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What are you complaining for, Momma?

I Just seems to me that parents these days, just can't stop complaining. Maybe, they should take a break and breathe or something, but they seem to have lost the will to do anything else but tell us just how good-for-nothing we kids, really are. It seems that during their generation, they were the best bunch of kids, with the best view of life and best ideas about the world. Well, look where that got us. With the global financial crisis threatening to destroy monetary markets, its quite obvious our moms and dads probably weren't as clever as they claim to be.

'We had candles and no bulbs' Yeah, right!
But just forget the good stuff. Analyze everything under the sun that they say to have done/seen while we just have it all handed down to us. You think modern technology is a blessing? No, its actual a real curse. When we use computers and complain about the need for updates we are immediately reminded about type-writers and the efforts our parents put in to get their assignments, as type-writers were unavailable, hard to use and gel pens just didn't happen. No, they had pens with feather and tips that needed to be dipped in ink. You would think they were brought up in the 15th century, chilling with Shakespeare or something, but we figure those times were just back-dated. We have it easy, and they would think that, given the little knowledge they have on hackers, viruses and need for juicin' up the PC every now and then.

Granted that our elders had to go to the rich neighbor's house to watch TV and didn't have a VCR, it still doesn't give them an excuse to refuse to buy us all the new movies that are being released. We are sorry that you didn't have what we have, but its not our fault. And since you bought us the DVD player, you might as well spring for the movies. And yes we dislike going to cinema halls and yes we are couch potatoes. But that is acceptable because we will work when our time comes.

Ever heard of inflation?
And should we be really glad that we get that 100tk every now and then? Old uncle says '100tk is more than enough. In my time we could buy gold earrings and travel from one country to another with that kind of money.' Is that fabrication or what? And even if all that did happen, are you telling us that people of yesteryears haven't heard of INFLATION? Let me tell you something, inflation means rise in prices and this is a global, continuous phenomenon, meaning that what I can buy with 100tk today, I cannot tomorrow. And with a 100tk we cannot do anything at all. Let's speak our minds now.

And we are reminded of how all the money our parents earn is for us, but I haven't seen even 15% of it handed to me. No, it all disappears in school fees, monthly food, accommodation and utility bills. Like we really need those things, albeit food, accommodation and utility. Maybe they should think more about all the stuff they can buy us during the time that they spend talking about money and expenditures and achieving good grades.

'I Was Given to this world, I didn't make it!'
All of you must have obviously heard about all the fields and trees and flowers and wildlife that our parents saw growing up. Its all about how they played in open field, got exercise and where all hyper-active while we sit on our behinds and gorge down on anything that we can gorge down on. Ok, let's ponder. Why do we not go to fields? Because we don't have many. Why do we sit at home? Because the streets aren't too safe. Why do we gorge down on 'gorge-downable' stuff? Because we want to. The situation of not having open fields or flowers and wildlife is not our fault. We didn't battle and win this country, we were given to it. The current lack of open space isn't our fault; it's the fault of the generation before us. I, for one, wasn't born with a blue-print of an apartment that had to be made removing all fields and greenery, so I don't know why you scold us for not doing things that you have made impossible. We have to sit and chat online because we were taught to be vary of people and we have to sit and play games because all of the fields have been destroyed by the previous generation. Shouldn't we be the ones who should do all the complaining? Instead of vice-versa? I believe so.

So you see, the current state of our laziness is not really our faults. Yes, our parents had wonderful lives, dubious but wonderful. However, they ensured that we don't have such a life and thus really should have nothing to complain about. Look at us! Without having the conditions that our parents had, we still don't complain THAT much. However, we both have had our ups and downs, negatives and positives, so maybe its time we really try to co-exist and not focus too much on the 'generation gap'. I only fear what the future holds for us and what our kids will be like. Let's ponder those points when we wish to, sometime in the future. For now, let us enjoy the few fruits of your labor, technology and stuff that you made for us.

By Osama Rahman

Chasing after you

I nearly got ran over by a bus that day.

Did I ever tell you that? In my haste to get to you, I nearly got ran over a bus. I broke at least half a dozen traffic violations while I was at it, too. Did I care? No, not really. You see, I was too busy tearing down the streets of your neighborhood, trying to find the place where you said you would meet me.

I almost didn't find you in the dark. There were mounds of cement and brick lying all over the place, and you were sitting on that park bench so still I nearly passed over you. But then I heard you calling out to me, and even if Beethoven's Fifth Symphony was crashing down on my ears I could never mistake the sound of your voice.

That night belonged to us. I remember everything, the moon and how big and bright it was, the grass under our feet. I remember the feel of your warm palm against mine, our fingers laced together and resting on my lap. I remember how you would shiver ever so slightly every time a breeze blew by, how you would tuck in your knees and move up closer to me. I was insanely in love with you that night. I could have fallen down on the grass and kissed your feet. And when I leaned in and whispered 'I could do this forever', I wasn't joking. I meant every word I said.

And then when you kicked off your shoes and started to run across the field…do you remember that? I remember. I remember chasing after you and catching up to you and knocking you down. We lay there slightly out of breath, the dew soaking through our clothes, lay there looking at the moon and the stars. I looked over and there you were, the smile on your face reaching your eyes, smiling in a way I had never seen you smile before.

I had loved you that night, loved you insanely. So two days later when you asked me to let you go, I could only stare at the cell phone now shaking madly in my hand and wonder where I had gone wrong.

And you left, without so much as a backward glance, leaving me to clean up the mess. I did, too. I cleaned it up. And now there's a big gaping hole in my life where you could've been, and a big blank space where the thoughts of you and me keep me up at night.

By The Trick is to Keep Breathing

Book review

Reaper Man

WHAT with medical researchers trying to delay the inevitable, sci-fi and fantasy authors dabbling with themes related to immortality and John Donne shouting 'Death be not proud', the Grim Reaper is probably not someone who gets invited to a lot of parties. And if it's not enough to have a crummy job where he's underfed (if those protruding ribs are any indication), constantly on call, and not entitled to any breaks, he gets fired for showing some individuality.

If you're thinking that only Terry Pratchett could think that way, you're probably right. In any case, Reaper Man, the 11th book in the Discworld series continues the Death storyline, featuring everybody's favourite scythe-wielding 'skelington'.

The story opens with the Auditors of Reality, whose job it is to ensure all entities on the Discworld abide by the Rules, deciding that Death was growing a personality, and must be put out of commission. After being granted permission from Azrael himself, they send Death his marching papers. Deciding to spend the remainder of his days in the proximity of the humans he'd always found so fascinating, Death takes on the name of Bill Door, and goes to work as a hired hand on Miss Flitworth's farm.

Meanwhile, things at Ankh Morpokh go crazy as things refuse to die. While the other creatures quickly invent their own versions of death (Pratchett reinforcing his idea that the power of belief can bring things into existence), the humans have more convoluted notions about dying, so a backlog of souls begins to build up, manifesting in poltergeist activity and other supernatural phenomenon. It also results in Windle Poon, the oldest wizard at the Unseen University, coming back to life after Death failed to turn up to guide his spirit into the next world.

It's madness galore throughout this book, and with Death's blunt philosophies, the antics of the wizards, and the sheer craziness of Discworld, all served up with liberal doses of Pratchett's signature zany humour, the laughs keep on coming. This holiday season, this is the book you want to be curled up with on a chilly afternoon.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



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