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Epilogue of an unruly soul

The wind blew by, dancing on its own rhythm. The leaves dwindling at a drowsy pace. I walked down the empty road, as my shadow slowly blended with the engulfing darkness. As the sun took away the golden glow with itself, I stood there all alone, numb with the feeling that was quite empty, the feeling of the absence of something essential, something whose presence was too obvious to be recognized before.

It is the custom of the human mind not to value things which are obvious but valuable. Maybe because they secure so solid a place, that it is unchangeable, and thus by the course of time they do not come up with striking changes, thus deceiving the human mind by the absence of their presence. But it is comparison that ultimately leads to realization. Therefore, at a very crucial point of my life, when on the verge of taking a huge step ahead, I felt like recounting all the blobs of foam that I almost forgot about, a luscious mixture of sweet and bitter with punches of spices in between.

Life has a lot to offer, and indeed have I missed out many. But at the end of the day, I do stand with a handful of different colours, enough to satisfy my appetite. There are colours that make me laugh, colours that make me cry, colours that shake my roots with bitterness, colours I want to wipe away, colours that tell me stories, and in the end colours that reflect my failures and achievements. Every one of these taught me a different lesson. Lessons that would help me build my future pillars stronger.

Relishing every bit of my realization, I wanted to move further down the road. But yet again there was something holding me back strong, furious at not being included within my epilogue of realizations. Indeed have I missed out a very important segment, the part where I should thank all the beings responsible for any good that has ever been done to me in my journey so far. I extend my heartfelt gratitude towards them for being so kind and sharing with me their priceless wealth of knowledge, care and compassion. They spared me almost everytime I failed to keep up, at times giving me admonitions that I promise to treasure throughout my life.

Thus, a segment of my book of journey comes to an end, an end that signifies a new beginning. Another big leap is to be taken to grab the pristine hopes that shine ahead. Accompanied by all my colours, I will be writing a new prologue, and this time hoping to reduce my regrets and create a surplus of memories that I can recall and smile. Thereby, the ball keeps on rolling until it meets its end!

By Afrida Mahbub

Yeats and piano rock

It would have been curious to see what Irish poet William Butler Yeats would have said had he listened the song 'A Bad Dream'.The song deals with his poem 'An Irish Airman Foresees His Death' that has a melancholic expression etched upon in its every line.

The song was composed by Tim Rice-Oxley, the lyricist of English piano rock band Keane. The poem written by Yeats chronicles the final thoughts of a First World War aviator.

The aviator is widely believed as Major Robert Gregory, a friend of Yeats and the only child of Lady Augusta Gregory, Yeats' patron and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre. The collection The Wild Swans at Coole, in which this poem appeared also, contained the poem 'In Memory of Major Robert Gregory'. In total, Yeats wrote four pieces based on Major Gregory's death. Yeats uses 'An Irish Airman Foresees His Death' to portray both emotional and intellectual aspects of the aviator's choice to fly.

The repetition of the word "clouds" on the second and twelfth lines of the stanza bookend the aviator's resolve; he was driven by a "lonely impulse of delight."

Yeats continues the poem until it has a perfect number of lines. This implies that the aviator's choice was based on intellectual as well as emotional reasons. Keane performed A Bad Dream that tries to evoke the main theme of the poem as the song has some resembling words like 'die in the clouds above' which matches with the poem's 'meet my fate somewhere among the clouds above'.

Tim Rice-Oxley stated in a podcast- “We wanted to get a balance between a kinda dream sequence. It starts very quietly, and I love the idea of being in a plane, like a Spitfire or something, being so high up in the sky that you can't hear the guns below you and so on. And it's almost got a serene silence which is what this Yeats poem seemed to really express. The song starts very quietly, but it gets huge and angry as it goes on... I guess an attempt to express all that anger bursting out.”

Indeed, in the song A Bad Dream, there is a sort of distortion piano work which creates an aggressive rhythm and at last it ebbs away like all on a sudden the anger over the failures of life diminishes as death comes. The part of the stanzas sung by Tom Chaplin, Keane's vocalist, seems like it overlooks the fusses of life as it comprises the words 'when will I meet my end?'.

By Sujash Islam
Source: Wikipedia

Earthquake Precautions

Recently Bangladesh has been hit by yet another Earthquake, and as I type this still reeling from the aftershock, I have come to the conclusion that it'll be too late by the time we realize when a really hard one hits us and even if we did, we aren't all aware as to what can be done. So here's a short list which will prepare you, during such an incidence, may God forbid.

