Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


Do Somethin’

Shut up, just shut up. Shut up, just shut up.'

Ever seen an ant and wondered how such small creatures have vast empires, wage wars and communicate with each other? No? Well, congratulations because I haven't either. But then there are some people who do and I don't mean wondering about ants, but all things in general. It's a good thing but on some occasions it can be pretty annoying.

I have read a million news paper articles/letters, heard sermons and seen people on TV talking about some sad or bad things they have experienced. Sadly, most people only talk about it but have not ever really done anything about it. That's stupid, right? I think so too.

I have actually heard people talking about a poor rickshaw-puller getting beaten because he asked for 2 bucks more than the 'original' fare. The account of such an incident starts off by the narrator expressing his shock at such manner and disgust that so many people around would just stand there and do nothing, but act as silent spectators. It would be end with the narrator, who is deeply troubled by witnessing the act, leaving the scene disgusted and speechless, at the attackers and the silent spectators. I beg the question therefore, that if that person had seen the act and left disgusted, wouldn't he too be a silent, disgusting, sorry-excuse-for-a-man, silent spectator? Questioning or stopping injustice isn't something to fear, but selfishly boasting about attention-seeking sympathy is laughable. If you feel so bad for the rickshaw-puller, go on and stop it.

What about the accounts of people passing by their cars, stopping in some traffic signal and being struck deeply by the poverty surrounding them? The narrator in this sort of tale cannot bear to burden the guilt of sitting in the luxury of his/her car, while little children don't have a home to go to. The tale ends with a sad reflection on the conditions of society but lacks any act of generosity on the person's part.

I believe that if anyone genuinely feels for something, that person should really do something for his /her passion. Just talking about changes never helped and it never ever will. The irony of all this desire to change is that, the person in question, expects 'society' to bring about a change. Well, society consists of you and me, so if you don't have the guts to lead the herd, stuff your sermons, moron.

I cannot say that I am doing my part, but I can say that I am trying to do my part. As Tupac once infamously said, 'I am not saying I will change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.' I believe, that if we take the initiative, then we can also spark brains that will help to change the world.

Injustice should not be feared, rather rectified. Governments and Society should not change, rather be corrected. Human Compassion is in-built in all of us and once we all contribute in our own little ways, we will form a pretty giant helping network. In the end, if something deeply affects you, don't boast about, but do something about it. After that not only will you earn respect, but you'll be feeling good. So go on, make your bones and pay your dues to society. Until next time,

By Don Amaso

Summer Slams
You Wanna Fight?

IT'S hot, the sun is beating down on the earth with its hot rays, there is no electricity in the house and the roads are jammed. Under these circumstances anyone can be forgiven for losing their patience. You may be wondering what I'm trying to get across. Well, the obvious point is that during the hot summer people lose their tempers a lot and what ensues is a fight. Or rather a large number of fights. There's a Stone Cold Steve Austin in all of us and it really comes out during the summer. So here's a few summer time rumbles that we are sure to catch, if we keep our eyes and ears open.

1. The Fare Fight- Granted this happens in any season, but it becomes more prominent during hot days. See, rickshaw-pullers hike up their fares since its hot and more tiring work now and some commuters just cant accept that. Can you imagine paying 10 taka to go to place that we used to go to before for 8 taka? That's like 2 WHOLE TAKA more. Man by saving that kind of money I could buy like 2 whole candies. But the rickshaw puller dare asks for 2 more taka, like he needs it more. Hey, we work for our money. My teacher doesn't charge me any extra for teaching me because of the weather, why should they? Well, what results is in a huge fracas. And more people join in to watch. Some say things like 'Accha bhai badh dao. Aro 2 taka diya dao.' Or 'Onno rickshaw nao. Eita badh dao.' Others just watch. Getting someone beaten up live sure makes people forget the heat as they congregate the streets like morons. The end result is usually a bleeding nose and that 2 taka is sometimes throw away in hunger. 'Eije rakh tor 2 taka, mair khawar jonne.' Translation- 'Here keep your 2 taka for getting beaten up' or the more literal translation- 'I'm a stingy idiot who sucks lemons'.

2. Genjam- Moving on to the more common but now more heated genjams which most teenagers love having. Its stupid but it happens, just like 'One Tree Hill'. The 'genjam' starts when comments are passed or someone crushes on someone else's girlfriend. Its cheap and hilarious. So bunch of guys come and beat up some guy, usually the groups aren't at all evenly matched and so one side of course wins, hands down. 'Wait. Let me make a phone call.' Is the opening line of this drama. Mobiles are grappled with as if they are Pamela Anderson toys and everyone gets in the action. Even the tiny ones, who know every gangster in the city and talks a tough game, but disappears when the action starts. There are shouts and curse words and horrible looking cars, with horrible looking kids, all fighting without a reason. Ok, I can understand the guy whose girl got hit on being mad, but what are the rest of them jumping around for? If you really wanted to help your friend, you all could have settled down and talk. The heat just boils their already boiled bloods and shouts of 'Back-up!' 'Back-up', fills the air. Pathetic.

