to some Italian holiday to meet Italian chicks (what else?) in the next edition of WCG. But u can play some exciting games and get some cool prizes too. World games, a small gaming corner, in the 5th (or is it the 6th?) level of Basundhara city is offering gamers another chance to rip what they have sown i.e their gaming skill ever since they were born. They are offering competition on games like Halo 2, WWF smackdown, Fifa and NFS. They are still registering and will register till they reach 64 players per event, which isn't far away. There is a registration fee of 300 or 200 bucks. For Halo you have to bring a tag alone partner.

So that's it all about rules. But wait! Don't you want to know about prizes. Hell Yeah! Prizes include cool stuff like Nintendo DS and cell phones. I dunno about the phone, but Nintendo DS sounds cool for a prize. So get your gaming asses down there and start smashing some metals (in the gaming world that is. Here's me signing off.

By Monty Python

Another iftar blast to bring the underground listeners together!

5th October, 2006 was a really big day for TunesBD.com as they threw out their traditional Iftar blast for the 3rd time. This time it was a bit different from the previous two since it was held at Al-Baik ( Dhanmondi 8/A ). The floor started getting filled with members from 4:30 and gradually increased which brought more than 85 members with guests. And that was a huge response for a underground musical community because, we don't get to see so many people together in such kind of gathering. So, it was most probably one of the biggest gathering of any music community after AmaderGaan.com.Bands members of Scarecrow, Triloy , Gene-Split , NDKK and Exile From Noakhali also joined the party to give it a splendid look. The food was delicious though the menu was kind of different what people usually have in iftar. But then again, the smirk in their face showed that, they were satisfied with the food. After the iftar segment, everyone had a fun time by chattering with other members. Meanwhile, the site gave away some gifts to three random members by picking up the names through a raffle draw. The winners were Mouly ( *meawww~ly* ) , Abhi ( jenova941 ) and Arnab ( Forest Of October ) . The party ended as every one gave a surprise farewell to one of the most popular member and also an x-stuff Arif, who is leaving Bangladesh for further studies. Everyone signed a t-shirt with their own thoughts for Arif and gave it to him as a memento. All over the evening was really outstanding for everyone as they enjoyed every single minute of it. Another successfull iftar blast by TunesBD.com to bring the underground listeners together, was totally worth it. ChordsNstringS ( Kamran) , Boundule ( Fahmim ) , ratamahatta ( Shovon ) and slim_shady ( Sami ) deserves the thanks for being the organizers and taking the
step to make it happen!

By Arifeen Mahmood Khan ( Imran )

Not a labelled muslim

With another Ramadan comes another celebration of Islamic pious-ness. Saying your prayers five times a day, essential generosity in charity, words like “ekhon romjan-er maash, mukh kharap korlam na” are common 'in-things' and everybody is in the hype of it. One month and the fashion dissolves away into nothingness. Too busy for the daily prayers, too stressed at work to help others and too angry to not exchange abusive words. *sighs* Many Muslims of 21st Century.

Honestly. It's ridiculous. With the belief that your sins will be forgiven overnight for a month's prayers and somehow compromise for the remaining eleven months of zero practice, the only person being fooled is you. The strange faith that a night's begging and pleading during Shab-e-Barat will solve all your problems and you will be in God's good books the truth behind many Muslims in Bangladesh. True, Allah counts the effort; but certainly not the one which is forgotten the following day.

What are we? Muslims by birth, Muslims in passport, Muslims with the label on our heads. Anything. Definitely not Muslims in faith, Muslims in words, Muslims in action. Definitely not Muslims who'll get to dance around virgins in Heaven (if that's all Heaven means to you). At one point of our lives, we're made to go to a hujur who recites the Quran to us and we follow; needless to say, without understanding the meaning of a single syllable we're reciting. What's the point of 'wasting your time' over something you don't even understand and more obviously, will never follow for the remaining days of your life? I call it 'wastage' Islam tells you to read the Quran and understand its meaning, not recite through it like parrots and forget about it after a while.

The next question is: am I any better? Am I Muslim who understands and follows the holy book that my religion has blessed me with? Do I fear Allah, do I fear the raging fire of Hell, have I dedicated myself in serving my Creator? With brutal honesty, I admit I have barely done anything of the sort. I admit that I have been no good, lazily skipped years of prayer, lied through my teeth while fasting and worst of them all, realized it after wasting 18 years of life in committing myself to doing trash.

When I was smaller, we had a hujur who came to our place every alternative day and 'taught' myself and my brother the Quran. What made her efforts and 'teachings' completely meaningless is the simple fact that she herself didn't know the meaning of the Quran and managed to pass absolutely nothing to us. My dad prays five times a day and played a huge role in making his three kids pray along with him. The result was a tiny bit more productive than the hujur's efforts.

Like the Muslims I've been criticising in the previous paragraphs, I have said my prayers with full enthusiasm during Shab-e-Barat, Shab-e-Miraz and Ramadan. Likewise, I was doing it with the vague belief that Allah was satisfied. The story of my misdoings doesn't end here. I tried to regularly say my prayers before the report cards of our final examinations were getting published, when I was caught doing something wrong and didn't want Mum to be too difficult with her punishments, during my O'levels, before my O'level results and almost every other time when I was in a mess.

