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Relentless socializing

“Hi it is Mokles, I wanna make friendship because u r very beautiful. How u r still single?!?! I know god kept u single for me. My number is ##### call me and I will keep you happy”

The above 'catch line' (excuse me for insulting the phrase) should ring a bell for all those who possess a Hi5 profile, especially girls and maybe even some unfortunate guys. It represents only a fraction of the absolute nonsense that fills up the inbox, every single day. Of course in the beginning it wasn't like this and the purpose of Hi5 was not to serve as an open arena for 'bio-datas'; free for inspection and investigation. It was supposed to be an easy way to keep track of friends and acquaintances. Obviously its purpose has been misunderstood… and believe me that is an understatement!

Initially it was quite alright with friends writing in personalized profile comments about what they like or (scarcely) what they dislike about you. Even that is somewhat pointless given that all these opinions are absolutely subjective- as in a person who maybe 'the sweetest person in the world' or 'the most adorable bear(?!?!)' to one may not be the same to everyone else. But then again I guess its alright coming from a close friend, but when an absolute stranger takes the liberty of making the same sort of comments…it's slightly, lets say, pointless. The photo comments were meant for reminiscing about the particular event during which the snapshot was taken…preferably by people who were actually present at that time… messages were meant to be urgent or from old friends who you've lost touch with. Well it didn't really work out that way. The mail boxes were soon over flowing with messages from 'deshi desparados' (exactly as khat as the phrase sounds) and comments ranged from pathetic to demeaning to absolutely outrageous!!

Thus ended the Hi5 fever that had spread like forest fire through the generation of youngsters. Its farewell was of course greatly assisted by the beginning of the new 'in' social site…yup it's Facebook that I'm talking about. It was initially started by the eight Ivy League universities in the US to improve contact and communication within their students. Later it was opened up to all universities and high schools in the US and finally to the rest of the world. Well the good thing about this particular site is the fact that you can choose the people who can view your profile. The maximum a stranger can see is a very tiny (2X2 cm) picture, name and country. Even amidst the people who you select to be a part of your friend circle you can authorize some to only be able to view your limited profile as opposed to the more personal one. Thus privacy level is certainly updated and made more flexible. Uploading picture files/folders are much easier and faster.

However according to some the simplicity and hence the sophistication of this particular site is being spoilt by an over load of very useless applications! Upgrading process from 'Poke' to 'Super Poke' to 'Poke Pro' doesn't appeal to many as any sort of REAL progress, on the contrary it appears to spoil the authenticity of the original 'Poke' feature (a process known in bangle known as pochay fela). A faithful Facebook user recalls with somewhat bitterness “the purpose was to inform member-students about events like reunions where thousands of invitations needed to be sent out or even share photos NOT to do Graffiti on people's walls saying 'ki khobor dosto??'” But to many these little things are perfectly harmless, even amusing and a good way to pass idle time. Even the innumerous applications may be passed off as 'improvements', which just goes to show the flip side of this particular debate.

For the time being the fans of Facebook certainly outnumber the critics. Until the time the opposite is true and another more 'hip' social networking site wins the heart of the capricious Teen, Facebook is certainly THE way to socialize.

By Anika Tabassum

Peace at last

As I stand here, I suddenly wish I didn't have to do this, that my mother was here, standing beside me, telling me to stop. I think I am scared. If someone tells me he is not scared of death, I will not believe him. Unless he has nothing to lose. So why do I feel afraid? No. I am going to do it. My mother is not going to show up. I close my eyes. The wind is beating against my face and tugging at my feet. I feel a sudden lightness. I cannot feel the ground. Am I falling? I open my eyes.

She let herself go from the roof and started to plummet down faster than she expected. Was the sky falling? She looked down for a millisecond; the world was racing towards her. Her eyes glassed over.

The image of the orphanage blurred and faded. Her mind flashed back to the day when she last saw Marie.

A younger girl was standing in the garden, holding Marie's hand. "I wish you were my mom. I could have my own home, my own life and be independent." said the girl and sighed.

"You will. One day. A beautiful family is going to come and take you away to a place where there is no sorrow." Marie replied.

"No! I don't want to! I want to stay with you. Why don't you adopt me? I don't understand." The girl's eyes brimmed with tears.

"Enola, you have to understand, an orphanage's house mistress cannot adopt any of the children and show partiality. I really wish I could. I have raised you since you were only four months old and I love you like a daughter and I cannot thank God enough for that but I cannot adopt you." Marie said this bitterly and with utter regret, hugging Enola tight and sobbing.

They looked at each other with utmost, incomparable love. Both being orphans, lacking an identity, understanding one another's pain, unrelated by blood but bonded closer than family.

The image faded.
Marie was standing in the common room, tears flooding down her face. A patchy looking man was standing with a woman discussing something while Enola and Marie talked.

