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War in perspective

Live centuries ago, the tribe of Franks faced a waging war against the mighty Hordes who sought to conquer their motherland
Gregory Thornton was leaving his family. Though he was drowned in grief, he knew that a higher call to serve and defend his country has summoned him and the pangs of separation seemed like one of the little sacrifices for the glory and honour to fight for his land. Thus strengthened, he gathered his sword and armour, and waving a last goodbye to his weeping wife and daughter, left for the awaiting battlefield. Never before had his nation faced such a dark time when their very existence was threatened with extinction. The enemy hordes already lay waste to the surrounding villages. The Horde was as terrifying as it was massive. Gregory knew it would take more than just heroics to overcome this. He didn't like wars. But he knew that this war was necessary for freedom.

A deafening roar addressed the start of the battle. He charged head on towards the enemy. He galloped on against the mounds of sand and the sea of warriors. He fought gallantly, swiping away the attackers with his sword which glistened with their blood . He roared at his warriors to push on forward, despite all the odds and despite all the deaths. Every few minutes he would let out a mighty roar to life the spirit of his warriors. Slowly he saw the tide of the war turned. He could see his army swooping through the enemy who were falling defeated. The battle was almost over. They were conquering those threatened to conquer them! Suddenly a piercing pain shot through his back. A spear has struck him from the behind. He looked down and saw it's pointed head protruding out from his stomach and blood gushing out of him.The gallant soldier fell.

All his fellow warriors weeped in his funeral. The nation mourned the death of a great man without whom their precious freedom would have been lost to the foreign tyrants. In homage to his deeds, his warriors lined his shield with gold and kept it inside their most sacred monument as an artifact which symbolized freedom. The Shield of Gregory changed hands though and soon came under the control of his family, where to this day it lies in the room of the one who heads the family.

The year is 2010 and it was Sam Thornton's turn to take control of the noble family and be the caretaker of the Shield. It was an irony that the shield which symbolized freedom and the value of peace, now lay in the offices of the biggest weapon maker in the world and under the hands of a man who made his living through war and tragedy.

Sam was the descendant of Great Gregory Thornton and he never failed to show off his noble blood to potential clients. He was eagerly following the news. War had erupted in Somalia again. He saw the bloodshed and and instead of regretting the pitiful scene, his eyes were filled with unmistakable greed.More war meant better business and more business meant more money. He quickly grabbed the telephone and dialed. He knew that it was time for a nice chat with some of his contacts in the important newspapers and television channels. He had to feed them more rubbish about Somalia so that their news could keep both sides agitated enough to keep the war going. He snorted as he thought of all the images of ' voicing the truth to the people' that the media so diligently portrayed. They were just a bunch of poor sycophants at the feet of great financiers like him. It was time to remind them that. He closed his eyes in utter bliss as he waited for the other end to answer. The great Sam had just orchestrated another rebel uprising in Somalia and this small dying African country would become his biggest business client for many months to come...

No one denies that wars are brutal and they are the harbinger of death and destruction. Yet wars have been fought even since mankind learnt to hunt and live together. For centuries men have been fighting with other men over a variety of reasons. we can all claim that the biggest reason why men fight were always basically the same- power, greed and territory but the above two wars, although both entirely fictional highlight something interesting in the ways wars are perceived by those who orchestrate or fight them over the centuries. in the ancient ages, specially the medieval times, men fought wars because it was a glorious thing to do. The chance to fight for your country, for your glory was never a chance lost to them. at the king's slightest nod, they would gallantly rush forward and sacrifice themselves for whatever they believed in, whether it be freedom, justice, equality, a god or a nation. The average soldier had very little notion of the "self" When they were warriors their entire world transformed into one single goal. Fight and protect. It would be stupid to deny that there weren't any wars which involved greed or power, but wars in general were glorified events which held very special significance to the live of the men who lived it. Flash forward to the modern world and you see wars taking an entirely different perspective. A War has become a multinational financial investment. Whenever a war breaks out in any parts of the world, a little digging reveals that the story behind the war isn't simply tribal disagreement or the "fight for freedom". More sinister reasons lies behind it. The entire defense global defense industry is worth about 500 billion dollars. With so much money at stake, is it that hard to imagine a few Sam Thorntons, solely indulging in the game of war, as a means to profit from the misery and destruction of people's lives. Media companies make a killing whenever there is a war, because nothing makes better news than news of wars. I know these are serious allegations to make, but not really far fetched when you think about it. It seems that though wars are essentially evil and pointless, in the ancient ages, at least it symbolized pure values to those who participated in, unlike the modern wars which basically occurs whenever there is a significant cash transaction.

