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Money, Money, Money

THIS is not a battle of the sexes, or the battle of the wits. When Hu and Dr. Who get it on, it's a battle of who can keep at it the longest until turning blue in the face. This week's topic of discussion does money buy happiness?

It starts off with Dr. Who wanting a PS3. Hu, being as technologically retarded as they come, wonders why on earth Dr. Who would want a PS3 in the first place. 'God of War, Tekken, Medal of Honor, NFS,' Dr. Who replies, rolling his eyes. 'It's to play games on.'

'Sounds like a waste of time and money.'

'EVERYTHING is a waste of time and money. Might as well be happy wasting your time and money.'

'What about taking a deep breath and smelling the roses? It makes you feel good, and it doesn't cost the earth either.'

'But they do cost SOMETHING. Since you're spending money anyways, why not on a PS3?'

'Oh, ho, and what happens when you get tired of your PS3?'

'I'll just buy a brand new PS4. Hey, it's human nature. You want more and when you get that something more, you're happy for a while. Not all of us are out there to achieve Nirvana, kiddo. We don't have the time for that. We make do with what we have money.'

'That's what's wrong with this world. Why do we keep craving things all the time? You don't NEED things to be happy.'

'What, roses are non-existent, are they?'

'You don't have to own a rose to love it. A PS3 you have to own.'

'Yeah, yeah, whatever, roses are things, too. And a PS3 is a thing. Better things cost more money. I'm sure you'd be thrilled to have a nice orchid, but you fool yourself into thinking you're content just staring at it because otherwise it would dent your wallet.'

'Not true! Even if someone gave me a half-wilted orchid I'd still be delighted. It's the thought that counts.'

'Thoughts don't count. Suppose I wanted to buy you a Ferrari. So I bought you a toy one. The thought is still there, but is it the same? No. Both toy and real Ferrari would cost money. But the real one would make you happier. Hence money buys happiness, since I'd be pretty damn happy with a friggin' Ferrari.'

'Which brings me back to my original point what you want isn't really necessary.'

'That's beside the point. The fact that “if I could afford it and buy it, I'd be happy”, is the point. We didn't need homes when we were sheltered perfectly well in caves. We didn't need fire when raw meat seemed to taste pretty good. But no! We wanted easy food. We wanted comfort. So we had the homes and farmsteads and towns and so on and so forth. We didn't need them, but we still went out and got them, because we were the only species in the animal kingdom with a cool pair of hands. Face it, the basis of human civilization has been materialism. You can't go against it.'

'Is that so?' Hu demands, her grapes of wrath very heavy for the vintage. 'Ask yourself this: what is money? It's a mode of trade. It's a necessity of society. Money does not buy happiness. Tell me. What joy is there in a nice meal without someone interesting to share it with? What good is a PS3 without friends to play multiplayer with? Money buys friends? No! Money buys bees looking for honey that will sting you the moment you run out of it and don't care what happens to you as long as you're paying the bill at Westin.'

'Well,' Dr. Who scoffs, 'since spontaneous affection is so hard to come by these days, I think I'll settle for some general affection that'll make me happy. Not over the moon perhaps, but happy nonetheless At least, then I'll know what to expect as the outcome.'

'I can't believe you said that.' (Insert explosion of fury). 'That is such a stupid, hedonistic, apathetic thing to say…'

And the war wages on.

By Hu and Dr. Who


I am Moyla. Yes, you heard me right. Moyla. That is my name. Now, you must be wondering: what kind of name that is?! How funky my parents must be to give me such a name!

Well, the story behind my name is that I was found in a dumpster. The driver was driving by and picked me up. I must have been covered in all sorts of rubbish. When the driver brought me home to the couple without any children, they decided to keep me. And so they brought me up. They are very kind people. But I guess they were not very creative when it came to naming me. Or perhaps they wanted to ensure that I never forgot where I came from, what my life could have been, but be thankful for everything I have today; my life.

Today I live in a palace like place in Gulshan. It is big. You want a visual image of how big the place is? Do you watch those Ekta Kapoor dramas? Well my house is big like the houses in those shows.

Oh, I know those are sets. This is not. This is a four columned open spaced, marble-floored double-storied house. It has furniture from all over the world specially brought in. The floor is so clean that you can fix your make up as easily as you would looking at a mirror. Oh of course we have carpets --- or are they rugs? I am not sure what the difference is! Each carpet is brought in from abroad, matching the sofas and the curtains. They are the softest to touch, they must feel so nice under the feet. The kitchen is lovely too. All the modern facilities, modern kitchenware.

Oh, you get the picture of my current residence.

