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Liberated by language only

Have you ever tried imagining how your life would have been if we didn't have our liberation? Every single day would have been like we see it is in Palestine. Our freedom fighters have freed us from that kind of misery. They gave us our country: Bangladesh. Love it or hate it, Bangladesh is our motherland. This is the only place in the whole world that we can claim as ours. It is the only country in the world that has fought so that it's people can speak their own language. This is the only place where we are not strangers. This is where we belong.

At every other place you would go to, you can't help but feel at least a bit dejected and often looked down upon as a second grade human. And here, you feel gloomy when you see hundreds of people lying in the streets, you feel upset when you see the news telecaster smilingly gives the news of hundreds of people dying because of 'monga'. But can you run anywhere else? No. Because this is the only place you've got to live in. You can go to any other country and start living, but you can never deny the fact that you were born here. That this is where you belong.

You can make your life luxurious. You can buy a dress costing 50000 taka. You can throw your i-pod and buy a new one even if its only a few month old. But is that solving those problems of our poor souls? Is it making your country even a tiny bit better? What you're doing is simply denying the problem.

Have you ever thought that if the freedom fighters hadn't given their lives, you'd have to run from town to town to save your life? Today you dream about buying new cell phones. You wouldn't have been able to eat twice a day! Our country has saved us from that, has given us the luxury to look gloomily at the street kids from our car windows. Shouldn't we be grateful for that? Shouldn't we try to do anything for our country?

You feel proud to hear that Dr. Mohammed Yunus won the Nobel Prize. You cheer when Bangladesh cricket team beats Australia. Then why do you turn your head around when you see the street kids running from car to car to sell small packets of snacks or a blind old beggar comes to you and stretches his hand? Are they not a part of our country? Didn't the fighters fought for them as well? So why should they be left behind? And for how long do you think that they will tolerate this misery? Don't forget they have their right in the money you use for your sweet comfort and if you really love your country for what it is, you'll also have to think for them.

What you can do? It's easier than you think. You can do little bits of stuff that might seem like nothing when you do it, but if you look at them afterwards, you'll be pleasantly surprised how nice it feels. Instead of watching a lame movie for the fourth time or sitting around doing nothing at all, you can try teaching the kid of your housemaid. Rather than buying an ice cream, can't you buy a few candies and give them to the poor kids? The pleasure you'll find in giving is going to be all yours. In this winter, you can give your old clothes to the poverty-stricken people. To you its emptying your wardrobe; to them, it's saving their skin from the chilling wind. Its' not the only thing you can do. If you can copy those lame and stupid Indian soap operas, can't you can't you try to take in some of their good sides instead for a change? Can't you learn anything from their patriotism? I saw on the news that a political leader in India was hunger-striking for five days just so that the government stops using farmland for industry. Can't you promise for the sake of your country that if you ever become successful in your life, you'll love your country like that?

We are the young people. We know that after some time, this country will be in our hands. If we keep acting blind to the hunger-stricken people, how can we ever expect our country to be the one we dream of? We'll have to work for this country. And we'll have to work hard. But it's possible, and when with just a little bit of effort you can bring smiles to so many faces, how could you not put in that effort?

On the 21st of February, we expect people to think back on the sacrifices of the language movement with reverence. After all, the valiant fighters did so much so that we could freely express ourselves in our mother tongue. That's what led to our liberation as a nation. Let's try to make them proud and promise that in this time of rebirth we'll work a bit harder for our country to prove that we love her.

By Orin

Valentine's Day Disasters

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. I know many of you out there eagerly wait for this day to spend with that 'special someone' while others just grumble about how commercialized this day is and how it's just another way for gift shops like Hallmark to make money . Whatever may be your mantra I'm sure for many of you, your Valentine's Day didn't exactly go as you planned. Here are some true Valentine's Day Disaster stories by anonymous writers that may cheer you up and make you realize that your V-day wasn't so bad after all:-

* My worst Valentine's Day ever was Feb. 14, 2002. I was at work wondering what my husband and I would do that evening. Every year since we'd met we would go to the Zoo for Valentine's Day. 20 Years of Zoo Valentines and I loved it. I got a call while still at work…and it was my husband. He told me on the phone that he wanted a divorce and would be moving out that night. When I got home from work he was partially packed. He didn't move that night. We actually went to dinner with my parents and my children for the holiday and he moved out the next day. A Valentine's Day I'll never forget.

* It was Valentines Day. I had planned a romantic evening in my apartment for my fiancé and me. After dinner I planned to ask her to marry me. Just as I began to ask her and present the ring, the telephone rings. My fiancé answers and on the other end was my ex-girlfriend which I had not even spoken with in over a year. Needless to say, I didn't speak to her that night either.

* I spent endless hours last year trying to put together the most special, wonderful, thoughtful present ever one Valentine's Day. I looked up different ways of saying I Love You and put them on heart shaped sugar cookies that I made. I made homemade candies, fudge, and a poem. Then I wrote down 100 reasons why I loved him. I put them all in a beautiful box. The evening he came over I had dinner made for us with sweet romantic music and candle light, then afterwards I presented him with the box of goodies. I also had chocolate covered fruit. I was waiting in anticipation for my gift, but didn't want to say anything. After the night was over and I was walking him to his car he told me that he didn't get me anything but that he had a dollar that he could give me all the while he was digging in his pocket to fish it out. If that wasn't bad enough he told me that he didn't want the baskets... he would just eat the stuff inside and then give me the baskets back.

* It was the week before a valentine's evening banquet. It was required that you dress up and bring a date - and girls had to ask the guys. So I asked my favorite guy, the one I had been going out with for months. I was so excited that he had said yes. I looked for the most gorgeous gown. I found a black one in velvet skirting and silk. I had my hair and nails all done. Quite costly I might add. Two hours before our date and I was picking him up in a limousine that I had rented. It was all planned, everything was in place. I decided to check my email before leaving. To my amazement there was an email from my date, "sorry, other plans came up and I had to leave for Oklahoma City." His friend Teresa had to go to a dog show and she needed him to watch her other animals.

* My boyfriend and I were really tight up for cash one Valentines day. So he wanted to cook me a nice romantic candlelit dinner and then go to the movies. I was so excited. I got dressed up really nicely and headed out to his house. It was snowing pretty badly out, and of course just my luck my car breaks down. I had to walk in the snow for 15 minutes to try and find a pay phone, but there were none so I ended up walking to his house. So I finally I arrive at his house late obviously drenched, hair, makeup, outfit, shoes ruined. So he went and got me dry clothes and we ate dinner. Then the worst part arrives. After our dinner and movie which went great, he decided to slip into his hot tub. And when I say slip I mean SLIP!! I rushed him to the hospital and we were there all night and all the next day

Compiled by Nisma Elias


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