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Music Mantra: Nostalgic songs

Have you ever said goodbye to someone? If you didn't or if you are not going to soon, consider yourself lucky. Saying goodbye is the hardest thing you gotta do. And that doesn't mean, saying goodbye to a person, but saying goodbye to many things, which you take for granted. Everytime I think about the part where I have gotta say goodbye, I remember these songs. They sometimes make me feel like crying, but then again it leaves me with a weird sense of what should I say, hope? I don't know. These songs are essentially nostalgic, essentially sad, but paradoxically optimistic. Its weird. You feel everything at once. Hear them, you might just want to feel this 'weirdness' too.

My first song is “A Late Goodbye”.
Late Goodbye is the song which features on the ending credits of Max Payne 2- a game which you all probably played and this song perfectly concludes the feeling of desolation that Max Payne's world leaves you with. You can almost feel the empty streets and the dead world that he finally walks away from.

A Late Goodbye is an alternative rock song by an awesome band, Poets of the Fall. It's about how the singer realizes that life is all about driving away into the night and saying goodbyes. Reminds you of Robert Frost don't it?

Sarah McLachlan's “I will remember You”
This song is well…lovy dovy. But even if you don't love lovy dovy stuff you will love Sarah's McLachlan's angelic Southern accented voice. The song is about her asking whether her lover would remember her. Whether the memories would be enough to bond them together. Hear the part, where she sings 'will you remember me…”- you can almost feel her plea. A lovely soft song. It might put you to sleep, but you will go to sleep with a sad smile on your face.

With or Without You- U2
A timeless classic by the legends themselves, U2. This is the song that everyone associates with U2, with the exception of maybe Elevation.

The best part of the song is Bono's chorus, the part where he does that moan (?), what is it? I dunno, but it sounds so inspiringly beautiful.

With or Without You is a pretty old song, so you will find it almost everywhere. I recommend trying out “The Best of U2 1990-2000”

Obinoy by Icons
I am not really good at describing bangla songs, or as a matter of fact, understanding them. But this song is one which is really…. well joss. I really like Icons, although metal fans might call it, sissy, there songs have what you can call, a heart to it.

Slok by Black
This is an awesome song by Black, with accessible and instantly recognizable lyircs, a very catchy rhythm by Jahan and great flute-works. Plus this song features, Tahsan, Elita and John- and the trio puts on a spellbinding performance. This is a song that can really make you feel nostalgic- for no apparent reason. I don't really know why many people (I know) have lost faith in Black. But for fans of nostalgic Bangla rock songs, Black is the ultimate.

And of course, how can I forget the great "Dhukho Bilash"
Dukho Bilash is a classic Artcell song, widely held to be one of their best creations ever.. Dukho Bilash is a song, which I can compare to Metallica's Unforgivven. The sadness in it is eminent everywhere, in the way it is sung, the way the words are pronounces and the awesome instruments that is the hallmark of every great Artcell song. This song is mature s***. I dunno know why I am even trying to popularize something already this popular.

I leave the best for the last
Have you heard of Dido's “Thank You”- you might not have heard the real version, but probably the Eminem version in the song “Stan”. Thank You is probably the most nostalgic song in the world. With Dido's strangely down-to-earth and yet angelic voice, this song tells you why she is considered what one of my friends describe as “American Rabindro Shangit”. Thank You, is about someone special to her leaving her. She obviously feels very sad and thinks about all the things she misses. But then she looks at his pictures on her wall, or hear his voice on the phone when he calls her, and realizes that things are not that bad. I guess you call her getting used to the fact that he is not there. But its really that she is grateful for all the things they shared- and the sharing is what is more important and more 'real' than the fact that he wasn't there beside her in person. So, she echoes and chants again and again, “I want to thank you, for giving me the best day in my life”

Feel the pinch of sadness. Power up your MP3 player with these hits:
Dido- Thank You
Artcell- Dukho Bilash
Black- Slok
Icons- Obinoy
Sarah McLachlan- I will Remember You
Poets of the Fall- A Late Goodbye
U2- With or Without You

By Reggie

Space: The next frontier

The Universe is around 13.7 million years old. The Big Bang started it all and since then, the Universe is ever expanding. How did we get this near-about round figure? Thanks to none other than the Astrophysicists and the branch of science called Astronomy. Astronomy is the study of stars, universe and everything in the space frontier and how it affects our life, and it is the oldest known form of science present long before mathematics was even heard of! Unfortunately, such an interesting subject is not taught formally in any of the leading universities in the Bangladesh. It may be taught as a side course, but nothing more. But with enthusiastic star-gazers, it may not be long since things start to change!

“Space: The Next Frontier” was the title of the ten-day Astronomy workshop that kick-started in Alliance Francais de Dacca, with a large number of enthusiastic people attending it! Each year, the Bangladesh Astronomical Association holds this workshop in a bid to attract enthusiastic learners to the ever-expanding concept called Space. In the inauguration day, the Vice Chancellor of Brac University- Dr. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Deputy Director for Cultural Affairs in Alliance Francais de Dacca - Mr. Laurent Jalicious, ex-chairman of SPARRSO - Dr. A.A.Z. Ahmed, and BAA advisor Mr. Md. Shamsur Rahman were present in the occasion.