An Earthquake lasts for a few destructive seconds and maybe even for minutes, thus if evacuation is a long shot, it is best to stay home. Duck down and take cover under furniture such as beds, tables etc. Hold onto the furniture and bear the shaking. After the shaking stops, stay covered and if you feel that the ceiling isn't falling, then slowly get out, always being certain to stay away from windows, heavy appliances and things that may topple over. During the hold period it is highly important to keep calm and it is best to try and keep everyone calm around you. If the room is too crowded, still stay in only one position, firmly, so as to decrease chances of damage. It is best to stay indoors. It is highly important to know a few things-
-You and your neighbor should be prepared to help each other. You must have ample training in using first aid kits.
-One must at least know the basics of performing CPR.
-Check availability of fire extinguishers.
-Know how to turn off the gas valve.
-Make sure to use the help of someone who can assist in removing live wire strewn about.

Gas stoves and electrical appliances must be secured beforehand, by cables, wires or any method possible, to minimize any damages. Water heaters and coolers should also be very effectively secured. If possible furnishings should also be secured, with prior permission from landlord, if the house is rented.

Cabinets or drawers which contain sharp or harmful objects, such as China, should also be bolted, or 'child-proofed'.

If you are driving, then stop when you feel it is safe, but stay inside the car. Make sure to park out of the way of oncoming traffic and stay away from trees, power lines, over-bridges and signs. Be aware of what is happening around you and always stay alert. But never leave your car.

It is wise to stock up on mineral water, torch lights, batteries, first aid kits and other tools which you may feel will be required if such a dreadful calamity strikes and thus you should ensure that these are all available at hand. It is never possible to assure safety, but it always pays to be prepared. And wait for the aftershock, because an earthquake may not stop all of a sudden. After the quake, make sure to check for gas leak and tend to anyone injured. For a lot more information, make sure to visit -http://www.earthquakecountry.info/roots/seven_steps.html

Till Thursday, stay safe!

By Osama Rahman
Sources- wikipedia, geology.com, thetech.org

Like a poet with the knife

It’s not a party if it happens every night, but you keep telling yourself that there is still novelty and glamour. They're not friends if you can only achieve delight through your extensive collection of music and culinary expertise. But sometimes it's worth it for the praise alone, 'You're like a poet with that knife.'

While you can find chicken already cut into halves and quarters and ready for cooking for sale, you get more freedom if you cut the whole chicken yourself.

You place the chicken, breast side down, on a board with the neck pointing away from you; you cut from the neck down to the tail, with the backbone on one side, which really isn't fair but since when has that been a part of the equation?

You were no Cumming or Eliot, but you respected the GCSE poetry anthology. You wanted to study it. You never attempted writing poetry yourself, because it wouldn't be appreciated; you just made incisions on that chicken, and decided you needn't study poetry to someday become a poet.

You cut down the side with the backbone and remove it.

The first time you wrote a poem, your friend wanted you to enter it for a competition your school was hosting. But that girl who sat next to you, she was always so good with words. And your friend himself was already rumored to be a favorite with the judges. You decided not to enter; you didn't need competitions to tell you how good you were.

You gently bend the breast and snap the breastbone, and with precision pull out the triangular keel bone. At the end of the breastbone you cut along both sides of the cartilage, and remove it.

You saw a poster for a poetry workshop on your way to work on the first day. The name of the person conducting the workshop sounded a tad bit familiar. Was it...? No it couldn't be him. He had won the poetry competition at your school, and a plethora of others to follow. You had fallen out of touch, but you later found his early success had later resulted in a perfect starving failure of an artist image. You had a poem on mind that day; you wrote it down during lunch break. You decided it needed no editing, you decided a workshop could teach you nothing.

You turn the chicken and cut it down its length, to split it into two halves. You cut through the skin separating the thighs from the breast, and have quarters ready for the cooking.

You had married at a time when most of your old classmates were still busy finding something or the other. To your new life, you forgot to bring your old poems, scattered across diaries and scrap books and the back of receipts: the crazy little quatrains; the nonsensical-to-most couplets. You decided you could do better. And maybe you decided correctly.

As the chicken bakes in the oven you admire its fine prosody. There is something abstract; there is some double-meaning too. There is some vers libre. You knew the fine structure and rhythm to cutting chicken. You put on some mellow music as dinner prepares itself, and await your guests, hoping that your husband makes his own son's first birthday on time.

You had made a stable life for yourself.

By Ahsan Sajid


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