Hehehe, it is sweet. That look on your face. You are thinking: Wow, what a lucky girl! From dumpster to this palace-like house. The couple must have brought me up well. Educated me at the best of schools the country has to offer. Just the way they would if I was their own. You are also wondering: would it be too rude to ask what my husband does? What charities I must be involved with?

Well, I am not involved in any charity. I do not have the time. What, you think that a palace like place remains in its spotless state just like that? Come on now, you are being silly here! Of course I am in charge of the house. Nothing gets done in this house without me. I ensure the floor is shiny, the carpet is dust free, the kitchen is spotless, and the food is ready to be served at exact hours.

Before you go on to thinking what all I must have inherited to have this lifestyle, let me correct your thinking.

I am MOYLA. I am the servant of the house. I was found in the dumpster. The wonderful couple kept me. Fed me. Taught me the alphabet and counting numbers. Taught me how to cook, clean to Mamma's liking. I wake up at 5am every day. I do not go to bed until 1am at night. I ensure everything is as it should be. I have learnt the heard way to take the extra care to ensure that. Mamma holds many parties and family gatherings. I make sure everything is done properly during those occasions.

I cook, I clean. I ensure that there is not a single dust speckle anywhere. I ensure the flowers are arranged to perfection, the shoes and sandals are in their place. Mamma eats what I cook. She does not feel bad eating what Moyla cooks. She appreciates my cleaning. But if there is a spot of dirt visible anywhere in that palace like house, she ensures I realize my shortcoming. I am punished, either by a good beating up or going without food. She appreciates my cleaning the carpet, my hands are not filthy so they can touch the carpet, sofa, curtain. But my feet must never ever step on the carpet. They are moyla. And If I do step in, in order to keep my balance, she will rectify my doing ---beating or no food.

Oh gosh! I did not mean to take that smile off your face. Mamma is not that bad. She gave me a life. So what she does not treat me like a child she may have had herself. She did not educate me. So what I call her Mamma but she never once thought the meaning of the word. She gave me a life. She kept me. Named me. Brought me up. Today, I live in a palace in Gulshan. Mamma sleeps happy at night with the god liking feeling for giving me a life, and knowing her house will run like clockwork. She has nothing to worry about the dinner she will be holding for her in-laws next week….everything is fine. I go to bed thinking how lucky I am to have the clothes on my back and a roof on my head. I thank God for making sure I did not do anything wrong and house was perfect, dinner was served on time and the flower arrangement was commented upon by the dinner guests. I thank Mamma for not throwing me back at the dumpster. I thank her for my life. The one I have.

Or do I have a life?

By Ujjoyinee Rahman

Book review


STEPHANIE MEYER has an amazing technique of painting vivid, colourful pictures in the readers' minds. She is the author of the widely popular Twilight series. Stephanie Meyer had got the concept of this absolutely mesmerizing chronicle from a dream that she had on the June 2, 2003. She had dreamt of two people chattering in a meadow in the forests. But astonishingly, one of these people was an ordinary human girl, and the other was a beautiful, dazzling vampire. This dream was the beginning of the gripping story of a vampire romance.

To have a vampire for a boyfriend is a thrilling fantasy, but it is intertwined into a perilous reality for the 17-year-old Bella Swan. Bella moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona where she lived with her mother, to the little, gloomy town of Forks, Washington, where her father lives. She decides to do this so that her mother can travel freely with her new husband without having to worry about Bella.

Bella Swan starts to live with her father, Charlie, who works in the police department of Forks. The young teen-ager attends school where she gets introduced to the mysterious Edward and soon realizes that she is truly in love with this irresistible and impenetrable person. But she knows there is a dark secret behind his identity, and is determined to uncover it.

With some information about an ancient legend of vampires, which she manages to get from Jacob Black, she starts her research, which points to Edward as a vampire. Bella is shocked by this theory, but not frightened enough to back off. She is assured by Edward himself that the result to her research is, in fact, positive.

Soon Bella and Edward get involved in an intense relationship, which they're unable to pull themselves from, even after knowing how dangerous such an affair will be. Bella knows well that she is risking her life, as Edward has to give a big effort not to hurt Bella. He thirsts on her blood, and her blood is much harder for him to resist than other people's.

The human girl knows that the closer she is gettin to her true love, Edward Cullen, the more she is putting herself and her beloved ones at risk. But it is probably too late to turn back to her ordinary life.

Three more sequels follow this gripping romance, Twilight. New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn, reveal more thrilling events that occur in Bella's life...But until we have read all the books, we are left with one itching question: will the human girl and the vampire elope all their perils and reach their destiny? You have to read through all the sequels to find out!

By Dipita Fahim



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