By Subehee S Ahmed

Bald and bold
Oh my! Is that a bald patch?

To go bald, or not to go bald… That is the question. Is it really? If it is, why? If it isn't, why not? One could, if one wishes, go into deep philosophical babble and other bulldung, but one will not. One will instead write about the whats, hows, and, especially, why-the-hecks.

What's first… Very simply, bald is a natural state for a human being, usually during old age but not always, where the person has very little or no hair at all on his, or her, head. A person who has shaved off all the hair from his, or her, head is also bald.

How's next… I remember my first time, as it were, head to head, with one of those electrical razor things, with monstrous looking teeth-like sharp thingies protruding out from… er, a thingy thing. I was seven. And I was scared as hell.

Anyway, this little tool, called an electric razor, would probably prove to be the easiest way to shave off the hair.

But, if you don't possess the contraption, you can always rely on the traditional method. It's more environment friendly, anyway, I guess. Right then… First things first, soak your hair all around. Take a scissor. And start cutting. I doubt it's that easy, so it'd be better if you had an accomplice.

When your hair's been cut all that can be cut, take one of those old-fashioned single-bladed razors. (For those who don't know, there are such things. You probably saw a rectangular piece of metal lying around your house, now and then. Very sharp, probably belongs to your grandfather? Uses it to cut his nails, maybe? Ring any bells? The razors use those sharp pieces of metal as the blade.)

A more flexible tool would probably be the 'khur', a long sorta-curved stick-like object with half a blade (instead of the whole thing) on one end. Either way, using the single-bladed razor, or khur, carefully, avoiding deep cuts and murders, swipe off the hair… Done? Voilà. You're bald.

Why the heck?
Good question. There are advantages and disadvantages to going bald.

Advantages: The first one in this current heated weather being is that you can feel the breeze... cooling your neglected scalp. Another more pronounced advantage is surprising people who have taken your hair for granted by suddenly showing up in front of them. Take a camera and snap pictures of their memorably bewildered expression. You can use those to blackmail them, later on… And of course, the light flashing of your bald patch would be enough to dazzle anyone. If you can't dazzle with a smile, dazzle with your scalp, I say.

Disadvantages: The first and foremost is the ultimate and unchangeable fact that you're bald. Seriously, being bald is not cool unless you have a demeanor and a physique like Vin Diesel or Steve Austin. If you're thin and skinny, the appearance is marred by the fact that you'd look like a former druggie just out of rehab. That takes a while to get used, people shooting suspicious stares at you.

Now you may ask: Okay, I know the advantages and disadvantages, so, why do I opt to go bald? Well, it could be a statement of non conformism, if you're the rebellious type. You could get one over society and its restrictions by openly flaunting your grand baldness. It would be interesting, if you're a girl who wants to get out of the vicious cycle that the fine traditions of this country put you through.

If you're a guy, you could show them pretty boys with the wavy locks that you too can make a fashion statement, albeit a very awkward statement, but a statement nonetheless. I can't say about bagging chicks but you can try. Really, it might just work. If Bush could win a second term, a bald skinny guy should definitely be able to charm a female with his shiny new scalp, don't you think?

Come on. Now decide, do you join the Bald Patrol or not?

By Emil


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