Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


The week in re(ar)view

Math redefined
Everyone has known a kid in class who added up two and two to make five. Some have even been that kid and been laughed at. Well, next time think twice before you laugh at someone who adds up redefines math laws and come up with out-of-the-calculator thinking.

We figure the former Titas Gas sales assistant Abdul Kader Mollah was one such kid when he was a, er, kid. His salary Tk 4,000 managed to add and multiply into over Tk 2,100 crore.

He has 15 industries, 13 flats, 29 vehicles, a five-storey building, a one-storey house, a farmhouse and 45 acres of land and a balance of Tk 18.53 crore.

This apparently beats the other wealth amassing records set other meter readers from Titas Gas, Wasa, Rajuk, BTTB and PDB.

Recent newspaper reports said another 130 officials and employees of Titas Gas are ready to return wealth worth over Tk 400 crore.

Kader Mollah even boasts about his business acumen: "Do you think I have stolen this money? This money comes from my business," he told reporters.

In which case he must really love his job as a meterman to continue working there. He retired in 1997.

Carjacking made easy
Carjacking is actually easy. Just poke something menacing against the drivers neck, kill him even and voila, you own a new car. Of course, making it legal again would be hard work were I not for the officials at Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) who think of themselves as Robinhoods. Take from the rich and give to another rich.

The officials help the thieves by providing genuine documents within a month changing the identification numbers of a stolen vehicle's engine, chassis and registration. Cars then become almost impossible to trace or identify.

Bribes range from Tk 50,000 to Tk 75,000. Even when prospective buyers send off copies of the papaers for verifications, those are intercepted and sent back with fake verifications. The only way to be completely sure that the car is genuine is to buy brand new from the authorized dealars. Sadly, those are the cars targeted most.

What goes around
Bed sheets allegedly of Mitford Hospital were seen and snapped on film being washed at the garbage filled shore of the polluted Buriganga in the capital. The picture was taken on February 3, 2007. It seems this way hospitals will ensure that patients stay till death or debt do them apart. When patients go to the hospital with their illness, the germ-ridden sheets will ensure that the patient always has a new illness to look forward to.

Jaywalking prohibited, for now
For every three news items about corruption and negativity, we have one good news….. for this week only.

Policemen have recently been seen stopping pedestrians from jaywalking at intersections where there are foot-over bridges. We have noticed it happening at Banani, Farmgate and Science Lab. If nothing else, the stair climbing will force people to get a few seconds worth of exercise.

Never to young to begin
Reading this you would think that criminals in our country are born that way. If not they start as early as they can. A five-year-old boy has been accused of issuing death threats and destroying properties in the charge sheet of a general diary (GD) filed with the Naikkhangchhari Police Station in Bandarban.

The child, Shahidul, was aaccused along with his parents. The Sub-Inspector showed that in the charge sheet showing Shahidul is shown as a 23 year old.

A few rubber garden owners filed the GD on August 15 last year. Now if minors are taken to court for issuing threats, then every child in this country should be behind bars by the time they are 10. After all, issuing threats along with wetting pants are what kids do best.

By Mood Dude and Gokhra

Bangla folk music has a long history

Bangla folk music has a long history. Several people contributed to what has become one of the most important musical influences in lives of Bengalis on both sides of the (West Bengal-Bangladesh) border. Among these are Lalon Fakir, Hason Raja and Ramesh Shill. Abbas Uddin was a key player in popularizing folk music later on.

Folk music can clearly be distinguished and classified into several sub-genres:
· Baul: mainly inspired by Lalon Fokir and his Sufi way of living and almost exclusively performed by hermits who have adopted such (Sufi) life style

· Bhandari: devotional music from the South (mainly Chittagong)

· Bhatiali: music of fishermen and boatman, almost always tied by a common raga (mode), sung solo

· Bhawaiya: song of bullock-cart drivers of the North (Rangpur)

· Gajir geet: tradition song from the North (Rangpur)

· Gombhira: song (originating in Chapai Nawabganj, in the North) performed with a particular distinctive rhythm and dance with two performers, always personifying a man and his grand father, discussing a topic to raise social awareness

· Hason Raja: devotional songs written by music composer Hason Raja (from Sylhet near Assam) that was recently repopularised as popular dance music

· Jaari: song that involves musical battle between two groups

· Jatra Pala: songs associated exclusively with plays (performed on-stage) that usually always involve historical themes presented in a very colourful way

· Kirtan: devotional song depicting love of Hindu god Krishno and his (best-known) wife, Radha

· Pala: songs from the haor (lake) area in Sylhet, Kishoregonj, and Netrokona usually performed on stage live by folk singers

· Kobi gaan: poems sung with simple music usually presented on stage as a musical battle between poets

· Lalon: best known of all folk songs and the most import sub-genre of Baul songs, almost entirely attribute to spiritual writer and composer, Lalon Fokir of Kustia (Western Bangladesh, near the border with West Bengal)

· Mursiya: Islamic songs of devotion of the Shi'ah groups based mainly on Western influences

· Shaari: song of boatmen sung in group to match the beat of the oar movement

· Upojatiyo: songs of the minor ethnic groups - worth noting, this is not really a classification since songs of these ethnic groups (of which there are at least 13 different groups) vary widely and have very distinct and intriguing characteristics

· Letto's song: songs from Mymensingh (North of Dhaka) that also allegedly influenced Nazrul geeti

· Wedding songs: sung all over Bangladesh but always tied by similar tunes and by, obviously, a common theme, marriage.

Source: www.answers.com

Valentine contributions

Last call for all Valentine's Day contributions from our readers. Express your love (even your hatred) for this loving day by getting creative.

Thoughts of your loved one got you on an overdrive of mush? Tell us all about it. Got your heart broken by Fate’s cruel games? Share your story with us and we’ll cry with you. Want to tell us how awesome (or not!) we are? Drop us a valentine in the RS Mailbox! Send in your thoughts, poems, stories, drawings, scribbles and anything else on your mind to Rising Stars. (Hint: we like chocolates!) You can also send in personal wishes to that particular someone for our special Valentines's Greetings section.

We're also interested in true stories. If you're part of an awesome twosome, (or in the mood to start one), send us in 50 words, your idea of the perfect proposal. The best 10 will be published in a special column.

Let’s get the heat on the RS way this February!!
Simply mail them to our email address (risingstars@thedailystar.net). Contributions must reach us by 10th February.


In an article on Nokia's Independent Artists Club (IAC) printed in our last issue, the band 'Lucifer's Throne', one of the ten bands featured in this month's charts was mistakenly printed as 'Throne of Lucifer'. We regret the inconvenience caused by the error.

RS Desk

Concert tomorrow

"Feel the power inside” is the theme for the concert highlighting women artists. It's a social call aimed at showing that women with talent can flourish if they try. All it takes is courage to to let loose your creativity be it singing or writing the material.

It will be held at Dhaka University Natmondol Auditorium at 6 pm tomorrow. Tickets are available for 500 taka at most food joints such as X Lounge (Banani), Swarma House (Hatirpool) American Burger, Dhaka University Vanilla Mollar Dokan, Charukala Modhur Canteen, DUS TSC, Timeout etc.

Artists include the likes of Shahana, Krishnokoli, Poonam, Elita, Kangalini Sufiya and a lot more.






home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2008 The Daily Star