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Concert Review
Feel the power inside

Other than the names of Kangalini Sufia, Elita, the rest of the names were quite unknown to me. So as I walked into the hall of Nat Mondol in Dhaka University, I was rather unsure of what I was about to experience. The atmosphere outside Nat Mondol was greatly buildup with small burning lanters and hanging lights giving the feel of the energy that the concert was ultimately set to exuberate. The show started at 7.

It was a concert by the women and for the women in music. All the singers will be singing songs that was written and tuned by the artists themselves. Shovyata went on the stage first. I was surprised to see her, a young girl of barely 15, who has written and tuned her own songs, and now performing it, playing guitar in front of a large audience. I liked her “Chayer Cup” where she pretended that she is just a cup of tea and describes the world around her. I was impressed by the budding star.

Next Abida came to the stage and sang three of her own songs. She had a mellow tone and sang about the philosophies of life. Abida was followed by Punom. She sang the first one playing the guitar on her own, but confessing that she was not good with it. For the other two performances (Meghbalika and Maya), Arnob came to the stage amidst cheers and played guitar for her. Yes, Arnob was there, only playing instruments and helping with the sound, but since it's a concert that celebrate the women, we will not talk much about him. Punom was followed by Suchi, who looked nervous at the start but performed beautifully. Her songs were dreamy yet meaningful, specially “Bodlechhi”.

Elita came to the stage next. She sang three songs; the first two of them were written by poet Anik Khan and tuned by her. The last one which she performed was the result spontaneous jamming session of Raaga, the story of which she foretold before starting the number. Elita was followed by Sumi, who was organizer of this show. In her first song (Bondhu Tui) I felt the guitar was overshadowing her beautiful voice. But she really rocked the crowd with her third number “Khajna Debo”. The guitar violin jam during the song was mind blowing and received repeated applause from the crowd. Krishnokoli came next and although she confessed that she usually sings sad songs, but her number “Ichhe Moton” was uplifting the crowd. She was requested to appear on the stage once more for a fourth number and she sang a song from a short film of which she is the music director. Finally “Banglar Rock-star” (as termed by Sumi) Kangalini Sufia came to the stage and had the crowd on their feet. She song her famous number “Nitaigonj” along with other aurhtntic Baul numbers. She had her own troupe of flutist and percussionist. Honestly though, the small stage of Nat Mondol was not big enough for her style of song which was very energetic and very loud. She came all the way from Kushtia for this performance and thanks to her for entertaining us after a long time.

It is encouraging to see that the women in music are coming together to organize their own concerts where they sing their own songs and even more to see that people are interested in such shows. Sumi promised that there will be more such endeavors and at least I am very excited.

By Monty Python
Photo: Arif Hafiz

Global warming

I am a 15-year old 10th -grade girl-student from Turkey. My school is the Erbakir Science College, the best in Denizli, a city famous for its natural beauties and archeological treasures in Western Anatolia. I am alarmed by the gruesome fact that global warming, the effects of which can be more and more universally witnessed with each passing season, if fact approaching a point of no return. I am also adamantly disturbed that countries like Bangladesh, flat except the Chittagong hill tracts in the east, and vulnerable to recurrent and devastating floods in the west, are expected to pay a heavy price for the radical climate changes who causes lie elsewhere.

More people now observe clearer than the past decades that the globe is getting warmer, on account of which large chunks of icebergs, especially of the North Pole, break up thunderously and perceptibly melt threatening to raise the sea levels. The expected flooding of all shores is in addition to other equally distressing consequences, such as mounting shortage of water and dissemination of drought all over accompanied with loss of arable land, ensuring hunger, and new conflicts among individuals and nations.

They are mainly the industrialized countries that emit greenhouse gases the atmospheric accumulation of which holds sun beams more than hitherto leading to unnatural warming. The United States, with a record of 5.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide thrown out to the atmosphere accompanied with a refusal to conform to the prerequisites of the environmentalist Khoto Protocol, leads the list of these industrialized communities. On the heels of that country is Russia with 2.8 million, followed by Japan with 1.3 billion tons. Bangladesh, a green heaven with rich cultural and artistic past, on the other hand, is almost at the very end of that list, the handful of leading states of which dangerously threaten life on our planet. Bangladesh now faces the prospect of losing perhaps about one-third of its land that is small in comparison to its population to begin with.