Mr. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury in his speech expressed his concern over the low number of Science graduates the country is producing, “Our neighboring country has far more Engineers, Scientists and Doctors comparatively and hence their advancement is also comparatively at a higher rate,” he said. Unfortunately, today there is no formal education in Astronomy. Once upon a time we did hear about Astronomy courses in Dhaka University but after that, it has been difficult to keep this subject alive. BAA had since then held various workshops, space exploration sessions and star-gazing programs all throughout the metropolis. “The main aim of this workshop is to revive the interest and curiosity in Astronomy and Science in general,” said Dr. Z. Ahmed.

Astrophysics Olympiad is being held in various divisional levels. Unfortunately, there is not enough funding available for a National Level Olympiad. The BAA authorities hope that some day, through workshops like this, they will be able to send a team from Bangladesh to compete internationally at Astrophysics or Astrology Olympiads. With two of the eminent Astrophysicists receiving Nobel Prize last year (Discovery of the cause of Cosmic Background Radiation as a remnant of the Big Bang) and the large presence in this year's workshop, I am quite sure it won't be long before we see a good team in next years Astrology competition.

Special thanks to Mr. Milon, workshop coordinator and
Mr. Kazi Abdullah al Muktadir, AFD Program Officer.

By Shamma M. Raghib

Against Racism, Martin Luther King Jr.

One of my best experiences while staying in the US lies in a church in Brattleboro, Vermont celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. day on Jan 15th. An open conference was being held that day to respect Rev. King's contribution to humanity by the means of inter-religious discussions with notables representing different religions, as each related the ideals of their own religion to the dreams of Martin Luther King: unity among humans regardless of religion, caste and color.

As we all know racism is a huge factor in the US, and as I had seen a few cases first hand, it is a huge deal here, especially among certain college students. It was honestly an amazing experience seeing people unite to fight racism showing that are a major portion of Americans firmly against this issue, campaigning and teaching in many parts of the country. The Iraq war was strongly detested by all to the point of tears. Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and even Atheists were all present to honor the great leader and share their views.

References were also taken from the life of Mahatma Gandhi, Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi and Lalon Fakir to address the issue of humanitarianism. Here one of Lalon's famous songs, “Shab loke koy Lalon ki jaat shongshare” was played along with its english translation and elaboration. Following is a rough translation of the song:

Everyone asks what religion does Lalon follow?
Lalon asks, "What is the shape of religion?
I could not find any"
Some has garland around their neck
and some has tojbi in their hands
which signifies the difference of their religion.
But when people are born or when they die
What symbolizes their differences?
Circumcision in men indicates that he is a Muslim
But what of the women?
Male Brahmons can be recognized by their threads
But how can we recognize the female Brahmons?
Everyone is busy stating his or her caste and religion
But I am yet to find any meaning to them.

The song says that Lalon does not see any proper justice to human beings in any religion. He says that we should see through one's religion and color and instead focus the primary fact that we are all human beings, and thus we should treat everyone equally as such. In Islam it is also said that we should respect each other's religion and live in harmony. In Hindu religion sangscrit it is written, “See God in thy neighbor,” which yet again focuses harmony. As long as individually we do not acknowledge as such, racism will persist, and this goes for all of us.

In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a peacemaker promoting nonviolence and equal treatment for different races. Millions all over USA celebrated this day with same ideals; and while there are many in support of racism, there is also an increasing number against it. It is interesting to think that if King were alive today, what would he have done? It is a shame that we do not have leaders
like him in the present world.

By Adnan M. S. Fakir

What is the time?

A man is strolling past the mental hospital and suddenly remembers an important meeting.

Unfortunately, his watch has stopped, and he cannot tell if he is late or not. Then, he notices a patient similarly strolling about within the hospital fence.

Calling out to the patient, the man says, "Pardon me, sir, but do you have the time?"

The patient calls back, "One moment!" and throws himself upon the ground, pulling out a short stick as he does. He pushes the stick into the ground, and, pulling out a carpenter's level, assures himself that the stick is vertical.

With a compass, the patient locates north and with a steel ruler, measures the precise length of the shadow cast by the stick.

Withdrawing a slide rule from his pocket, the patient calculates rapidly, then swiftly packs up all his tools and turns back to the pedestrian, saying, "It is now precisely 3:29 pm, provided today is August 16th, which I believe it is."

The man can't help but be impressed by this demonstration, and sets his watch accordingly.

Before he leaves, he says to the patient, "That was really quite remarkable, but tell me, what do you do on a cloudy day, or at night, when the stick casts no shadow?" The patient holds up his wrist and says, "I suppose I'd just look at my watch."


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