"You have to go, my darling girl. They are a good family. This is your last chance. You are getting too old for this orphanage already" said Marie sadly.

Enola silently contemplated the couple, her eyes revealing nothing. After a long silence she walked towards the couple who had their arms outstretched. The image of Marie shrank and faded in her mind, never to be seen again.

It this what this is supposed to feel like? As I plummet down faster and faster, regret washes over me and my life's moments plays like a filmstrip in my mind. There is a blazing fire in my heart. Marie. I loved her so much but God had to tear me away somehow. Why God? Why? Do you ever listen? Are you even there?

"We are moving to another country tomorrow, so pack your things. Also, domestic help is very hard to find so we need you to help around, you know?" The patchy man from the orphanage now spoke in a rather menacing voice.

"But I do not want to-"
The woman interrupted Enola. "You have to and it is final. Say bye to whoever you know !"
The image faded away again into the dark.

She was standing by the window while it rained outside. The only person who had cared for her had been taken away from her. She had nothing to live for anymore. What was the use of living when there was no motive or aim? Wasn't death better? She would not even have to answer God as He was not there. He was never there, for her.

Her hands were at her sides like a preying eagle swooping fast towards the ground. Going down ... down... down... Her mind and heart resounded... Marie... She thought about her sudden regret of just giving up life and then she thought about God. She was falling but this time would God catch her?

Maybe my mother will be up there, and I will see her and the agony with which my empty soul aches will be gone.

I close my eyes. My pain fades and I feel free than I ever have. As I let go and turn away, I know I will never see it again. The pain. Never again.

By Ishmam Raidah Rahman

Paris Hilton's new “Life”

Any civilized person should not be aware of a thing in our midst called Paris Hilton. However it is also extremely hard to avoid running into Paris because she is almost everywhere. You talk about Sky News, you talk about CNN, BBC, AXN, Star World and even Set Max there she is, with her frizzy hair and her hideously pink bag. No one can hog the limelight like Ms. Paris can.

Paris Hilton is famous for being a rich spoilt brat. (It's amazing what people can be famous for these days). She is the heir of the famous Hilton Family and supposedly portrays herself as an actor, but is more well known for her partying, extravagant escapades, dogs and of course that forbidden three letter word. Oh and I heard there are some people who think that she is hot. She also did a couple of movies and a reality show called “Simple Life” which was essentially about how spoilt she was. Needless to say she wasn't very good at it. It's obvious that her extra curriculars were a ploy to keep the media spotlight on her and distract them from her acting “skills” (rolling on the floor laughing). It worked. Paris remained Hollywood's IT girl for well more than three years. The world's unhealthy obsession only started to wane when some one called Lindsay Lohan began to rise.

Now Lindsay Lohan wasn't much like Paris. For starters she looked more like a woman than Paris ever could and she also didn't conveniently have a billionaire dad. When Paris saw Lindsay becoming famous and the media-queen treatment she received wane she began to think deeply about her life. Of course being the spoilt brat she is she couldn't dwindle into obscurity that easily. No Paris must survive! And then came the brain wave… or ripple whatever you call it, since I really doubt whether Paris Hilton has a brain capable of producing a wave. The newest trend in the US is to fight for a social cause and to be responsible citizens. Paris soon realized her partying and excesses ran counter to the trend. So she decides to drink and drive and get caught and go to jail. Of course conveniently Daddy's billions couldn't save her from a prison sentence. After what could be a few weeks she emerged and predictably claimed she had seen the light. On Larry King live a sobre looking Paris Hilton said the jail experience of two weeks “changed her life” and she realized “her ways were wrong.” (The fact that it took her three years to realize that, doesn't make her appear any wiser at all) She promised not to “drink and drive” but of course didn't say she would put a stop to partying. She wanted to use her “influence” and “fame” for “good” now. (darn too many apostrophes for one sentence) You see there is something Hilton's specially of the spoilt girl variety can never stop doing.

In front of Larry King and all of New York she claimed dramatically that the world is going to see a new Paris Hilton. With that master-stroke the mistress of limelight hogging wrenched back the national interest on her. Hmm a new Paris? What would she be like? Speculations are a plenty. It seems like just when we expected Paris to be brandished into the pits of old news, she pulls up another rabbit from her hat. Too bad for Hollywood and all what we call respectable media.

By Reggie

Random facts

Did you know...?

... That half the world's population earns about 5% of the world's wealth?
... And that half the world's population is under 25 years of age?
... There are more than 150 million sheep in Australia, a nation of 17 million people?
... There are 6,000 new computer virus's released every month?
... That women spend more than $65 million on new cars and trucks, influence 80 percent of all new-car purchases, and bought 60 percent of new cars in 2000?
... That 2007 years ago, the sky was red?
... That the above statement is false?
... That four people of the RS staff have suffered from sprained ankle?

Collected and Compiled by S.S. Emil


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