Scientists conceived a host of unpleasant scenarios pertaining to the probable consequences of such warming. many scholarly research show that the water resources will eventually be depleted, that simple liquid of hydrogen and oxygen will turn out to be more precious than gold or diamonds, that many of plant and animal species will vanish forever, that cancerous disorders will increase due to the shattering of the atmopshere's present qualities, and that recrurent armed clashes will occur for rivalry over elementary means of survival.

According to a UN report, dated february 2007, even a two degrees increase of heat will drastically reduce water levels eventually leading to desert storms in North America. With the dramatic rise of the sea levels, coral reefs are bound to submerge, close to one-third of the living species stand to be lost, and millions of human beings will breathe their last. Another five degrees rise in teperature will cause a further five meters escalation of the sea layer. Food shortages threatening to reach more serious dimensions, mass migrations will multiply, people hoping to discover bits of land of offering slightly better living conditions.

The environmentalists already established that the overwhelming cause of these tragic effects is rooted in faulty human activity. Reasonably, it should be again human endeavour, this time appropriate, that should slow down this hazardous process. A general precautionary policy is less use of energy and thereby less damage to nature. Among the practical safeguards can one enumerate much less handling of private cars, more use of public vehicles, proper insulation in dwellings, economical use of all electrical gadgets, turning of f such appliances at the main sockets rather than from the immediate switches, saving of as much water as possible, the protection forest wealth, and the like.

One constructive project should follow another, all designed to thwart global warming, and curricula in elementary and high schools should include courses on environmental protection. As a teenager from a developing country, I am eager to see the life of the coming generations to continue to conditions similar to those of our forefathers. I hope to see national, regional and world-wide precautions, inspired by scientific reports, that will at least slow down warming at the global level.

By Oznur Yagci

Rendezvous pointers

Everyone makes a big fuss when February 14th turns around. It’s a day about meeting your loved one and reminding them of your everlasting love with some added token or two.

This is not as easy as it seems as there hardly seems to be a place nowadays where a couple can just sit by themselves, away from prying eyes. You should be prepared for stares, comments and disapproving looks. And for affairs not yet ready to be revealed to all, there is always the fear of someone older recognizing you and landing you in trouble. Added to that the stressful schedules many have nowadays with coaching, classes and work, skipping Valentines may seem better altogether.

But don't give up so easily! It's all in how you plan to go about it:

Organise- Vday does only come one a year, so if you want to celebrate it, don't do it halfheartedly but plan the day. Keep a slot free in your day, after work or classes when you think you might be free and if necessary make up for it later in the week or before.

Go out with friends- if you think it's a problem for you to get out or your parents might make a fuss, make it an outing with close friends. Valentines Day is not only for couples; spend it with friends as well. Later on, you can leave the get-together with your special someone and you can have a long drive home or head somewhere else.

Go somewhere different- sure, you want to treat him/her in that special restaurant that new café. But if you just want to spend time with each other, do something different. You could go to the Boi Mela with him/her and spend your time there, while feeling safe all the while.

Or you might hop into the car or take a bus to a long drive somewhere on the outskirts of Dhaka. You could also cuddle together in a theatre where it is dark although this is nothing novel. Simple things like taking a walk in Ramna Park or traveling to old Dhaka for the first time to sample some kachi biryani can be deemed romantic as long as you're with the person you love

Buy inconspicuous gifts- You might think that huge pink teddy bear is just the right present for your girl. However if you do plan on keeping a low profile on V-day, it would be better to make your gift do the same. It would be better not to buy anything that would draw unwanted attention; remember good things come in small packages.

Avoid any PDA- We do live in a conservative society folks, so it's better to save your public display of affection to a place where you are completely alone. Spend the time you have together wisely.

All in all, even if you fail to spend V-day together, plan to spend the day together the day before or after, or even a few days later. It is always the thought that counts.

By Nisma Elias




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