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The week in re(ar)view

Burning up in anger
Anger management business would be a good field to invest in. There is plenty of angst flying about. Laid-off workers of state-owned Alim Jute Mills at Atra Industrial Area in the city put up barricades at different points of Khulna-Jessore Highway demanding withdrawal of layoff notice and payment of arrears.

That's all very angst ridden but what some of them intend to do is a bit too drastic. A group of workers think self-immolation is a hot idea if demands are not met. Lighting yourself up to have your demands met is definitely an idea that will go up in smoke. In fact, we think and Anger Management business focusing on proper utilization of temper would be a better business.

The dark is back
The country once again experienced what it was like 5000 years ago. Yes, power outages all over as the national grid failed again on 15 December.

Technical glitches in a transmission line at Ashuganj caused local power units to shut down. Chain reaction followed and we found out (yet again) what darkness looks like. Apparently, it's dark.

Hospitals were inconvenienced but we figure the lack of electricity is nothing compared to the lack of dedicated doctors. CNG driven vehicle driver had a chance to relax and catch up on news of their fellow drivers as they all waited for hours at gas pumps.

Cows no mooo-re
Cattle have been known to paint the town red every eid-ul-azha but we bet they (cattle) don't quite enjoy it. This time around there's fewer cattle will die. That does not mean people have suddenly become vegetarian. It's just that a lot of them died due to Cyclone Sidr.

Not only that cattle feed price has also gone up. So prices are expected to skyrocket. That's bad news for chickens.

Last year's top two sales were a bull sold at Tk 2.5 lakh and a camel at Tk 1.4 lakh. Watch this space (among many other spaces) to find out this years record holders.

Fishermen face off sharks
Fishermen in the chars of the post-Sidr Sundarbans are facing sharks of the worst kind. Yes, these are loan sharks.

Cyclone Sidr washed away almost everything, including houses, nets, boats and other necessary belongings, of these fishermen on nine islands. But they are beginning life afresh, building houses and repairing boats and nets. The money comes from greedy money lenders who charge high interests on a weekly basis. Of course, after rebuilding all that, will they find any fish left to fish?

Honest ward commissioners wanted for phone re-registration
Those of you who are yet to re-register you cell phones might have to do so soon or else face line disconnection. Or not.

The country's mobile telecom operators have asked the industry regulator to extend the deadline for subscriber re-registration. Apparently too many people are still not too bothered.

This is especially acute in rural areas where although people have phones they may not have proper documents and pictures IDs of any sort. So for that they have to fill in a BTRC form and get it attested by a first class gazetted officer or by the local ward commissioner.

Of course, the latter is hard to find these days as most of them have become fugitives after the state of emergency was declared.

By Mood Dude and Gokhra

The ultimate index of Bangali lifestyle

P for Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene isn't exactly the average Bangali's strong point. Have you ever been to a wedding where you've seen people washing their greasy hands with the water in the glasses and wipe them on the tablecloth, simply because they're too lazy to go to the washroom? The side of any road is considered a public urinal. Garbage disposal generally means throwing the trash out of the window onto the road below. People vomit and spit out of bus windows onto the street, showering anyone unfortunate enough in any nearby car with their windows rolled down or a passer-by. If you actually cross roads using over-bridges instead of running between cars, be careful to avoid the piles of human excrements on it.

Q for Queer
The average Bangali man on the street is inherently queer. Look at the number of guys holding hands in the footpath. It's uncomfortable and embarrassing when friends come from abroad and see this blatant display of buddy love. They go back thinking Bangali men are slightly, as the French would put it, fé-se. The fact that our bearded mollahs have a habit of kissing each other's cheeks does not help this situation.

R for Racism
Some people consider Bangladeshis terrorists. We beg to differ. Terrorists hate the 'evil blinded America'. Bangladeshis, quite simply, hate each other. It's not even discrimination between race and religion (since we're all mostly brown-skinned). For the lack of any better reason, we discriminate between English/Bangla medium, Mohamadan VS Abahani, PS2 VS Xbox, metal-heads VS hip-hop fans, modified Toyotas VS people who hate them, and so on. We're also obsessed about being fair. Being 'dark' is considered to be a punishment for the sins of a past life. If the TV ads were to be believed, the only criterion necessary for getting jobs, being married and leading a happy life is to be fair.

S for Staring
We all love to stare, but not rather do anything about the situation. Within minutes of an accident, the scene is going to be full of a crowd of chattering onlookers, all speculating their own versions of the accident and no one actually giving a helping hand. Often they stop paramed

T for modified Toyotas
A modified Toyota is the ultimate dream of any male Bangali student with a slightly 'Westernized' taste. This trend of khatness probably came from the Fast and the Furious movies and Need for Speed games. Let's just on the record to say there is nothing cool about a bulky Toyota modified to look like a sports car by adding body kits. Removing your silencer to make your car sound like it has a howler just serves to annoy people. Stickers like 'Most Wanted' or 'Cool Car' only reaffirms that the fast and furious kid who's behind the wheels has the IQ of the average potted plant.

