Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


Odd jobs: The next Pearl Jam?

Gotcha! Are you interested to become the next Pearl Jam? Well, sorry to bust your expectations but this is not an advertisement for a potential grooming. However, if you have heard everything from 'Curbside Prophet' by Jason Mraz to bands like Spoon, Mulvane, Metallica, Maroon 5, and yaddiyaddiya and you can easily imitate the classic rock stars, perhaps then you may be well on the way to become famous-well, at least locally!

In Bangladesh, you can earn a little extra cash if you can play an instrument or sing with a melodious voice. Popular local event singers like LRB, Miles, Salma (CloseUp1) have quite an inflow of pocket filling coins every now and then performing in various corporate events. If you have the voice, the gears and the charm, then it is quite easy to shine in Bangladesh. I am fortunate to know excellent musicians like Rafa from Aurthohin, who at a very young age started to perform in local gigs and now… I am really scared to ask him how much he earns! Others, like the band Severe Dementia who started from scratch just a few months ago, are now getting offers to play at underground scenes abroad. It's all just a matter of time, song selectivity, stage presence and musical talent.

Well, of course like every industry, you have to start form the bottom to shine. It initiates with local underground gigs- if you are interested to grab the attention of G-Series or Ektaar distributors and make it big. On the other hand, if you want to shine in Classical/ playing a particular instrument, you have to start from scratch at institutions which teach you music. Most of the times, TVs, radios, event managers choose musicians from these institutions, each haven for talents. Only if you have real talent in gears and vocals, and natural charming ability, a stage presence, you can start earning anything from 1 to 100 K per two hour show! However, a word of advice- don't loose hope if you get boo-ed once. There is always room for improvement. Youngsters like DJ Rahat, Mila, Tishma, Arnob, Shahana, are some of the singers that earn big for their own styles be it music, singing, performance or stage presence or simply charisma. Also if you are pretty good in Piano, you can get extra cash at formal events of NGOs/ Foreign Delegate parties and corporate gatherings.

Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule that as from where to start earning; you just have to have networks, proper timing, venues, and your own intuition. It really sets you apart if you can play a unique instrument- like a flute, a violin or a trumpet (which can hardly be seen in Bangladesh). Many events like weddings, birthday parties, social gatherings and fun evenings hire creative people every now and then. Well, if you can't play the gears/sing like the above mentioned artists, but if you really want an odd job related to music, why not initiate a yearly concert? It is a great way to make profit in a short time, but this requires patience, and a bit of marketing strategies. Who knows? Maybe someday this odd job may land you the offer of a lifetime! You just have to pick the right place, right time, and hit the high notes!

By Shamma M. Raghib

Epiphany [Part II]

Once upon a time, there were two girls who were special in the way that we all like to think we are but actually aren't. Oh, the world revolved around them all right. Let's call them Girl A and Girl B.

So Girl B was new in the neighbourhood and Girl A decided to befriend her. In a short span of time, the two girls became such thick friends that Girl A's other friends became insecure. They began to spread stories about how Girl B was slowly becoming Girl A's best friend and how this was a case of misplaced loyalty on the part of Girl A since she already had a best friend who she could not possibly even think of betraying before by handling down the baton of 'best friend' to someone else. These rumours disturbed neither girl. They continued with their happy lives, ocassionally stopping to check what the newest rumours about them were.

And then one day, there was trouble in paradise. It is a commonly known fact that all great friends must, at some time or the other, get into incredibly silly arguements that spring from precisely nothing at all. Only this time, it wasn't just 'silly'. It reached epic proprtions, to the point where the two permanently stopped talking to each other and went, as trite as it may sound, on their separate ways.

Years passed. The two girls still met at random places. The only difference was that they now completely ignored each other's presence and associated with separate sets of friends.

On one such day when Girl A was just wholeheartedly preparing to ignore Girl B, she couldn't- because there was nobody to ignore. Girl B was curiously absent. Her friends came in and faithfully reported that Girl B had been hospitalised for a health problem.

Girl A was terrified, for reasons she knew not (or maybe she did but just wanted to ignore them). She strained her ears and tried to listen to the people who were explaining what had actually happened to Girl B. All in a very stealthy way, of course. She was a little scared and a little unsure. She wanted to make sure that Girl B was okay. She had once been a friend, Girl A told herself, so it was okay to put in a prayer for Girl B's well-being even though shre had betrayed her trust. It was just something she was doing for the sake of humanity, Girl A told herself.

