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Sticks and broken bones

Dork, freak, geek, nutcase, weirdo, fatso, creep, curry-breath - what haven't I been called in my life? “Sticks and stones, may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” has been one of the mantras of my existence. But sometimes, a simple, nonchalant “idiot” can undo you. It's all in the tone people. That “idiot” hurt a thousand times more than all angry SoBs and F-yous put together.

I won't lie to you; some of the words mentioned in the first line do apply to me. I'm a dork, definitely a geek, and by all means, I am a fatso. But having these words hurled at you day and night can get on your nerves.

I think we have all seen, at some point in our lives, a kid being thumped against the wall by some bigger guy, with guffaws from onlookers, while his sweetheart passes by with a smirk on her face, accompanied by her friends. But this is something one can stand, as long as they have some friends who can console him and say the girl really isn't worth it. But what is worse is when people ignore you.

Indifference is like guerilla warfare. If a jock pushes you up against the wall, at least you can fight back with a punch or two. But you can't fight people who just pass you by like you are invisible. And it slowly builds up inside until it bursts like a volcano someday.

To quote the great Dumbledore: indifference and neglect often cause much more damage than outright dislike. You can talk all you want about being kind to people. But in reality, there is a kid in every class that is ignored, and sometimes ridiculed, by everyone else. Normally, this happens because we all like to assume things about other people without getting to know them better. Don't kid yourself by saying you don't assume anything; you do, consciously or subconsciously. And that is the biggest mistake you can make.

Assumptions are usually based on first impressions. It's hard to always put up a decent first impression. Most people are eager to make new friends on the first day of school or college. As a result, they get carried away and blurt out things that they don't actually mean. Just the other day, I said something to a colleague as a joke [I'm the king of bad jokes] and I think she took it the wrong way. Some creepiness probably crept into my words. It happens. Don't assume things about people without knowing them.

To all you kids out there having similar troubles, don't worry about it too much. Keep your mind busy with something else. After all, it's only for like a couple of years. If it comes to physical abuse, tell someone - your parents, teacher, brother. And not everyone in a class is an what's the word for it “idiot”. There are bound to be some compassionate people and there's bound to be someone with the same problems as you there always is. Stick together. It's more bearable if you have someone to fall back on. And don't do anything extreme, no matter how bad things get.

To everyone else, well, that kid in your class has a brain just like you. Talk to him; try to get to know him. You'll find out things you never knew. He's not as “idiotic” as he seems. And he'll definitely be a loyal friend.

By Kazim Ibn Sadique

Come,let us HELP

A general view that is shared by all adolescents today is how useless their life is. If you too belong to that mass then here is your big chance to do something about it. If you choose to accept this opportunity then your life may seem a little less worthless in the future.

We all know how our country was hit by a sudden unexpected flood in the last month. We are hearing it on news and reading about it in the newspapers almost every single day yet we are failing to comprehend its intensity since many of us are not experiencing it first hand.

Though the flood water is now receding and water levels of all the rivers are falling below the danger marks, but the misery of the victims are far from ending. Almost seventy per cent of the country went under water last month and at present the authorities are holding fourteen districts as still flood affected. Thousands of people are now homeless and those who are fortunate enough to manage a roof over their heads are out of food and pure water supply.

Diarrhoea is spreading like wild fire among the flood affected regions and some doctors even fear the breakout of cholera. Apart from diarrhoea people are also suffering from eye infections, RTI and other severe water borne diseases.

At times like this a little contribution from all of us can bring out drastic effects. All of us in our own way can do something or the other to help the poor victims. If money is a problem then we can also provide them with dry foods, clothes, pure water and of course medicine. Many organizations are setting up donation centers and we can lend them our services as volunteers.

We may open donation booths ourselves in our schools and colleges and contribute to the existing ones by collecting materials from our neighbours and relatives. We may give our collections to the nearby mosques, orphanages or madrassas. We can undertake a bit of a research and contact some reliable NGOs if we can accumulate large funds. If not anything else then we can at least ask our house help, driver or the caretaker of our apartment buildings how they and their families are holding up and help them as far as possible; as the common saying goes: charity begins at home.

The task is not at all hard; what we need is a bit more awareness and we shall come across a lot of ways to make ourselves a little more valuable to the society. What we spend behind one meal in Pizza Hut or Chicken King or Leisure Lounge can feed a family of three for one whole week. So what we need to give up in order to become a better human being is one day's meal with friends in one of those places. Doesn't sound like much does it?