Sadly, I never quite remembered to say my prayers to thank Allah for protecting me, for giving me what I have, for all the good things that have happened to me or anything positive in my life not always. Only recently, I realized how I've been a shameless moron with these 'acts of loyalty'. I figured out I was calling out to my Creator only when I needed his blessings desperately and I was ashamed of myself. Hmm, that wasn't exactly a very nice feeling.

What did I do to correct myself? For a start, I became more regular with my prayers. I made Ramadan my practice ground and hopefully, have rigidly committed myself to continue saying my prayers 5 times daily even after Ramadan. I learnt to appreciate what I have been gifted with, learnt to thank Allah for His blessings. Keeping up with compressed time schedules of school, class and work, and somehow squeezing 5-10 minutes for prayers may be extremely difficult at first; but it's not impossible. I figured out if I came back from school at 2:45pm, I still had time to take a quick shower and say my Zuhr prayers. If I was at a coaching centre during Asr prayers, I could easily excuse myself for 10 minutes and say my prayers. If your tutor doesn't allow you to do that, the sin is on his/her shoulder! Besides, there's always scope for kaz'aa for exceptional situations. As far as 'knowing' the Quran goes, I'm still in the middle of my research, but I've stopped cursing and started thanking a friend who gave me 12.1GB of Islamic material.

So, have I become a molla (I forgot the term for the female version of molla)? No, I haven't. I still listen to music, watch TV, jump around my room, argue with my parents, and more. I'm still 'fun' and 'normal', if that's a doubt. However, it's painful to watch some of my friends being taunted because they wear a hijaab. It's painful to watch boys who say their prayers and avoid cigarettes being called 'immature' and 'boring'. The weird part is that they're being discriminated for doing something absolutely right and many of their parents don't support their religious ways. I mean, they're some of the coolest people with the most amazing ideologies that you can ever interact with and it's simply depressing to observe all this.

Islam isn't about simply acknowledging the infinite power of Allah. Ramadan isn't about fasting for a month and telling your friends, “dost, Eid-er chaad dekhle botol khamu.” Eid isn't about wearing new clothes, hanging out with friends and saying, “ek maash onek koshto korsi ekhon manja merre cigarette taanbo.” Being a Muslim isn't about talking about Allah, staying up nights reciting memorized prayers, keeping a orange-ish beard and cheating people with money with the same hands you say your mona'azat with.

We all grow up with sins and none of us are perfect angels. We will be wrong, not once or twice, but several times in our lives. What's more important is how we make an effort to not-be-wrong, a really meaningful effort to at least do what's farz for all Muslims. Being a Muslim requires a strong sense of resistance and a stronger sense of realization. It's not impossible; it's simply difficult. But it's worth the effort. Like I said before, Allah counts the effort.

By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

Times change… so does the taste in music

If parents had to choose between some mangled animal carcasses and listening to some contemporary death metal album, I can safely say that they would go for the former. Such is the antagonistic feeling towards death metal music from the older generation that it's quite surprising that it was in their era when the pioneering death metal bands made their mark, which is soundly followed by their modern, and much varied, descendants.

Music, it seems, follows the old axiom of 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', which can be transformed to 'music is in the ear of the listener'. It's hard to be sure about the inception period of music, since that itself is the subject of many controversies. Nevertheless, we might not know the chronological birth year of music, but we sure know the chronological change in the music taste world wide. Where once pop and soft rock and jazz were considered as the epitome of musical composition, different bands experimented with different metal genres, and quite a few made a name in the process. Slowly over the years, due to the persistent effort of the many metal bands in the history of music, metal music have thrived and has mushroomed to such an extent that the fan base of metal music have increased almost ten-fold since the 90's, and is still increasing.

Think about it. Earlier, bands like Roxette, Queens and others used to be the centre of attraction at all concerts. Even if you went to buy an album, you will see that most people from the 80's seemed to be more inclined on buying these albums. The niche segment of the population that went for metal music used to be treated more like the musical society's outcast. But in the 80's the explosion of the metal genre become quite apparent when Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer and bands of that caliber started to come up with their distinct composition that made them famous worldwide, and their music. Bands like Death and Morbid Angel, who are considered unparalleled even now in the genre of death metal, made their mark with their exquisite yet brute composition, which are viewed as the yardstick when comparing any other death metal bands.

Bangladesh wasn't any different from the change that was happening in the music world, where different genre seems to pop out with its own fan base. True, the diversity of music in Bangladesh seems to have grown by a very subtle margin, but it did happen, with the modern arena set for underground bands having the capability of releasing albums, which wasn't a dream many bands went for in the early 90's.

Bands like Miles, Warfaze stamped their authority in the music arena in the 90's, with their catchy compositions and meaningful lyrics. At that point of time, not a lot of underground bands could get into the music field as easily as it has become now. Cryptic Fate tried to enter the scene with their debut English album, but failed miserably, because the transition between the-then metal genres to a more metallic genre was not something most people appreciated. But as the 90's rolled onto the new millennium, bands like Aurthohin, Artcell and Black started to redefine the different genres of metal music.

Nowadays you have death metal bands like Poizon Green releasing albums, which was almost unthinkable a decade back. In that respect, Bangladesh has achieved the diversity that has spread all across the world. Now it's not uncommon for a person to listen to bands like Cranberries while at the same time enjoy the metallic orchestra of Cradle of Filth. I guess times have change, with that, so did the taste in music.

By Asifur Rahman Khan


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