By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya and Aaqib F. Hossain

Cool Adda

Location: Up on a tree beside Dhanmondi Lake
What to bring: A rope-ladder to help you for climbing and a packet of 'tetul er achar'

What to do: As soon as you settle yourself on the most comfortable branch of the tree, make sure you 'shoo' off other animals like squirrels and birds for example. You would not want any disturbance, now would you? Steady yourself and don't forget to share the same branch with that cute girl/boy you have a crush on. Observe the green water of the lake and the mosquitoes buzzing around it. You'd suddenly start to feel jealous since people all over Bangladesh are suffering from a serious crisis of over-population from which there are no places to live while the mosquitoes have an entire lake for their breeding ground!

Feel the soft breeze around you and while you converse with your mates, you'd hear a piercing voice sounding like a crow's caw. Who is it? You wonder. You look down, and no doubt, there are the 'seriously cool dudes' singing (if you'd call it that) with all their might and showing off their 'extremely wonderful' guitar skills. Each time a girl passes them; their singing gets more and more shrilly!

Be sure to look at the people exercising. From them, you can notice some interesting stuffs, like the obese next-door neighbour of yours running as if it were his life's last marathon. There are also going to be some 'cool' ladies walking and listening to their iPods simultaneously.

All of a sudden, you'd hear a number of queer noises right below you. So you look down again and see a couple smooching with all the passion that they could possibly show! Right then you have a superb idea and decide to throw the seeds of the 'tetul' that you were having on their heads. You're probably going to miss the first few throws but don't worry finally one or two could end up on their heads. When that happens, quickly take cover under the leaves of the tree (if your tree doesn't have enough leaves, then it's bad luck for you mate!). So, is Dhanmondi Lake, the coolest or what? Till next time, enjoy!

By Faria Sanjana


From the RS Desk

Dear Readers,
This year hasn't been an easy one for most of us. What with disasters, political trouble, and tragedies brewing almost on a monthly basis, it's been bad news for most of the way. Eid and Christmas are coming up next week, and maybe this is a sign that there's still hope, still a chance to turn it all around. This would be a good time to take a pause and count our blessings, and think about how we could make a difference.

Rising Stars would like to wish its readers a warm Eid Mubarak and a very merry Christmas

Dear aunt

People leave this world at one time or other, that much I know, especially when they are old. But leaving without so much as a warning is really unbelievable. My aunt, my dad's only sister, left all of us suddenly this year. One good thing is she didn't suffer before dying but the worse thing is she didn't give anyone a chance to take her to the hospital because she hated the thought of getting hospitalized. To tell the truth, I haven't in my entire life has seen her being hospitalized.

My aunt was a very simple woman. She didn't have any ambitions or any desire for luxury which many of us take for granted. From the childhood, I have seen that her life used to revolve around her children (later her grandchildren) and her daily chores. She never left her house, not even in any occasion such as Eid. She was basically a sick woman with severe asthma and diabetes but I never heard her complain about it. She was among those kind women who treated their daughter-in-laws as their daughters and love them very much. She was also fortunate enough to get back those sentiments back from her daughter-in-laws.

Although, she lived close to us, we could only visit her on Eid days because of our busy schedule. But now I wish we had given her a bit more time and sincerely wish that she could still be with us.

By Shafata Afreen Choudhury

10 things we learn from real life

We have seen that there are lots of things to learn from watching Bangla cinema, Hindi serials and TV series inStar World. But isn't there anything to learn from watching (or living) life as it is? There are my friends, and here they are:

1. If you get mugged in a movie, the hero will come to save you. If you get mugged for real, only God can save you.

2. In movies, the hero is the most successful athlete, the scholarship winner and the star of his school. In reality, you do not even get to have your name in the school yearbook.

3. In movies, the hero character gets the hottest chick. In real life, the chicks ignore you.

4. In a movie, a happy situation calls for songs, dances and praises. In reality, happy situation usually lands you having to treat your buddies who had no hope of your success.

5. In a romantic movie, love at first sight. In life, every sight is first love.

6. In movies, you hero marries the girl of his dream. In life, you marry the girl of your parents dream.

7. In movies, money is not a problem. In life, money is the biggest problem.

8. In movies, school is fun and the principal is stupid. In life, school is boring and the principal is strict.

9. In movies, heroes can dodge bullet. In life, you cannot even dodge the incoming crow spitfire.

10. In movies, everything is solved in the end and everybody is happy. In reality, the problems are heap and everybody else but you is happy.



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