It's even simpler than you think and the rewards are amazing. If we can manage to reach out our helping hands to at least one destitute at this crucial time, our meals will taste a lot better than usual in the next few days. We are stuck with this image of being useless spoilt brats and no time can be better than now to try and change it.

By Pushpita Saha

CGIY Football Tournament for flood victims

This summer has witnessed so many football tournaments that even the most die hard fans are getting a little tired of football. While we realize that the last thing that's needed right now is another tournament, we feel that we have kept the best for the last. This tournament is different, this tournament is unique. This tournament has a cause that is so great that even your tired legs will find new strength and you won't be able to wait till you can put your boots on!

All the money raised from this tournament will go to the relief of Flood Victims. Aside from your registration fees, you, your family and friends will be able to give donations in cash, dry rice, saline, water purifying medicine, clothes or anything else that you feel will help all those who are affected by floods. Along with the tournament, regular discussions, awareness campaigns and a concert will take place on the field to help the flood victims.

We look forward to you joining CGIY's mission to help those who have been left behind as we move towards greater wealth and prosperity. Let's stop our journey and wait for them to catch up. You can do your bit today by registering for this tournament.

I look forward to seeing you on the field, ready to fight for your team and our cause!!!!

p.s to register (Tk. 2000 ), contact Arman Mohammad. Phone: 01190489287

Email: cgiybd@gmail.com
By Farzeen Ferdous Alam
Secretary General
Centre of Global Issues for Youth (CGIY)


My Old School

Until last year I was up there on the stage sitting with the morbid look that you're supposed to have at a milad, despite the occasion of the milad ( which in this case is the foundation day) singing the hymns I knew by heart from singing them year after year after year. Today, when a note was sung out of tune there was this odd sadistic pleasure that came from the thought 'Oh that would have never happened if we were up there' which is of course not necessarily true.

Over the 13 years the numbers on the banner had changed from 20 to 33, not that I can remember what that banner had looked like every single year, but the introduction, the surahs, the hymns, the speeches the setting, nothing had really changed; but they had, for me at least. I wasn't up there as one of the performers or down here as one of the students. I have gone onto this different category that goes by the name of the ex-students, the huge mass who have passed on from this institution. I didn't really know how I felt about that. As a student I remember feeling proud of my school's achievements, tortured by the insane pressure, annoyed by the long assemblies but as an ex-student I wasn't quite sure how to feel…nostalgic?

Maybe that's why I didn't go to the podium when a representative of the ex-students was called upon for a short speech; I was confused about how I felt about 'my old school' because that is what it is to me now.

'The musical bus rides, adventurous rehearsals, break-time gossips, the class joker, the laughter versus the exams, the punishments, the breaking of friendships, the hollow sinking feeling of a bad report card…did these two poles cancel each other out? I don't really think so, they were all just experiences through which we crossed a new bridge, broke a new barrier every day on our journey to finding ourselves.

We are really all puzzles being pieced together, and this school had laid out the best possible foundation through its experiences and education.' Tushmit finished her speech. No, her one wasn't as flowery; something short, motivating and pleasing to the teachers. It took me ages to come up with the quoted bit sitting their in the audience. It's clichéd, I know, but it came form the heart and slightly from the spite that I felt at not being the one speaking. The national anthem was sung. Rishad said 'Some things never change'. I thought it was a generalized comment and then she said 'Even today they mumble the national anthem'.

The milad ended. There were photos, warm hugs from the teachers, small talk with the students. It was an odd déjà vu. Of course this was my first time in this school as an ex-student but I was too familiar with this scene, as an on-looker though, back then when I was one of the students. We walked around our favourite hang-out spots the all-purpose-shed and basketball 'court', it was a dust field actually, they never got it cemented.

We had to get used to the fact that the ball bounced up at random heights and in random directions due to the uneven ground, before we could actually learn the game.

There were dares we played like standing on a sanitary pipe in a pose, like being crucified, or trying to sell water-filled Seven-up bottles at a discount from canteen prices, yeah all pretty cracked up, it was fun. I was with the same friends in the same place surrounded by the same people but interestingly, the absence of uniform (due to the occasion of the foundation day) was, as mentioned earlier, not the only difference.

I left in a daze. It was funny; I felt like I was back to school…you know how you feel after a winter vacation. I felt like the school girl in the grey uniform going home with a ton of home work. But then I was really a college girl in casuals going to tutor from my visit to my old school.

By Aniqa Moinuuddin


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