Three days later, Girl B came back. Girl A took one look at her and saw that she was all safe and healthy, meaning she had recovered from whatever ailment she had, and...

And what? What were you thinking, Girl A started sobbing hysterically and hugged her long-lost friend and Girl B apologized and they made up? Of course not. How preposterous. Girl A swiftly looked away to make sure Girl B didn't find out she still somehow cared. Then Girl B passed Girl A without so much of a glance at her and they went about their mundane lives, finding solace in ignoring each other once again. You see, some people make up after disagreements, and some people don't. This was, quite clearly, the latter case.

By Anika Tabassum

Onnesha observed the World Literacy Day

The Students of ONNESHA International School & College celebrated “The World Literacy Day' with the students and teachers from other schools, colleges and universities at American center Library on Monday 8 September. There the students took part in a discussion on the importance of the literacy and growing awareness among the people of the world. Ms. Amy Hart Vrampaf Conducted the lively discussion.

In this discussion it was pointed out that illiteracy is a social problem. So the govt. cannot alone remove it from the country. All of the educated people should come forward and raise social movement to solve this problem. The participants emphasized on the importance of women literacy, adult literacy and health awareness. They also stressed on spontaneous voluntary service of students, teachers and other sincere people from different sectors for making a healthy society.

It was highly appreciated that ONNESHA is working to eradicate illiteracy from the grass-root level through 30 satellite schools at remote areas of Mymensingh. The programme ended with a movie show focusing on traditional education system and implementation of a new method. This year the slogan for the day is “Literacy is the best remedy.

Endangered Essentials

Grandmothers always say “In our time we did many things but you young people are quite hopeless”. Telling her grandchildren that their generation no longer has the skills needed in everyday life, is repeated often many an old grandma. Many of you have surely experienced this from mothers, grandmothers and other 'grown-ups'. Men and women alike of the previous generation had many different skills. Of course, we are talking about a time when women were expected to stay at home while the men went out to earn.

Before the age of dual incomes and deadly deadlines, people had more time to exercise their artistic skills. The women made 'pithas', which were decorated with floral motifs. The same designs were used for floor drawings known as 'alpona'. In the evening women used to sit together for gossip and knit woolen articles for the family, sew clothes and do embroidery. Moral lessons were embroidered, framed and hung up on walls. When the husbands left home for work, the newly wed brides embroidered sayings like “Bhulo na amai” (don't forget me) on handkerchiefs and pillow covers for them. Cooking and embroidery were two of the most important skills for a woman. Toys for the children were made at home with wood and clay. Young girls used to play 'putuler biye' (doll wedding) with dolls made out of wood and cloth. Cooking was a mandatory skill for women. They cooked delicacies, made pickles and cut vegetables in an artistic manner. There were no computers, video games, internet or cell phones. So the children entertained themselves by climbing trees, cycling and playing other games like [hide and seek, akka dokka, etc. Usually the boys played chess with their father or grandfather.

In the present day and age, the work line between men and women is becoming thinner. The current generation has swapped the skills of the people before them, for some different ones. These young people use the latest technologically advanced things cell phones, Internet, computers and other electrical gadgets. Competition is fiercer than ever before, and the 'survival of the fittest' adage has never been truer. So priorities are changing with time.

Cooking for girls is no longer mandatory. Boys receive tough competition from girls at studies. Many young people can't swim or ride a bike. But that is also because of lack of space. Due to the population boom most people have to live in crowded apartments with no playgrounds for the children. The water bodies are too contaminated to learn swimming. The few swimming pools available are too expensive for the majority. So the skills of swimming and cycling are slowly becoming lost.

In the 'good old days', if a television, radio or light bulb needed to be fixed, the son of the house fixed it. Most households had a 'carpenter box'. If a chair broke its legs or a stool got burnt while cooking, the men of the house would get out the utility tools and fix them. Now we call an electrician for the smallest problems. Pithas and pickles can be bought from shops so fewer people make them at home.

There is an old saying, 'when some things are lost others are gained'. So though the young people may have lost some old skills but they have learnt some new ones. Each generation brings something new into this world as each dawn brings a new day.

By Nishita Aurnab



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2008 The Daily Star