3. Road-sides Losers- We all usually avoid eve-teasing, even when we are present and our girl friends are the victim. But during summer, more often than not, we cannot take it anymore and try defending our girlfriends. Either we can teach the losers a lesson or get our face pounded in, while our girlfriends save us from potential beatings. The losers usually burst out in songs and though its best to avoid them, the heat makes it intolerable. 'Oi meye, jao koi?' (Hey girl, where are you going?) 'Tomar gondho che dure' (Away from your smell). Yes the girl can use the latter in summer, because face it, brothers standing on the streets for hours, smell really bad.

4. Bus Fights- Many fights occur in buses because everyone wants the goddamn window seat and everyone wants to sit down. So they try to make others move and when the latter doesn't reciprocate, a fight breaks down. These are usually verbal, unless of course the bus stops and drops them off, so they can engage in physical warfare. Its stupid and pointless, just like all other fights and just like Britney Spear's songs and of course One Tree Hill, but that doesn't stop it.

Basically most fights occur while pursuing or journeying (in) Public Transports. Rickshaw pullers fight too when they bump into each other and for some reason, beyond my understanding, curse each other's mothers. Drivers do the same, because someone drives crazy or honks like a mad man. It all boils down to the hot weather, no pun intended and understood. But though its hot, lets understand that it is the same for everyone and since everyone isn't fighting and can keep calm, we should probably try to do the same. So stay safe and keep cool and those that say my writings suck watch out because if I find you, I will beat you up and blame the weather. God, I love being lame.

By Osama Rahman

Book review

Exile's Valour

EVER looked back on paintings or essays you wrote as a kid? It's such a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, you find yourself laughing at your childish perceptions, almost with the indulgent air of a parent, and on the other you're cringing with embarrassment and wondering what possessed you to draw or write that stuff.

I have to wonder if Mercedes Lackey felt the same way about the sequel to Exile's Honor. For those who missed the review last week, here's a short recap. The two books are based in the fictional universe of Velgarth, centering around the kingdom of Valdemar and its neighbours. Valdemar is run by Heralds, do-gooders with psychic powers, who are partnered with intelligent and magical horse-like creatures called Companions.

Exile's Honor begins during the reign of King Sendar, when Valdemar is at war with the kingdom of Karse. Alberich, a captain of the Sunguard of Karse, is found to have the power of Foresight, and sentenced to the stake by the priests of the Karsite order of the Sunlord Vkandis. The young man is rescued by a Companion and taken over to the same Valdemar he's been taught to hate. Exiled from his own land, he must learn to accept this strange land and its strange people who have welcomed him into their midst. His loyalties are sorely tested when the big battle between Valdemar and Karse ensues.

Exile's Valour takes up during the reign of Sendar's daughter, the teen queen Selenay. It's a hard time to be a queen, with the kingdom recovering from war, and the dirty politics within the Court and from neighbouring countries threatening the fragile peace. A more seasoned Alberich takes on the duty of protecting the young queen who has been more than a friend to him. With the aid of the Herald Chronicler Myste, who has a 'pleasantly disturbing' effect on him, he spies on Selenay's potential enemies, and thwarts the efforts of over-ambitious Councillors, while carrying on his duties as Weaponsmaster. One of these duties is discipline, and this, combined with the cold winter and a general feeling of restlessness amongst his pupils gives rise to the game of Hurlee, which is some weird marriage between ice-hockey and polo.

Even his best efforts seem to be pointless when Selenay walks right into a clever trap set by a powerful Valdemaran traitor. With nothing to do but grit his teeth and watch as his young queen gets further tangled in the mess, Alberich arms himself for the worst possible outcome. His weapon of choice? Hurlee.

By itself, and even as a sequel to the previous book, Exile's Valor is an engaging read, peopled with likeable characters, and enough romance, sports, suspense and intrigue to entertain a wide range of interests. Fans of Valdemar will enjoy this close look at the Court politics in the magic kingdom. For those who are well-versed with the Valdemar stories, however, this book comes as something of a disappointment; it is riddled with inconsistencies and plot holes that make no sense in the light of the bigger picture. Nevertheless, Lackey is a great entertainer, and Exile's Valor manages to hold the reader till the very end. A big thank you to Uncle Joe for sending me the books!

By Sabrina F Ahmad



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2008 The Daily Star